‘Doc’ admits the news is third-hand, and therefore this should be taken as strictly rumor, but it is certainly some intriguing news to read. Doc writes:
Got some third-hand news on a film Doug Richardson’s writing, it’s Die Hard 4. Bruce Willis asked Doug to pen it after seeing the rushes for Hostage, his latest, which Doug also wrote. Apparently Willis had seen what Mark Bomback had concocted as a storyline for Die Hard 4, and loathed it. Fearing they [Fox] wouldn’t be able to sign [Willis] without script approval – answer : Bruce hand-picks the writer. There’s rumors that Zak Penn and Ben Trebilcook had also written scripts for the film. He went with Doug because he worked with him on Die Hard 2.
Anyway, the working title for the film is DH 4.0, and apparently Bruce Willis is signed, and so is the actor Reginald Vel Johnson, who’s back as the portly cop from the first film. The storyline is set whilst on some kind of vacation. The guy they’re chasing for the villain is an actor named Tony Jaa, he appears in a martial arts film called Ong-Bak. I assume he’d be playing some sort of terrorist, but I think they’re trying to exise the terrorist element out of it, and have it play more on suspense.
Variety reported that Bomback was indeed writing a script, but he was bumped when Richardson jumped on board, which was news dropped July 2004. There has also been long-speculation that Reginald Vel Johnson would be returning, so that isn’t exactly new either.
Where this new tidbit gets interesting is the inclusion of Tony Jaa, who is already receiving worldwide acclaim for his upcoming film Ong-Bak, which I have the distinct pleasure of previewing in the coming days.
If the Jaa news proves true this would lead me to believe that the script has been confirmed and production is moving forward, but once again, this is just rumor so get your grain of salt in hand.