Never Say 'Die': Bruce Willis Fights Terrorists In 'Die Hard' Sequel

'Live Free or Die Hard' hitting theaters in time for next year's Independence Day weekend.

Long before Jack Bauer began having his really long, really bad days, New York cop John McClane set the standard. Now, nearly two decades later, Bruce Willis is getting ready to show "24" whippersnapper Kiefer Sutherland how it's supposed to be done, preparing himself to "Die Hard" again in the face of modern terrorism.

The 51-year-old action star is planning to slip back into the bloodied T-shirt of McClane for "Live Free or Die Hard," the fourth installment of the blockbuster series. Following in the footsteps of 1988's genre-defining "Die Hard," 1990's "Die Hard 2: Die Harder" and 1995's "Die Hard With a Vengeance," the new flick will once again find the cynical cop in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In "Live Free," that time will be Fourth of July weekend, and the place will be several East Coast locations (despite the state-motto-spoofing title, the film will not be set in New Hampshire). Promising the "biggest, most realistic set pieces in the franchise's illustrious history," studio 20th Century Fox has revealed that the new film centers around an attack on the computer infrastructure of the United States government. With a shadowy figure overseeing the technological terror, McClane must adapt his old-school ways before the cutting-edge scheme shuts down the entire nation.

After more than a decade of rumors and false starts, the news finally brings the long-gestating rumors of a "Die Hard 4" to fruition. At one point, an Internet-leaked script called "Die Hard 4.0" was making the rounds; a different script even included a pre-Katrina vision of a flooded New Orleans. Such earlier incarnations have been rewritten several times at this point by screenwriters Mark Bomback ("Godsend") and Doug Richardson ("Die Hard 2," "Hostage"), setting up John McClane to once again be "The fly in the ointment; the monkey in the wrench; the pain in the ass."

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Series regulars Reginald VelJohnson (Twinkie-scarfing cop Al Powell), Bonnie Bedelia (wife Holly McClane) and Alan Rickman (as Hans Gruber — who is technically dead but had a brief cameo in the third installment) are not expected to return for "Live Free." Justin Long, the boyish-faced star from "Dodgeball" and the upcoming "Accepted," is currently in talks to join Willis as a young, computer-savvy accomplice for McClane.

Following in the footsteps of big-name action directors John McTiernan and Renny Harlin, "Underworld" series creator Len Wiseman will oversee the fourth "Die Hard" film (see "Movie File: 'Die Hard 4,' Owen Wilson, Matt Dillon, Mike Myers & More"

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