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Thursday, February 23, 2012

SPARTACUS Star Joins DIE HARD 5

As you may or may not know, the fifth installment in the "Die Hard" series is called "A Good Day to Die Hard" (why can't they just add a numeral to the title like a normal action sequel) and will be directed by John Moore ("Max Payne", "Flight of the Pheonix", "Behind Enemy Lines"). Bruce Willis will return as John McClane and the story this time around will take place in Moscow, where our favorite "fly in the ointment" cop will fight off some threat to democracy (you'll read about that in the press release below). The newest addition to the cast of "A Good Day to Die Hard" is Jai Courtney, known for the role of Varro from the "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" TV series. He will be playing John McClane's estranged son Jack and together they will battle ruthless russian bad guys. There's also a rumor that Patrick Stewart will be playing a russian general (I'm hoping for a villain), but that hasn't been confirmed yet. Here is a photo released by 20th Century Fox of Courtney's screen test with Bruce Willis :


I haven't watched "Spartacus", so I have no idea how good an actor Jai Courtney is and it's clear that they're thinking of shifting the focus of the franchise towards a younger protagonist for future installments, but I think there are bigger issues to be considered when handling this sequel. For example, I hate how they keep trying to transform the Die Hard movies into a modern franchise when focusing on its old-school charms would be far more entertaining. Some things just don't need improving. The fourth movie, "Live Free or Die Hard", directed by Len Wiseman ("Underworld"), was silly overkill and while Bruce Willis can still pull off his John McClane act just fine, the quality of the writing, the videogame-style action sequences and the lack of a strong villain (as played by Timothy Olyphant, an otherwise good actor) where poison for that movie. At this point there is hope for no. 5, I think, but it can still go either way. Production begins this April and the release date has been set for February 14, 2013. The full press release, after the jump :

"Following a global casting search spanning several months, Jai Courtney has nabbed the coveted role of John (Jack) McClane, Jr., the son of Bruce Willis’ iconic action hero, in A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD.

A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD puts McClane on an international stage — truly a NYC fish out of water in Moscow — and introduces his estranged son Jack. An apple that has not fallen far from the tree, Jack may even be more of a hardass than his father. Despite their differences, they must work together to keep each other alive – and the world safe for democracy.

The film begins production this April, for a February 14, 2013 release.

Courtney, studied drama at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), where he graduated in 2008. Following graduation Courtney quickly landed guest star roles on two hit Australian shows, Packed To the Rafters followed by All Saints. Later that year, Courtney won a Theatre Critics Award as Best Newcomer for his performance in The Turning for the Perth Theatre Company. In 2009 he landed the role of Varro in the international television hit, Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Fans of the show created an uproar over Varro’s death and to this day continue to lament about it on the many Spartacus fan sites and blogs. Last year, Courtney landed a starring role opposite Tom Cruise in One Shot, directed by Christopher McQuarrie."



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