EXCLUSIVE: A prolonged search has ended, and 20th Century Fox has set Jai Courtney to play the son of John McClane (Bruce Willis) in A Good Day To Die Hard, the fifth installment of the Die Hard franchise. John Moore will direct a film that has been dated for a February 14, 2013 release. Alex Young is producing. This is a big surprise as the studio, Moore and Willis met a ton of up-and-coming young actors, only to expand the search several times. Courtney hadn’t been on any of those short lists that I’d heard of, but I believe it came down to Courtney and Liam Hemsworth, the Hunger Games star. Courtney is perhaps best known for playing Varro in the Starz series Spartacus: Blood And Sand. He was the close confidante of Spartacus until they were forced into a battle to the death. Courtney most recently has been starring opposite Tom Cruise in Paramount’s One Shot, the Christopher McQuarrie-directed adaptation of the Lee Child bestseller. He is also attached to star opposite Aaron Eckhart in I, Frankenstein. Courtney studied drama at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. After graduating in 2008, he quickly landed guest-star roles on two Australian shows, Packed To the Rafters followed by All Saints. Later that year Jai won a Theatre Critics Award as Best Newcomer for his performance in The Turning for the Perth Theatre Company. He is repped by UTA and The Collective and in Australia by Mark Morrissey and Associates.
A Good Day To Die Hard puts McClane on an international stage, truly a NYC fish out of water in Moscow, and introduces his estranged son Jack (Courtney). An apple that has not fallen far from the tree, Jack may even be more of a hardass than his father. Despite their differences, they must work together to keep each other alive and keep the world safe for democracy. This positions Courtney to become a recurring character alongside Willis, who last reprised his franchise character in 2007. Live Free Or Die Hard grossed $135 million domestic and $383 million worldwide, which is exceptional for a franchise that began with the same star in 1988.