Even though Hollywood loves comebacks, one of its most prestigious action directors can’t catch a break. John McTiernan made Predator, Die Hard and Die Hard: With A Vengeance – and still he’s stumbling to get a new movie off the ground. As a result of encountering new problems on his first two announced comeback projects Warbirds and Red Squad, the sixty-four-year-old has now announced a possible third one.

The untitled project would deal with an alternate history timeline in which Isoroku Yamamoto, the Marshal Admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy would have won WW2. Yamamoto of course ordered the attack on Pearl Harbor and was part of the Battle at Midway. Honestly? That sounds even less likely to get financing. It doesn’t sound commercial, it will probably be very expensive, and unless he’s going for a mostly Caucasian cast no Western backing will support that idea.
( via


Meanwhile, his other proposed works would have had smaller budgets. Warbirds was to have John Travolta as an aerial firefighter involved in a dangerous mercenary mission. As he now says, financing fell apart because his backers were against Travolta in the lead. An earlier report revealed that the studio actually preferred to have Schwarzenegger, but stubborn McTiernan thought he wasn’t the right man for the role. Red Squad was to shoot right after that, with Nicolas Cage as a DEA agent bringing down a Mexican cartel. Sadly though, Cage has already left the project due to scheduling issues. And you know you have a real problem when the star of Tokarev, Stolen, The Frozen Ground, Dying of the Light and Left Behind backs off.

It’d be great to get one final McTiernan action classic, but don’t hold your breath for that to happen. We’ll probably have to close the book on 1999’s The 13th Warrior.

Follow me on twitter at @keatonreturns