Ever since Die Hard changed the face of action cinema in 1988, studios have been trying to recreate that success on the big screen. Aside from the three Die Hard sequels (with a fourth on the way), there were movies that took the concept of a hero being trapped in one environment and ran it into the ground with films like like Passenger 57 (Die Hard on a plane), Speed (Die Hard on a bus), Speed 2: Cruise Control (Die Hard on a cruise ship), and The Rock (Die Hard on an island). That trend seemed to vanish in Hollywood for a while, but in the past few days, two separate studios have purchased scripts that could herald the start of a new cycle. Read on to find out about these projects.
First, The Hollywood Reporter has a story that Sony has purchased a script for a movie called White House Down from screenwriter James Vanderbilt. Nothing is really known about the plot, other than the aforementioned tonal connection to Die Hard and the Harrison Ford action flick Air Force One. Vanderbilt wrote The Amazing Spider-Man for Sony, so they’ve clearly formed a solid working relationship. His other credits include the Dwayne Johnson/Seann William Scott film The Rundown, David Fincher’s Zodiac, the upcoming Total Recall (the trailer for which just hit this weekend), and a rewrite of the upcoming RoboCop film for Jose Padilha.
And today, Deadline reported that Universal has bought a pitch from Jeremiah Friedman and Nick Palmer for a film called Speeding Bullet, which is being described as “a throwback to the Die Hard-esque 90s buddy cop movie.” Friedman and Palmer are apparently working on a remake of the Whitney Houston/Kevin Costner film The Bodyguard for Warner Bros.
Again, we’re still in the early stages on both of these, so we’ll see how they shape up. Remember: Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood was once called Nottingham and was supposed to be told completely from the sheriff’s point of view, so projects can change drastically from their initial versions to when they finally hit the big screen. What do you think about the return of the Die Hard concept to action movies? Do you want to see more, or would you rather this “trend” stop at two?