Bruce Willis is talking back. We think. We’re 99.9% sure.
“[I] am John Mafuckin'Clane,” wrote a poster named ‘Walter B’ to the Ain’t It Cool News Web site on Monday. Claiming to be the star of the Die Hard series of films—including the much-anticipated Live Free or Die Hard—‘Walter B’ was dropping by to check in with his avid fans on the influential TV/Movie fanboy site and dispel some rumors about the fourth installment of the Die Hard franchise.
“What if I came to you all, just as as [sic] guy who in the last weeks of post, facing a 5 week, World-Wide press tour, an[d] crazed at the prospect of it, just wanted to take a simpler approach to talking to this enormous group of people…” Getting cozier, he added: “I feel a strong personal pull to hear from an audience I do not know, sans Bullshit, (And that means I tell the Truth), sans gossip, just the straight, tight shit.”
Sorta sounds like we’d always imagined Bruce. But could it be a faker? Harry Knowles, the Web Site’s founder, stated definitively on Wednesday that the rugged-voice actor was, indeed, ‘Walter B.’ (We’ve asked Mr. Willis’s people for confirmation, but haven’t heard back.)
“Around 3:45am last night, Bruce Willis left a message on my cell phone regarding… talkback [ie, the AICN comments section]… As many of you have figured out… yes, Bruce is talking to you,” Mr. Knowles wrote.
But why, exactly, did Mr. Willis feel the need to chime in?
On May 5, Vern, one of the site’s contributors, posted a rant in response to a Vanity Fair interview with Mr. Willis in which the actor revealed that 20th Century Fox was slapping Live Free or Die Hard with a PG-13 rating. Vern had “some words for you about the pansy-assing of the 4th DIE FLACCID movie:”
“I am speaking as an American, and as a citizen of the world. You can't fucking do that to DIE HARD…Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the movie was called LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD,” he wrote. “[I]t sounds more like LIVE FREE OR DIE– WELL, LET'S NOT DIE TOO HARD, THERE ARE CHILDREN PRESENT.” The post got others riled up – apparently PG-13 intimates that the film will contain less of the ‘realistic’ violence, not to mention swearing, that Die Hard lovers crave – and Walter B popped up shortly thereafter.
He wrote: “I am pleased to see Vern, and everyone who responded to Vern's rant exhibit such emotion over DH4. But as someone who worked on the picture, and has seen a cut of it, I would suggest that all the yakkin' over the PG-13 issue hang onto their weapons for now.”
Walter B spewed some PR-esque propaganda: “Live Free or Die Hard is an in-your-face, hard-ass Action movie that will satisfy Vern, and anyone else who is a fan of the Die Hard series. All PG-13 means is that you cannot say f*ck more than twice. Other than that, the Mythology of Die Hard lives.”
Talkbackers raised suspicions that he wasn’t the actual Mr. Willis, and criticized his interesting capitalization choices and spelling mistakes. Walter B retorted:
“[T]o all the doubters, the ones who think this is some studio gimmick, or not really me, I would suggest you Cowboy the Fuck Up, and let it go. I am interested in what you have to say far more than what I have to write. I am here for that reason. beedub/MaFuckin'Clane/Walter B and proofreading is for pussies…. All I can say is that I will do what I can to remain comprehensible.”
Although Ain’t It Cool News readers remained skeptical, they asked Walter B questions and he responded. You can see the highlights here (http://www.aintitcool.com/?q=node/32511).
Over the last week, he’s discussed topics ranging from politics to his favorite movie picks, which include “Dr. Strangelove, Raging Bull, The first 2 Godfathers, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Spartacus, Bridge on the River Kwai, Bullitt, the Great Escape, On the Waterfront, Resevoir Dogs, Patton, I really dug 300, the first Alien, Last Picture Show.”
“I find the alternative points of view expressed here at AICN, which are pretty varied, to be refreshingly honest,” Walter B wrote on May 7. “Too bad you don’t have any sway with the politicians. I would like to see the Presidential candidates in the upcoming election be forced to answer the questions of AICN's membership. Doubtless this post will be seen as more spin, but fuck it- I reject all judgment, and in general keep my own counsel, for good or bad. Which is why I can take credit for deciding to do movies like 12 Monkey's and Pulp Fiction, as well as having to hang my head for deciding to do dogs like Striking Distance and Sunset.”
His last entry was written yesterday afternoon. “ok, one last answer then I gotta bounce…The only 2 passes I regret are not doing Ghost, and passing on the part of Moose in The English Patient. I passed on Ghost thinking, a Romance with a Dead guy? And I was talked out of working with Anthony Minghella by my then agent. I also wanted to play the Andy Garcia part in Ocean's 11, but thought I would wait for a film with G. Clooney where it was just him and me. I missed out on some fun with those guys, who know how to paly hard…. ok, thanks everybody, for your time. later bw.”
Walter B, Bruce, whoever you are: Is it really too late for Ghost 2: The Clay Beyond?