Is it really being called Die Hardest? It’s not going to be called Die Hardest, at least not to my knowledge.
I think that it was in development at one point and it might have been called Die Hardest, but it was an entirely different plot. It was a whole different movie. It wouldn’t make sense to call this one Die Hardest. Maybe they will, I don't know. There are worst titles in the world. I’ll tell you this. On my script pages, it doesn’t say Die Hardest.
Is there a different subtitle? We just call it Die Hard 4.
What guidelines were you given? I think the only big mandate was to make it feel like a Die Hard film. It’s a film that I grew up, especially Die Hard 1, I remember exactly what movie theater I saw it in. I remember exactly what it felt like to sit in a theater and watch it, so it’s a privilege to get to write a character that made an impact on you when you were 10-years-old.
What can you say about the story? Unfortunately, nothing. Sorry.
Is it still a father/daughter story? I can’t even discuss that. I wish I could. It would be fun to talk about it but it wouldn’t be fair to the people at Fox who are really working hard on it.
Is it true there are no terrorists?
What are your favorite aspects of John McClane?
Well, for me, it’s a lot of fun. I don’t really write people who make wisecracks that often. The thing that I love and the tricky thing in writing it when I first did my first draft is this guy, like if you watch Die Hard 1 or Die Hard 2 or 3, he gets traumatized along the way in these awful ways that for any normal person would require weeks of therapy afterwards. Nevertheless, he bounces back within a minute to the next set piece. So I found that really disconcerting.
How do you swing back from things?
How do you make a wisecrack after you’ve just gone through something awful? I’m a normal person who would be completely debilitated by five minutes of any of those Die Hard plots. I wound up loving it. That’s the best part about writing Die Hard is something terrible can happen and within 30 seconds, someone can make a wisecrack about it. I just love the McClane character’s sense of humor. I really love the fact that he’s old school. I think about that character again from Die Hard 1 and he encapsulates a certain period of my life and thinking about superheroes or action heroes or however you might want to describe him. He’s a special kind of hero. He’s an everyman in the best sense of the word and I think that a lot of action movies since have picked up the wrong cues from Die Hard and will try to emulate the humor and the wisecracking but not realize that it’s the person who’s making the wisecrack that’s making those jokes work. He never thinks he’s too cool for school. That’s what’s great about McClane.
Is Zeus back?
Zeus is not back to my knowledge, but again I can’t really even talk about it. Maybe he’ll make an appearance, I don't know. Certainly not yet.
Is Holly in it?
Again, I can’t.
How did you land this gig?
I had done a lot of work for Bruce Willis and Arnold Rifkin’s company, written two other scripts for them. And I had done some rewriting on a project called Me Again that Bruce was attached to. I think they were happy with my work on that. It was an action/thriller/comedy and I think it was the first time I got to write jokes. So I think they just liked the balance of that. Fox was looking for a writer and Fox had liked stuff I’d written as well. I got lucky. I can’t imagine I was the most obvious choice for a job like that, but hopefully they’re glad they hired me.