Die Hard 6 is the generic name given to the sixth film and fifth sequel of the original Die Hard franchise. Alternative titles proposed/suggested that have been circulated by the media and fans alike are Easter:Die, Detective!, Die Hardest, Die Hard: Year One, and John McClane.
In 2010, Bruce Willis expressed his desire to retire the character, John McClane, in a sixth film. He stated in an on-camera interview that if McClane were to die in the line of duty, he would like for him to do so helping children. In October 2015, director Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard) posted a single image reading 'DIE HARD: Year One' to his Twitter account, with no further information about the post. This suggested at that time that there was a new sequel in active development.
It would be two years (23 months) before Wiseman publicly made another declaration about the series in late September 2017, with major film media outlets citing him for beginning a potential casting of an upcoming Die Hard movie, presumably a follow-up to his earlier (October 2015) tweet.
A two-volume illustrated graphic novel titled 'Die Hard: Year One' written by Howard Chaykin (2009, 2010, 2011) piqued the interest of Wiseman, as per his posted social media. The comic book's storyline, as printed, says: "Every great action hero got their start somewhere, and with DIE HARD: YEAR ONE fans get the chance to see John McClane's first year on the force as a rookie cop in New York City.".
Die Hard fan, Eric D. Wilkinson, took out a full-page ad in The Hollywood Reporter to pitch his script to FOX executives about a potential conclusive franchise movie in November 2011. Wilkinson's idea revolves around John McClane breaking out of prison to fight terrorists and save the day.
Old Habits is a book self-published by Ben Trebilcook in July 2016. The author said the novel 'formed the basis for his acclaimed speculative script for a potential sixth and final 'Die Hard' movie, entitled 'Old Habits Die Hard'.'. Its plot - which was flatly rejected by FOX Studios (as was Trebilcook's 'Die Hard 24/7' theme) - reads in part: "Retired New York City police detective Joe Brady is invited to Tokyo by global super-brand The Oshiro Corporation, wanting to commend him for bravery and his saving of over a hundred Oshiro employees in a hostage crisis thirty years ago. Accompanied by a loyal, yet angry, friend, a reluctant Brady accepts the invitation only for a violent past to catch up with him and the truth behind The Oshiro Corporation being revealed.".
As they are, all three of the above proposed concepts for a sixth Die Hard installment have been met with harsh criticism from fans and professional movie critics alike. Many people were commenting that McClane's origin story began during the setting of the first Die Hard film, so that it would make little sense to introduce a younger McClane or revisit the Nakatomi storyline. However, Bruce Willis has said that a combination of both the plot from the Die Hard: Year One comic book and Old Habits' Japanese retirement scenarios into a prequel/sequel movie could be both tricky and interesting to him. He also desired a final character send-off with his on-screen wife, Holly Gennero, but actress Bonnie Bedelia has declined.
In August 2017, Link Starbureiy blogged that Die Hard 6 had been greenlit by self-substantiation. In early September 2017, his production company, LES, acquired a permit for continuity rights to the books, The Detective (Roderick Thorp, 1966), and Die Nigger Die! (H. Rap Brown, 1969), published by Dial Press.
During the year, Starbureiy composed the opera, Easter, adapted it to The Detective universe, and marketed the first arc of the composition as "Die hard, John McClane." (verbatim theatre). The piece is a work of fiction that addresses the sensitivities of both contemporary law enforcement and race relations in America from the perspective of an African-American male. This suggests that the film's plot, like the opera's content, will be largely centered around a race war/widespread civil unrest, in the middle of which Detective Joe Leland finds himself.