When I heard they were making a fourth Die Hard movie, I thought that was great news, because I love the Die Hard movies. When I heard Kevin Smith was going to be in it, I thought that was even better, because I love Kevin Smith (even if he did try to sabotage the InformationWeek Web site). And when I found out that Bruce Willis was going to be promoting the fourth Die Hard movie in Second Life, I thought (in the words of an action film that isn't one of the Die Hard movies): "Oh, yeah! This just keeps getting better and better!"
The original Die Hard (1988) is a sentimental love story about a stout-hearted man (Bruce Willis) and a strong woman (Bonnie Bedelia) who fight, and break up, and get back together again. Oh, yeah, there's also explosions and gunfights and a helicopter crash and terrorists and squinty-eyed cigarette smoking and lots of swearing. All the things that make a movie great.
Now, some say Die Hard 2 (1990) was simply a repeat of the formula, in that it had Willis, Bedelia, explosions, gunfights, terrorists, squinty-eyed cigarette smoking, and lots of swearing. But it was completely different, as any fool can see, because it was in Washington, and in an airport.
In Die Hard With A Vengeance (1995), the explosions, gunfights, squinty-eyed cigarette smoking, and terrorists are moved to New York. It's got Samuel L. Jackson in it, so you know there's going to be even more swearing.
And now we have Live Free Or Die Hard, with the actor Justin Long, who plays the Mac in the "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC commercials." It's a big step for him to go from playing electronics to playing a person. A less-courageous actor would have taken it in small steps, playing another form of electronics first, like maybe an iPod or a microwave oven, and only then moving on to playing people, but Long is the kind of actor who's not afraid to take risks. Long is well-loved by geeks the world over for playing Brandon Wheeger, the teen-aged nerd in Galaxy Quest who thinks his favorite TV show is real life.
We don't know much just yet about what Fox, the studio that produces Live Free Or Die Hard, is doing to promote the movie in Second Life. Fans need to visit the Second Life page on the Live Free Or Die Hard Web site and answer four trivia questions about the movies. They're tough trivia questions; I only got the first one right.
Then you need to write an essay, in 500 words or less, telling why you'd like to meet Bruce Willis. My essay: "OMGOMGOMG BRUCE WILLIS IS THE K00000LEST!!!!!1111111 I LOVE ALL HIS MOVIES!!!!!!! 'CEPT FOR HUDSON HAWK AND THAT ONE WHERE HE GOS ON A BLIND DATE WITH KIM BASINGER!!!!!111111 I GOTTA MEET BRUUUUUUCE!!!!!!!"
Eight lucky fans will have an opportunity to question Bruce Willis in Second Life in a special appearance June 1. My questions will be: "1) What's with the hair? Bald or not bald? 2) Your real name is actually 'Walter.' Did the kids beat you up for that when you were a kid? Because I gotta tell you, being called 'Mitchell' was no picnic."
Fox also is opening a Die Hard theme park in Second Life. I haven't been able to get any more details on the Second Life appearance from Fox, but I expect the theme park will contain areas where your avatar can walk barefoot over broken glass, smoke a lot of cigarettes, make fun of terrorists, and swear a lot.
It'll be interesting to see how much Willis himself was involved in the Second Life project. I expect he's just going to show up June 1 and do what his publicists tell him to do. On the other hand, he's Internet-literate -- he recently got involved in a discussion on the Ain't It Cool News movie fan site, dropping in unannounced, without ceremony, and signing his posts "Walter B." -- that's his birth name, Walter Bruce Willis). Here's Ain't It Cool's write-up of the appearance, with some of his best posts.