Harry Knowles at AICN has apparently gotten a whiff of the potential titles for two of Fox's biggest upcoming franchise films. If you're excited for more John McClane and The Thing then today is your day as "Die Hard 24/7" and "Fantastic Four Reborn" are rumored to be the titles (or perhaps the working titles) for the next installments.
Harry, always chatty with the talent, surmises that Bruce's experiences on the testosterone heavy set of "The Expendables" have led to him taking his action franchise in a different direction, to "get it right" after the last installment. However, it's doubtful any parties involved feel the need to "get it right" as the cartoony "Live Free Or Die Hard" was the series' highest grosser at $383 million worldwide (thank you, PG-13 rating) which we're sure compensated for whatever doubts anyone involved had about the finished product.
Willis, who has a diverse slate that includes "Kane And Lynch," "Looper" and "Red" coming up, sure could use a hit -- he hasn't been the star of a film grossing $50 million domestic ("Sin City" is an ensemble and is the exception to the rule) since 2000's "Unbreakable," and even that wasn't extremely well-received at the box office (though it has since developed a rabid following since, god knows why).
As for the the "Fantastic Four" films, they haven't necessarily been the money train Fox was hoping for (they collectively grossed $619 million, but cost $230 million total without P&A costs which is another conservative $45 million at least) as they sunk more support into the second film, only to generate less earnings (the first earned $330 million, the second grossed $289 million). While everyone seems to be suddenly surprised that they are rebooting the franchise, this news has been kicking around since early last year and was pretty much inevitable given how poorly received the initial films were. Last fall, Akiva Goldsman was hired to produce the reboot, and Michael Green ("Green Lantern") to pen the screenplay.
No other timelines or details have yet been announced, but with Comic-Con around the corner, we may at least hear some news regarding "Fantastic Four Reborn." As for "Die Hard 24/7/Eleven" (you just know there will be a lame commercial tie in) Willis' 2011 is pretty clear, so our guess is that his speculation of production starting next year probably isn't too far off the mark. -- additional reporting Gabe Toro