October 28, 2016
        Ten Contenders will compete for Best Documentary Short Subject                "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster        

“Die Hard” sequel nabs director, but who will Bruce Willis face?

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: News recently circulated that Bruce Willis was taking a hands-on role in the development of a fifth “Die Hard” film, and wanted Swedish director Daniel Espinosa to helm the sequel.

This morning, half of that equation came to fruition.

“Die Hard 5” (which will have a better title than that, I’m sure) is moving forward, but 20th Century Fox has tapped “Smart People” helmer Noam Murro, according to THR. Willis, of course, will return as beleaguered police officer John McClane, and the picture will work off of a script by Skip Woods, who helped pen screenplays for “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “The A-Team.” Murro seems an odd choice, as “Smart People” had no action, to speak of. I wonder what he did in the pitch meeting to sell the studio on his skills? At least Len Wiseman had “Underworld” footage to show Fox as he auditioned for “Live Free or Die Hard.”

Also, in what direction will a fifth “Die Hard” go? Willis had suggested in previous interviews that the only place to go would be global, considering the first four films have steadily progressed from a building to an airport to a city to the Eastern seaboard. An international threat seems to be the next reasonable challenge for McClane … leaving the door open for “Die Hard in Space” in part six.

I’m kidding. Truthfully, I’d rather the franchise go backward instead of forward, coming up with a smaller, tighter scenario rather than a globetrotting mega-adventure for the smirking hero. Still, it’s “Die Hard,” so we’ll be there on opening day no matter what.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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