With a reported John McClane and Jack Bauer team-up, Die Hard 24/7 might be one of cinema’s biggest what-ifs.
Kiefer Sutherland hasn’t reprised the role of Jack Bauer since the 24 mini-series Live Another Day. Jake Bauer hasn’t made it to the big screen either but not for a lack of trying. Rumors of a 24 movie picked up after Live Another Day. The idea had been kicking around since the mini-series was still in production and continued after its final season aired. One film incarnation would have been a crossover with the established action movie franchise Die Hard, allowing Bruce Willis’ John McClane to team up with Jake Bauer.
A Jack Bauer/John McClane team-up sounds like the stuff of fan fiction, but it was actually considered as the premise for the fifth Die Hard film, according to what an anonymous source told Ain’t It Cool News. The movie’s working title, Die Hard 24/7, referred to the crossover.Continue Scrolling To Keep ReadingClick the button below to start this article in quick view.START NOW
The anonymous source said they weren’t sure how much work was actually put into making the crossover a reality. However, they believed the movie didn’t pan out because Sutherland was more interested in bringing Bauer to the big screen in a standalone 24 project than a crossover with an existing property like Die Hard.
If work went into the potential film, it hasn’t leaked to the Internet. After more than a decade, it stands to reason that someone involved in the project would have revealed more details about the movie if they existed. In light of that, it appears Die Hard 24/7 likely never got past the pitch stage of teaming up the two action icons.
After Die Hard 24/7 was scuttled, work continued on a potential 24 movie. One adaptation of the project was set to begin filming before Fox delayed production in spring 2012. Fox cited concerns with the budget and Sutherland’s limited window of availability (he was on a hiatus from the television series Touch) as reasons for shutting filming down. Production was suspended again in 2013 when the return of Live Another Day was announced.
While a 24 movie has never made it to fruition, there was eventually a fifth Die Hard movie, even if many fans wish there wasn’t. A Good Day to Die Hard was critically panned, receiving the worst reviews of the franchise to date. While it didn’t feature Jack Bauer, or even a Bauer stand-in, it was a buddy movie of sorts. Willis’s McClane teamed up with his son, CIA Agent John “Jack” McClane Jr, played by Suicide Squad’s Jai Courtney. It’s impossible to say whether the nickname is a nod to the movie originally co-starring Sutherland’s Bauer or just a coincidence. However, despite being a fellow government agent, Courtney’s Jack is no Jack Bauer.
Beyond giving Bauer his big screen debut, the lack of a 24/Die Hard crossover denies fans the chance to see how the two characters could possibly co-exist. The wildly different tones between the franchises would have made an attempt to integrate the two worth watching on its own. McClane’s flippant every-man and Bauer’s “ends justify the means intensity” could have given the two leads a great buddy cop chemistry or been a total clash of tones. Either way, Die Hard 24/7 likely would have been more interesting to watch unfold than A Good Day to Die Hard.
There hasn’t been a new entry in either franchise since 2016’s Legacy. Sutherland has expressed interest in returning for a 24 film or series if the script interests him. While Willis played McClane in a DieHard Battery ad, Charlize Theron is the star showing interest in making a new Die Hard with a queer protagonist. Unfortunately, a McClane/Bauer team-up is likely to remain in the realm of fan fiction, making it one of action cinema’s biggest what-ifs.