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Can I just add something to that guy's Die-Hard pitch?


#1

Did you guys catch this?

I love the audacity of what that guy’s done. A writer who loves Die-Hard so much and was so eager to pitch his idea he took out an ad in one of the trades and pitched it publicly to Lorenzo and Willis and Len Wiseman. Maybe 10 people talked to me about this yesterday and it’s such a great idea. Die Hard really hasn’t worked for me since they dropped the formula of McClane in an enclosed space and locking him up in the high-security prison with the world’s worst terrorists is just GENIUS. It’s the perfect Die-Hard backdrop.

I actually like the entire pitch, but wonder if the opening is a little overly complex and if you just want McClane in that building a lot earlier. Tying it into Die-Hard 4 also seems a little risky as nobody really remembers what happened in that movie. For me it’s all Die-Hard 1 and Die-Hard 2 and that’s what got me thinking. We just want to get McClane into prison, right? The right guy in the wrong place just as the terrorists are busting out their friend to commit America’s greatest atrocity.

So here’s what I’m thinking and, please, those of you who know me will understand this is not a pitch as I have no interest in working on other people’s characters EVER. This is just getting tossed out there and free for anyone to use because I’d love to see this happen for this guy and hopefully the following us in some way useful.

SO…

To get McClane in this high-security prison much faster and much more smoothly how about he’s arrested as he comes off a Christmas flight and he has no idea what the Hell he’s being charged with? He’s been busted under a Homeland Security provision, the last twenty five years of his life having him involved or certainly at the centre of…

The attack on the Nakatomi building
The terrorist incident at Dulles airport
The bomb-threat to New York City
Die Hard 4’s cyber-terror threat
And, more recently, whatever actually happened in Die-Hard 5.

To be at the centre of ONE of these incidents is a rare and incredible thing. To be involved in TWO is deeply suspicious. But to be at the epicentre of FIVE DIFFERENT INTERNATIONAL TERROR-THREATS and always being the one man who walks away and you’re basically going to prison for the rest of your life. This ties all five Die-Hard movies neatly into Die-Hard 6 and, let’s face it, if John McClane existed in real life with this incredibly suspicious track-record he would be in Guantanamo being questioned without trial and the media would be calling for his execution.

Speaking of the media… the man behind his incarceration… the guy who’s been tracking McClane all these years and building the case against him? Why, it’s none other than Richard Thornberg, the sleazy reporter who tried to screw McClane over twice and was humiliated by both he AND the ex Mrs McClane. I love actor William Atherton. He was McClane’s first nemesis. He was even the pencil-neck who closed down the Ghostbusters. Now this is his revenge. The grand finale where he pieces it all together and gets McClane locked up.

I think the genius of Die-Hard is staying simple and getting him into that situation as quickly as possible. It’s a third act spread over THREE acts. If this is any help to anyone they are more than welcome. Lorenzo’s a pal of mine and producing Jupiter’s Legacy so I’m going to shoot this over to him too as I’d love to see that guy get this gig. This is a movie I just want to see.

THORNBERG!!!


#2

That’s a pretty cool idea, and ties things together nicely. I agree that a minimum of setup is needed - you just want to see McClane being McClane.

I like the boldness of this ad strategy too. A great way to get noticed. It’ll be interesting to see what comes of it.


#3

I already like that pitch more than I’ve liked any of the last 3 Die Hard movies…And that guy is absolutely correct about the character. In the first movie (and to a point with Die Harder), he is an everyman.

Number 5 is an appalling film and doesn’t even make sense from a narrative point of view. So I would prefer to see the series die out rather than see another lousy Die Hard movie.


#4

the detail of him coming out of a Christmas flight, that is masterful!


#5

I ruddy love that. It’s a much better idea of succinctly starting the movie without as much set-up, especially with the tie-in with the previous films - and including Thornberg, everyone’s favourite asshole from 80s movies, I would almost cheer if I saw that smug-faced git pop up in the next one! (though I’m sure Atherton is a nice guy)

I do love that this guy took the ad out, he won’t get that pitch made but he may get a few offers of representation - good luck to him.

