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Recasting Die Hard If It Were Made In The 2020s

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Recasting Die Hard If It Were Made In The 2020s

If John McTiernan’s Die Hard were made in the 2020s, here are some choices as to who could be cast in it. It seems impossible to imagine the story without the now well-known actors who appeared in the 1988 film, and maybe even disrespectful to its most fervent supporters. The exciting action film has gone down in history as one of the most iconic adventures of all time.

Die Hard kick-started the Hollywood movie careers of both Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman. Prior to starring in the Christmas movie action flick, Rickman had never been in a film and Willis was better known for his role on the popular television dramedy, Moonlighting. But after taking down the German antagonists of the first movie in the series of five, Willis was cemented as an action hero. The film also starred actors who would later gain recognition from TV roles such as Bonnie Bedelia and Reginald VelJohnson, Camille Braverman from Parenthood and Carl Winslow from Family Matters respectively.

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Related: The Die Hard Series Doesn’t Need Another Sequel

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It’s interesting to consider who might have filled the character’s shoes had Die Hard been filmed in the 2020s. It’s probable that the movie wouldn’t be exactly the same as the classic audiences know and love, and there may be other combinations that would make an entertaining film. Here is a possible recasting for Die Hard in the 2020s:

Anthony Ramos as John McClane

Ramos is a rising star in Hollywood who got his start on Broadway in the dual role of John Laurens/Philip Hamilton in Hamilton. He has since had a supporting role in A Star Is Born as Ramon and starred as Usnavi in In The Heights. Although he has primarily performed in musicals, his training for those roles will have prepared him for the physicality needed to play Die Hard’s crime-fighting McClane. The role would give him the opportunity to flex his acting muscles in a different genre.


Some might wonder why actors like Dwayne Johnson or Ryan Reynolds wouldn’t be the first choice to play the action hero. But part of the appeal of McClane in the original Die Hard is that he’s an everyman (despite the controversy surrounding Willis’ casting as McClane); he’s obviously in good shape but on a more attainable level than the Rock. And Ramos has the comedic talent to pull off McClane’s quips but also to balance that humor with the more intense moments of the movie, whereas Reynolds’ humor often comes off as almost overly self-satisfied. The first Die Hard excelled because it gave surprising actors chances; a remake could do the same with Ramos.


Mads Mikkelssen as Hans Gruber

Mads Mikkelsen, perhaps best known for his role as cannibalistic psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal, is the perfect choice for a 2020s version of Die Hard. Charming in his own way just as Rickman was, Mikkelsen can play a very oily and slippery villain. He can evoke a quietly threatening aura that would bring a lot of tension to the scene in which Gruber encounters McClane under the guise of one of the captives of Nakatomi Plaza.

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Related: Die Hard: Every Actor Who Almost Played John McClane

Elizabeth Olsen as Holly Gennero-McClane

Olsen has become a household name in recent years thanks to the MCU. Her awards-nominated turn as Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. Scarlet Witch, in WandaVision rectified Olsen being wasted, as the talented actress had been underutilized to that point in the MCU. Although small in stature, Olsen brings power to every woman she plays and this ability is needed for the character of Holly Gennaro-McClane. Separated from her husband because he had qualms about her career opportunity in L.A., Holly is a powerful woman in her workplace. Olsen has the demeanor to portray that strength in the face of the imminent danger that Gruber and crew bring to the Plaza.


Brian Tyree Henry as Al Powell

The first police officer on the scene of the crime in Die Hard, Powell becomes critical to the film as McClane’s support and confidant. While there is no current performer who could bring the quite same energy to the role as VelJohnson, Brian Tyree Henry could put his own unique spin to the part. Henry has walked the line between humor and crisis in Atlanta (which has long-awaited a season 3) as aspiring rapper Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles, as well as his recent turn in Eternals, which is needed for the role of Powell.

Alexander Ludwig as Karl

Karl is Gruber’s right hand man against whom McClane finds himself in hand-to-hand combat in one of Die Hard’s most gripping fight scenes. Karl is the main muscle of Gruber’s team, making Alexander Ludwig perfect for the role. Ludwig has previously played characters known for incredible strength, including Cato in The Hunger Games and Bjorn Ironside in the History Channel’s Vikings. The combination of his striking physique and intensity provides Ludwig with the necessary tools to play Karl.


