Bruce Willis has made it known that he wants to return as John McClane for a fifth "Die Hard" film. Kiefer Sutherland and the producers of "24" have publicly acknowledged that they're looking to bring Jack Bauer to the big screen now that the television series is over — indeed, a screenplay is currently in development courtesy of Billy Ray.
McClane and Bauer, both heading to theaters to kick some terrorist butt at some point, presumably. But are they headed there together?
The folks at Ain't It Cool News received a tip from an anonymous source, an allegedly "established creative talent within the entertainment industry," that 20th Century Fox once mulled over the idea of teaming the "Die Hard" and "24" heroes together in a movie called — wait for it — "Die Hard 24/7." The source reports that "the project didn't pan out because Kiefer was more interested in launching his own '24' movie franchise ... than doing buddy shtick in Bruce's already established series."
Alright... time for a rant.
I'm a lifelong "24" fan. I stuck through the series from the very first episode to the very last. Over the course of the show's run, Jack Bauer's adventures went from somewhat plausible to awesomely superheroic to so-so to something much less than so-so. There were moments of greatness in the final seasons — I loved nearly all of Day 7 — but the biggest tell that "24" needed to hit the road was the way they closed out the series.
You see, Jack had finally snapped. Yet another of his many love interests, Renee Walker, caught a fatal bullet, prompting the extremely talented counter-terrorist expert to embark on a horribly violent vengeance quest against a number of high profile victims. He ruthlessly tortured and exterminated culprit after culprit out of pure bloodlust, not justice. Years and years worth of justified rage was finally leaking out — understandably so, given everything that Bauer had ever gone through.
Then, just as he was about to snipe the two people most responsible for his current heartache, he allowed himself to get talked down by his old pal Chloe. He didn't have the stones to follow through with the mission.
The ending did not make sense with his current arc. Jack was seeing red, and even the words of Chloe shouldn't have had an effect on him. Given the circumstances, it would have been infinitely more plausible for Jack to have gone fully off the deep end, closed the book on Presidents Logan and Suvarov, then get gunned down in a blaze of glory. The tragedy of Bauer would be that this hero finally died as an enemy of the state.
Now, he's just an enemy of the state on the run. Again.
What does any of this have to do with the proposed "Die Hard" team-up? My argument is that Jack Bauer, as a character, has already gone through every possible plausible avenue that he can possibly explore. He should have died on television, no question about it. But he didn't, because the "24" gang wants to make a movie. That's fine — make the movie — but get inventive. Do something balls-to-the-wall crazy.
I do think that teaming Bauer up with John McClane is a mistake, unless Bauer shows up as the antagonist and ultimately dies at McClane's hands. That would be a badass way for the character to go out. But the idea behind the "Die Hard 24/7" pitch is what I'm in favor of — putting Jack Bauer in a very, very surreal situation, ala going up alongside John McClane, appeals to me.
I mean, we're talking about a guy who was once killed, brought back to life and subsequently allowed to assassinate a colliseum filled with terrorists all within the time span of six hours. Really, "24" probably should have ended right there. But if the "24" movie can't pull off something at least equally as ridiculous — not necessarily a "Die Hard" team-up, but something similarly crazy — then I really think there's no point in bringing Bauer back, not when there are seasons upon seasons of DVDs to look back upon instead.