I wonder if Wiseman etc had to scrap their current idea as the ad pitch was too similar!


#6

:smile:

I couldn’t even be arsed to see that one, which is kinda sad seeing as I really love the first film and think it’s really well made.


#7

I hate to say it, because Die Hard is one of my favourite movies and it was directed by an Irish guy, but Number 5 is pretty terrible (imho). It doesn’t have any of the depth of the first one.

In that, you care about the character because they spend time with him. It isn’t just mindless action. And Die Hard (the original) is full of great characters like Thornberg or Ellis or Mr. Takagi or Deputy Chief of Police Dwayne T Robinson or Agent Johnson and Special Agent Johnson (no relation). And all of the characters get their moment to shine.


#8

What I really want them to do is…Die Hard 3 all over again.


#9

@Mark_Millar - I think you totally relate John McClane to your Duke McQueen.

Disbelief is an evil thing. I’ve lived with it. It quite rapidly makes one go Machiavellian.


#10

What happened in Die Hard 5? A dude got thrown into some helicopter blades! Other than that… not a scooby.


#11

All I remember is

WELCOME TO MOSCOW


#12

Mark… Eric D. Wilkinson here. I’m the guy that took out the ad. First let me say KINGSMEN WAS FUCKING GENIUS. That was my favorite movie I’ve seen this year (“The Final Girls” was a close second). I’m so glad you saw my ad and liked my idea. Just to be clear, the only reason I have included a flashback to “Year One” to a young McClane in 1979 is because, according to the press reports, Len Wiseman’s tweets and an interview with Willis himself, it appears that is what the studio wants. I’m a team player. I’ll give them a “year one” as long as I get a good, REAL Die Hard story that includes one location and a vulnerable, real hero. If Fox decided to jettison the whole “Year One” plot, I would have zero problem with that. I really like your idea (although having Dick Thornburg become master criminal doesn’t quite work for me… I have him in my version, but in a whole different way AND people will definitely like what I have planned for him.) Also, I’m not sure where you came up with my story leaning heavily on DH4. I never mentioned DH4 in my pitch, I am, however, a fan of continuity and I only mention DH5 (with McClane being out of the country in Russia) so the evidence against him would turn up while he’s gone. Other than that DH5 has really no part of the story. Here’s the thing. I have zero pull in Hollywood. YOU, Mr. Millar after Kingsman and Kick-Ass and Marvel and (I could just keep going so I’ll just stop) and would kill (a bad guy, of course) to get in a room with Lorenzo and give him the entire pitch. Just wanted to give you my two cents. I’d love to talk Die Hard with you so if you want to hash out the story more you are more than welcome to call me at 609-501-4022 at your convenience. Thank you so much for the wonderful kind words. I’m honored, really. Can’t wait for Kingsman 2.


#13

Welcome to Millarworld.


#14

Great to be here. I’m just floored right now. Even if I never hear from Bruce, Len or Lorenzo, having Mark Millar call my idea “genius” makes it worth every penny for that ad.


#15

Hello Eric,

Firstly, welcome to Millarworld. Thanks for dropping by.

Secondly, I wanted to say how much I enjoyed your pitch. Die Hard is one of my favourite movies. I saw it repeatedly when it first came out, I rented it once a week when it came out on VHS…basically I have watched it a lot and it has not gotten old. I am delighted to see you bringing attention to the things that made that film great and bringing the focus back to the character in that film, with all of his flaws and all of his vunerabilities…

I wish you the best of the luck with the pitch. I hope that something comes from it.


#16

Eric,

I love the hell out of your audacity.


#17

Welcome to Millarworld, Eric. I’m with Patrick. Good show. I hope it turns into something great for you.


#18

This thread is already awesome.