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The Die Hard prequel movie is no longer happening

Bruce Willis in Die Hard
(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Rumors of a Die Hard prequel have been doing the rounds for years. Back in 2015, Live Free or Die Hard director Len Wiseman was attached to helm the pic which Bruce Willis dubbed at the time "a really cool idea." At that point the project lifted its title, Die Hard: Year One, from the Boom! Comics series it planned to adapt, later changing it entirely to just McClane.

Whatever you wanna call it – the Die Hard prequel is officially dead. 

Touted as a soft reboot for the franchise, the sixth entry into the series planned to involve a young John McClane. Willis would have returned to reprise his role as an older version of the character, bookending the movie. 

"Yeah, no, it's not happening," producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura told Polygon. "But what was really interesting was we actually came up with an idea to do it. It was a project that wasn’t Die Hard that then, eventually, shifted over to Die Hard.”

While it might have originated elsewhere, it sounds like the plans announced back in 2015 were still on the table: an earlier time period where we meet a young McClane and a later one where we catch up with Willis' more grizzled take on the action hero. Wiseman was still attached to direct alongside Willis in a substantial role.

He adds: "What was interesting about our idea was it allowed you the ability to meet the young John McClane and use Bruce. So it was really interesting in that way. So you sort of got to see both versions of him. A bit [like The Godfather Part 2]."

McClane, the movie, came to a halt once Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, the studio which held the rights to the film franchise. Will Disney do anything with the potential goldmine on their hands? "I don’t know what their plans are," di Bonaventura says. 

While there's no telling when we might see a Die Hard movie on the big screen, plenty of top-notch thrills await on the small screen – check out our picks of the best action movies on Netflix to stream right now. 

Gem Seddon

I'm GamesRadar+'s west coast Entertainment News Reporter. I'm a bit obsessed with all things Aliens and Terminator. You can find my byline on our best Netflix movies and best Netflix shows lists.