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James Van Der Beek as Dwayne T. Robinson

The role of LAPD Deputy Chief Robinson is a little trickier because it requires an actor who can make himself seem very unlikeable. Paul Gleason, also known for his role as Assistant Principal Richard Vernon in The Breakfast Club, played the role with no aim at earning sympathy. James Van Der Beek has done his share of playing unlikeable characters, including a complicated serial killer with multiple personalities on Criminal Minds. Van Der Beek would be able to play Robinson with the right amount of arrogance to be a foil for Ramos’ McClane in a 2020s Die Hard.

Related: It’s Too Late For Bruce Willis To Make Another Die Hard

Justice Smith as Argyle

Originally played by De’voreaux White, Argyle is the young chaffeur who picks up McClane at the airport and drives him to Nakatomi Plaza. Known for his role as Tim Goodman in Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, Justice Smith would be a good fit for this part. Smith has an easy charisma that has shone through other roles in which he has played more uptight characters. Casting him as Argyle would give him the opportunity to show his more relaxed side.

Adam Scott as Richard Thornburg

Another arrogant character, Thornburg is the television reporter who cares more about the story than about people getting hurt. William Atherton was particularly good at playing obnoxious characters in the ’80s, most notably EPA inspector Walter Peck in Ghostbusters. Although Adam Scott is best known for playing Ben Wyatt, accountant and Game of Thrones enthusiast on Parks and Recreation, he has also shown off his annoying side as Trevor in The Good Place. Taking this role would allow Scott to play a character who is not only arrogant but also ruthless in his efforts to get what he wants.

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Joel McHale as Harry Ellis

Finally, in the role of sleazy Nakatomi Plaza executive Harry Ellis would be Joel McHale. Played by Hart Bochner in the original movie (who would voice the similarly sleazy Arthur Reeves in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm), McHale is the modern epitome of sleazy onscreen, best known for his role as ex-lawyer Jeff Winger on Community. McHale is very good at playing characters that audiences delight in wanting to punch in the face, which makes him the best choice for a modern casting of Die Hard‘s Harry Ellis.

Next: Everything We Know About Die Hard 6 (Is It Happening?)

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Hitting the three-quarter-century mark usually means a retirement home, a nursing facility, or if you’re lucky to be blessed with relatively good health and savings to match, living in a gated community in Arizona or Florida.

For Sylvester Stallone, however, it means something else entirely: starring in the first superhero-centered film of his decades-long career in the much-delayed Samaritan. Unfortunately for Stallone and the audience on the other side of the screen, the derivative, turgid, forgettable results won’t get mentioned in a career retrospective, let alone among the ever-expanding list of must-see entries in a genre already well past its peak.

For Stallone, however, it’s better late than never when it involves the superhero genre. Maybe in getting a taste of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with his walk-on role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel several years ago, Stallone thought anything Marvel can do, I can do even better (or just as good in the nebulous definition of the word).

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The property Stallone and his team found for him, Samaritan, a little-known graphic novel released by a small, almost negligible, publisher, certainly takes advantage of Stallone’s brute-force physicality and his often underrated talent for near-monosyllabic brooding (e.g., the Rambo series), but too often gives him to little do or say as the lone super-powered survivor, the so-called “Samaritan” of the title, of a lifelong rivalry with his brother, “Nemesis.” Two brothers entered a fire-ravaged building and while both were presumed dead, one brother did survive (Stallone’s Joe Smith, a garbageman by day, an appliance repairman by night).

In the Granite City of screenwriter Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room, Season of the Witch), the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, teeters on economic and political collapse, with a recession spiraling into a depression, steady gigs difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the city’s neighborhoods rocked by crime and violence. No one’s safe, not even 13-year-old Sam (Javon Walker), Joe’s neighbor.

When he’s not dodging bullies connected to a gang, he’s falling under the undue influence of Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a low-rent gang leader with an outsized ego and the conviction that he and only he can take on Nemesis’s mantle and along with that mantle, a hammer “forged in hate,” to orchestrate a Bane-like plan to plunge the city into chaos and become a wealthy power-broker in the process.

Schut’s woefully underwritten script takes a clumsy, haphazard approach to world-building, relying on a two-minute animated sequence to open Samaritan while a naive, worshipful Sam narrates Samaritan and Nemesis’s supposedly tragic, Cain and Abel-inspired backstory. Schut and director Julius Avery (Overlord) clumsily attempt to contrast Sam’s childish belief in messiah-like, superheroic saviors stepping in to save humanity from itself and its own worst excesses, but following that path leads to authoritarianism and fascism (ideas better, more thoroughly explored in Watchmen and The Boys).

