Skip to Content

The Real Reason Why Die Hard 6 Was Cancelled & If It Could Return

The Real Reason Why Die Hard 6 Was Cancelled & If It Could Return

This post may contain affiliate links. We earn from qualifying purchases. Learn More

Whether you think it’s a Christmas movie or not, there’s no denying that 1988’s Die Hard is one of the best action films of all time.

John McClane, the tough-as-nails New York cop, appeared in four more movies, all of which were box-office successes (even if the fourth movie was critically disappointing). So, excitement was high for the next installment in the series.

But after years of development hell, the producer of Die Hard 6 officially announced its cancellation in 2021. Disappointed fans are dying – hard – to know the real reason the next Die Hard movie isn’t happening. We’ve got all the details below, including what the movie could have been before its cancellation.

Why Was Die Hard 6 Cancelled?

The sixth Die Hard movie was likely cancelled due to Disney’s complicated acquisition of Fox.

21st Century Fox had plans to develop a new Die Hard movie up until 2018. Fox announced the attachment of Len Wiseman, the director of Live Free or Die Hard (2007), to the movie in 2015. And according to producer Lorenzon di Bonaventura, they had a solid prequel idea ready to go.

Then, in March of 2019, The Walt Disney Company purchased Fox and all of its assets – including the Die Hard series – for $71.3 billion.

Movie poster for A Good Day to Die Hard (2012) featuring John McClain

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura officially told Polygon that “it’s not happening” when asked about Die Hard 6 in 2021. He went on to say that he “didn’t know what [Disney’s] plans are” regarding the franchise or the McClane character.

Since the movie was on track just before Disney bought Fox, it seems the acquisition put it on hold. After all, Disney has plenty of backlog assets to choose from with its purchase of the Star Wars franchise and Marvel in recent years.

There’s also speculation that the poor performance of the fifth Die Hard movie, A Good Day to Die Hard, made Disney hesitant to move forward with Die Hard 6.

A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) was a box office success, but it made less money than the previous two films (Live Free or Die Hard and Die Hard with a Vengeance). It was also the only film in the franchise to not surpass the box office of the previous installment.

The fifth Die Hard was also the worst-received movie in the franchise. It has a 17%, 28 score, and a B+ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, and CinemaScore, respectively.

In comparison, the second lowest-rated Die Hard movie is the third film, Die Hard with a Vengeance. It still has a 59%, 58 score, and A- rating on the same metric sites.

Die Hard 6 Was Going To Be A Prequel

The cancelled Die Hard 6 was going to be a prequel/reboot called McClane. Bruce Willis would reprise his role as present-day McClane, while another actor would play his younger self.

In 2015, Fox announced that a Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Len Wiseman were working on a prequel to the Die Hard movies. In 2018, they announced the official title: McClane.

Bruce Willis as John McClane in the Die Hard movies

Lorenzo di Bonaventure explained that, despite its prequel nature, the script featured present-day Bruce Willis in the lead role. “I don’t know how you do Die Hard without Bruce,” he said to Empire.

“The idea that he’s not very significant in this movie is not accurate at all. We are gonna explore John McClane in his twenties. But just as prominent is the 60-year-old version.”

Details of the movie kept coming, even after di Bonaventure announced that it wasn’t happening. He said the movie “was a project that wasn’t Die Hard that then, eventually, shifted over to Die Hard.”

“What was interesting about our idea was it allowed you the ability to meet the young John McClane and use Bruce. So, it was really interesting in that way. So, you sort of got to see both versions of him. A bit [like The Godfather Part 2].”

With so much already planned for the movie, it’s even more disappointing for John McClane fans that the movie is no longer in the works.