Live Free or Die Hard
Live Free or Die Hard (released as Die Hard 4.0 outside North America) is the fourth installment in the Die Hard film series. It stars veteran actor Bruce Willis as John McClane, the hero of the first three films. The film takes place some 18 years after the first film, and sees McClane face a gang of Internet terrorists. The film's American and Canadian release date is June 27, 2007.
In the past few years, the aging John McClane (Bruce Willis) has spent his time in and out of Alcoholics Anonymous and has managed to get divorced from his wife. He is no longer employed by the police department, but has found a position with Homeland Security chasing dangerous computer hackers. On his way to turn a young hacker named Matt Farrell (Justin Long) into custody, he experiences a modern version of a terrorist attack first hand when he gets stuck in traffic. A group of hackers, led by Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant) have struck at the vulnerable United States computer infrastructure and are systematically shutting it down, beginning with the traffic light system. As they move on to crash banking networks and the stock market, the indexes plummet and America’s economy becomes crippled. As usual, McClane gets caught up in the middle of the excitement. It turns out that the recently captured Matt seems bright enough to understand exactly what the terrorists are doing and what steps they are taking to achieve their mission. The sophisticated criminals have a nearly foolproof plan to bring the country to a halt, but they didn’t count on an old-school cop and his computer geek buddy to figure things out. Soon, the crime-fighting duo of McClane and Farrell are pulling out all the stops and matching wits with the terrorists, hoping to figure out the motives behind their actions and to stop them before the entire nation collapses to its knees on the anniversary day of its independence.
Cast and crew:
* Bruce Willis as John McClane
* Justin Long as Matt Farrell
* Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Lucy McClane
* Timothy Olyphant as Thomas Gabriel
* Maggie Q as Mai Lihn
* Cliff Curtis as FBI Agent Bowman
* Yancey Arias as Agent Johnson
* Tim Russ as Agent Summers
* Kevin Smith as The Warlock
* Yorgo Constantine as Russo
* Cyril Raffaelli as Rand
* Manny Oliverez as Civilian
* Zeljko Ivanek as Molina
Len Wiseman, best known for his work on Underworld and Underworld: Evolution, was announced as the director. In an August 3, 2006 interview in USA Today, Wiseman said none of the characters (McClane excluded) from the earlier movies would be returning. It was previously believed that John McTiernan, the director of the original Die Hard and Die Hard with a Vengeance, would return to direct, however, he is currently facing jail time for perjury.
McClane's daughter will have a prominent role in the film (an idea previously considered for Die Hard with a Vengeance; and the idea implemented in the video game Die Hard: Vendetta). It was speculated that Bruce Willis' real life daughter Rumer, who was born the same year that the original Die Hard was released, was a prime candidate for the part of Lucy McClane. Jessica Simpson, Wafah Dufour and Britney Spears had previously auditioned for the role; Paris Hilton had been considered for the role and Taylor Fry, who had played Lucy in the original Die Hard movie in 1988. Mary Elizabeth Winstead was eventually cast in the role of Lucy McClane in this sequel.
The film's plot is based on an earlier script entitled WW3.com by David Marconi, screenwriter of Enemy of the State. Using a Wired article entitled "A Farewell to Arms" by John Carlin, Marconi crafted a screenplay about a cyber-terrorist attack on the U.S.. After the 9-11 attacks, the project was stalled, only to be resurrected several years later and rewritten into Live Free or Die Hard by Doug Richardson and eventually by Mark Bomback.
Willis said in 2005 that the film would be called Die Hard 4.0, as it revolves around computers. Although he said that, IGN later reported the film was to be called Die Hard: Reset instead. 20th Century Fox later announced the title as Live Free or Die Hard and set a release date of June 29, 2007 with filming to begin in September 2006. The title is based on the state motto of New Hampshire, "Live Free or Die," which is attributed to a quote from General John Stark. International trailers are using the Die Hard 4.0 title, suggesting that the film will be released outside America with that title, most likely because international audiences would be unlikely to recognize the reference.
Filming for Live Free or Die Hard started in downtown Baltimore, Maryland on September 23, 2006. Willis was injured January 24, 2007 during a fight scene, where he was kicked above his right eye. The injury was regarded as "no big deal" and Willis saw a doctor and went home for the rest of the day.
Bruce Willis' stunt double, Larry Rippenkroeger, was seriously injured when he fell 25 feet to the pavement. He suffered broken bones in his face and fractures in both wrists. Production was temporarily shut down. Willis picked up the tab at area hotels for Larry's parents and visited him a number of times at the hospital. Larry also doubles for James Caan in his TV series, Vegas.
The past three installments in the Die Hard series have all been rated R by the MPAA. However, Live Free or Die Hard sparked controversy because it was edited to obtain a PG-13 rating. Bruce Willis was upset with the studio's decision and had to say “I really wanted this one to live up to the promise of the first one, which I always thought was the only really good one.” to Vanity Fair. “That’s a studio decision that is becoming more and more common, because they’re trying to reach a broader audience. It seems almost a courageous move to give a picture an R rating these days. But we still made a pretty hardcore, smashmouth film.” Willis later confirmed that it was PG-13, but claimed that if you didn’t know it wasn’t rated R you wouldn’t suspect it because the action and intensity is still there, even though there were less usage of the word "fuck" He even claimed that this film was the best of the four by saying “It’s unbelievable. I just saw it last week. It’s better than the first one. I personally think, it’s better than the first one.”