When Len Wiseman first teased Die Hard: Year One, fans immediately (and unhappily) assumed that the prequel / sequel story would feature Bruce Willis’ John McClane in a limited capacity — the plot sure made it sound as though Willis would only bookend the film as the modern iteration of the character, while a younger actor would take the majority of screentime as a younger version of McClane. Not so fast, says Wiseman, who promises that Willis will be given much more to do than merely introducing and wrapping up the story.

Die Hard: Year One sounds a bit similar to what Sylvester Stallone has in mind for the Creed sequel, which Wiseman confirmed to Slashfilm during the TCA ’16 panel for his upcoming Lucifer series on FOX. Wiseman describes it as as a hybrid sequel / prequel, and when asked if Willis will only be in a couple of scenes — which doesn’t seem like something the actor would be OK with — the director said:

He will be more present than that. This character of course is modern day and the origin story if you can call it that has ramifications on present day McClane. What it’s not is it’s not a cameo bookend scenario. It’s a prequel/sequel hybrid that I really haven’t seen before and is incredibly different.

Wait, has Len Wiseman never seen The Godfather Part II?

Wiseman went on to say that he wanted to explore the relationship between McClane and Holly, adding, “It’s actually the love story that has not been told.” When asked if Bonnie Bedelia would reprise that role from the first two Die Hard films in the contemporary sequences, Wiseman declined to answer but his non-verbal reaction indicated a possibility.

It’s unclear if Die Hard: Year One will open the door for more John McClane prequel stories, or if it will be a curious one-and-done experiment, but it doesn’t seem as though Bruce Willis is ready to pass the torch with the franchise anytime soon.

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