' ' Cinema Romantico: Potential Die Hard: Year One Narrative Prototypes

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Potential Die Hard: Year One Narrative Prototypes

Whereas once I followed the news of new movie productions, release dates, casting announcements, etc., with great gusto, that gusto has since given way to indifference. This indifference is mostly a blessing, freeing me up to waste my time in other less productive ways, but also to have experiences like, say, watching “First Reformed” and all of a sudden in my head being like: “Wait, is that Cedric the Entertainer?” It’s fun! What’s less fun is, say, overhearing something about a “Die Hard” prequel whenever in the world it was first announced, forgetting about it, and then having your memory re-jiggered being confronted with the impending reality of a “Die Hard” prequel called “Die Hard: Year One” all over again. The prequel will, per the Slashfilm exclusive with director Len Wiseman, cross-cut between Old John McClane now and Young John McClane in the 1970s, and will also include a young Ms. Holly Gennero.

In being re-struck by this news, I thought back to Memorial Day weekend and the stink bomb prequel “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” More specifically, I thought about what my friend Rory texted me in the aftermath of his encounter with that same stink bomb. He (very, very) facetiously wrote: “Did you know that nearly every iconic moment in Star Wars was really just a proto moment from earlier in Han’s life?” Like, Han shooting Greedo first in “Star Wars.” That could not just be allowed to come from nowhere. No, it had to be written into Han’s past so the entire audience could at the same time figuratively think “A ha!” *Shakes head.*

As such, I imagine that even if “Die Hard: Year One” hires one of screenwriting’s brightest and best, she/he will nevertheless eventually be squired into some conference room and surrounded by a Hollywood Think Tank armed with a flow chart of “Die Hard” references connecting back to “Die Hard: Year One” because that sort genius, dammit, just doesn’t grow on trees! This, of course, prompts the natural question: what iconic moments in “Die Hard” could really just be proto moments from earlier in John McClane’s life?

1.) Maybe if the prequel is set in the 1970s then in the introductory sequence Young John McClane is booking a perp for protest graffiti against the crime-infested subway system. Young John McClane, demonstrating his weary brashness, tells the perp he is only booking him because those are the rules. Sensing a mutual respect, the young perp, a la Old John McClane riding in the front seat of Argyle’s limousine, climbs in the front seat of McClane’s cop car to get taken down to headquarters.

2.) Maybe if the prequel is based, as some have suggested, on the “Die Hard: Year One” comic book series in which Young John McClane is apparently on the case of Son of Sam (GRITTY REBOOT!!!!!), then perhaps in the midst of one of NYC’s 1977 summer blackouts, Young John McClane, who has just returned home from a hard day’s work and has removed his shoes because his dogs are barking is, when the lights go out and a shot is heard outside, forced to navigate the mean streets in his bare feet.

2A.) Maybe if there is a scene set in the midst of one of NYC’s 1977 summer blackouts then Young John McClane will find himself forced to climb up/down an elevator shaft. This, of course, will counteract the line in “Die Hard 2: Die Harder” in which Old John McClane, as he climbs into an elevator shaft, rhetorically laments “How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?” since, in fact, this would mean it would be happening to him for the third time, not the second, but we can just have Willis re-record his dialogue for all future blu-ray releases.

3.) Maybe Young John McClane is introduced riding around the streets of NYC in his police cruiser with his irascible partner who is droning on and on and on and on and on about the great John Wayne flick he saw the previous night to which McClane, dry, imperious, replies: “I always preferred Roy Rogers myself.”

3A.) Maybe there’s a scene where Young John McClane gets obligatorily called on the carpet by his irate superior and the irate superior says something like “The guys tell me you think you’re a real Roy Rogers” and so the Young John McClane says “Yippe-ki-yay.”

4.) If this is set in the 1970s, and if Old John McClane once said to Sgt. Al Powell by telephone that “Holly keeps telling me to wake up and smell the nineties” while dealing with a pesky fax machine, then perhaps a scene can involve Young John McClane being comically flummoxed by a new-fangled pocket calculator. “I can count up to ten with both hands,” Young John McClane wearily sighs.

4A.) As Young John McClane is waiting to get called into his irate superior’s office, a new rookie with a nervous air sits down next to him. “What’s your name, cadet?” asks Young John McClane. “Al Powell, says Young Al Powell. “You meeting with the chief?” asks Young John McClane. “First time,” says Young Al Powell. “Any advice?” At that moment, the irate superior bellows at McClane to get the hell into his office. “Yeah,” says Young John McClane as he stands, “don’t piss in his pool.”

5.) Just as Young John McClane seems to have got a break on the Son of Sam case, a break he need to keep to himself to ensure Son of Sam does not know that Young John McClane is a step ahead, the break gets reported in the pages of The New York Post by a pompous young reporter desperate to make a name for himself, a reporter named Richard Thornburg.

5A.) Maybe if this prequel isn’t about a Son of Sam but a character that is like Son of Sam that maybe this character that is like Son of Sam can, after being branded, perhaps, the .357 Magnum Killer, pass an insidious note to the media that says “Now I have a machine gun too.”

6.) Maybe Young John McClane’s partner is reading the New York Times and says “Have you heard about this Volksfrei Movement?” to which Young John McClane says “I don’t follow the news.”

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