By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist August 1, 2011 at 6:53AM
Over the weekend, word cropped up that Noam Murro, previously attached to direct the forever gestating "Die Hard 5" had left the project to focus on "300: Battle Of Artemisia" with John Moore (“Behind Enemy Lines,” “Max Payne”) as a contender to take his place. Well, he's going to be facing some stiff competition.
Deadline reports that Joe Cornish, Justin Lin and Nicolas Winding Refn are also on the studio shortlist to take on the job, with meetings said to have been slated. So let's run through these options shall we? Joe Cornish is a nerd favorite and displayed he could capably handle action with humor and style to spare with "Attack With Block." And while it may seem odd to handle a movie of this budget and size to a relative newbie, just remember, Murro's previous effort was the indie dramedy "Smart People" as well as some acclaimed commercials.
Justin Lin has been a hot name around town after he made "Fast Five" the most successful entry in the franchise to date and one of the biggest hits the year. Of all the candidates, he seems mostly likely, having been in the running for "The Wolverine" and currently attached to a new "The Terminator" film that would bring Arnie back to the series in some capacity, but that project is now a long way off.
And Nicolas Winding Refn is just the new Hollywood darling, wowing everybody with "Drive," so of course he's on the list. But if 20th Century Fox plans on making this movie anytime soon, we're not sure how Refn fits in as he shoots "Only God Forgives" this fall and has "Logan's Run" set up over at Warner Bros and we're sure they won't want to lose him to Fox. Moreover, we just don't see Refn being all that interested in coming along to direct the fifth entry in already waning and aging franchise. It would be a colossal waste of his time and talent.
If anything this list has a distinct whiff of trying to stoke blogger interest by putting some hyped names down as candidates. Will these guys take a meeting? Sure -- it's an opportunity to make your face known with movers and shakers and it's the meeting you don't turn down, so yeah, some studio suits and these helmers will break bread over a Cobb salad. But if we were betting men -- and given the track record of the 'Die Hard' helmers so far -- we'd guess Lin or the meat and potatoes Moore (or someone in that vein) winds up getting the job.
Written by Skip Woods (”X-Men Origins: Wolverine”), the latest installment will apparently involve McClane (Bruce Willis, back again) battling local forces in Russia with his two sons (#eyeroll #facepalm) in what has got to be the worst idea since that computer mumbo jumbo from the last movie. We can see the tagline now: THIS TIME, IT'S FAMILIAL. Here's an idea for "Die Hard 5": Let it die already.