While Sam continues to think otherwise, Stallone’s superhero, 25 years past his last, fatal encounter with his presumably deceased brother, obviously believes superheroes are the problem and not the solution (a somewhat reasonable position), but as Samaritan tracks Joe and Sam’s friendship, Sam giving Joe the son he never had, Joe giving Sam the father he lost to street violence well before the film’s opening scene, it gets closer and closer to embracing, if not outright endorsing Sam’s power fantasies, right through a literally and figuratively explosive ending. Might, as always, wins regardless of how righteous or justified the underlying action.

It’s what superhero audiences want, apparently, and what Samaritan uncritically delivers via a woefully under-rendered finale involving not just unconvincing CGI fire effects, but a videogame cut-scene quality Stallone in a late-film flashback sequence that’s meant to be subversively revelatory, but will instead lead to unintentional laughter for anyone who’s managed to sit the entirety of Samaritan’s one-hour and 40-minute running time.

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Samaritan is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.

Samaritan

Cast
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton
  • Pilou Asbæk

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Matt Shakman Is In Talks To Direct ‘Fantastic Four’

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According to a new report, Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct the upcoming MCU project, Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios has been very hush-hush regarding Fantastic Four to the point where no official announcements have been made other than the film’s release date. No casting news or literally anything other than rumors has been released regarding the project. We know that Fantastic Four is slated for release on November 8th, 2024, and will be a part of Marvel’s Phase 6. There are also rumors that the cast of the new Fantastic Four will be announced at the D23 Expo on September 9th.

Fantastic Four is still over two years from release, and we assume we will hear more news about the project in the coming months. However, the idea of the Fantastic Four has already been introduced into the MCU. John Krasinski played Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cameo was a huge deal for fans who have been waiting a long time for the Fantastic Four to enter the MCU. When Disney acquired Twenty Century Fox in 2019 we assumed that the Fox Marvel characters would eventually make their way into the MCU. It’s been 3 years and we already have had an X-Men and Fantastic Four cameo – even if they were from another universe.

Deadline is reporting that Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct Fantastic Four. Shakman served as the director for Wandavision and has had an extensive career. He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones and an episode of The Boys, and he had a long stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There is nothing official yet, but Deadline’s sources say that Shakman is currently in talks for the job and things are headed in the right direction.

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To be honest, I was a bit more excited when Jon Watts was set to direct. I’m sure Shakman is a good director, but Watts proved he could handle a tentpole superhero film with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Wandavision was good, but Watts’ style would have been perfect for Fantastic Four. The film is probably one of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s upcoming slate films and they need to find the best person they can to direct. Is that Matt Shakman? It could be, but whoever takes the job must realize that Marvel has a lot riding on this movie. The other Fantastic Four films were awful and fans deserve better. Hopefully, Marvel knocks it out of the park as they usually do. You can see for yourself when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8th, 2024.

Film Synopsis: One of Marvel’s most iconic families makes it to the big screen: the Fantastic Four.

Source: Deadline

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Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase Star in ‘Zombie Town’ Mystery Teen Romancer (Exclusive)

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Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase have entered Zombie Town, a mystery teen romancer based on author R.L. Stine’s book of the same name.

The indie, now shooting in Ontario, also stars Henry Czerny and co-teen leads Marlon Kazadi and Madi Monroe. The ensemble cast includes Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch of the Canadian comedy show Kids in the Hall.

Canadian animator Peter Lepeniotis will direct Zombie Town. Stine’s kid’s book sees a quiet town upended when 12-year-old Mike and his friend, Karen, see a horror movie called Zombie Town and unexpectedly see the title characters leap off the screen and chase them through the theater.

Zombie Town will premiere in U.S. theaters before streaming on Hulu and then ABC Australia in 2023.

“We are delighted to bring the pages of R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town to the screen and equally thrilled to be working with such an exceptional cast and crew on this production. A three-time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winner with book sales of over $500 million, R.L. Stine has a phenomenal track record of crafting stories that engage and entertain audiences,” John Gillespie, Trimuse Entertainment founder and executive producer, said in a statement.

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Executive producers are Trimuse Entertainment, Toonz Media Group, Lookout Entertainment, Viva Pictures and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates.  

Paco Alvarez and Mark Holdom of Trimuse negotiated the deal to acquire the rights to Stine’s Zombie Town book.

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