I’ve heard you plan to film your next Die Hard film about Iraq. I’m sure it will be a fun filled, explosion laden, Yippie-ki-yay motherfucker! kind of flick, ideal for selling watered down sodas and popcorn by the bucketful.
And I understand that you can’t make it too much like the real war. That after all, would defeat the purpose of entertainment. We save the real nitty gritty of Iraq — blown up bodies, melted skin, white phosphorus and MK-77 munitions, depleted uranium, riddling passenger cars with .50 caliber machine gun rounds, Shi’ite death squads, et al. — for little seen documentaries, that no one but the antiwar lefties ever bother to see.
However, I do have some good ideas for the villain in your next film.
I know what you’re thinking: Zarqawi or some other sinister terrorist mastermind. But face it Bruce. That idea has been done (no pun intended) to death. I mean, Fox did a whole series (maybe you’ve heard of it?) around the concept of a terrorist threat. And George Clooney, of all people, did a flick on the ticking time bomb scenario. So I doubt you can come up with a new twist on the whole “terrorist bad guy threatens America’s lives, liberty and the pursuit of our happiness” thing.
Besides, I’ve always liked the fact that your bad guys in the Die Hard flicks generally had a profit motive behind all their evil machinations, despite protestations to the contrary. So with that in mind, here’s my idea for you to mull over before you finalize that script.
Your Villain is: The Evil Security Contractor.
Just imagine that your hero, John McClane, has a buddy named “Ted” let’s say, in the US Army, a morally upright guy and true patriot who volunteered to go to Iraq. His posting there was as the senior adviser for the Counter Terrorism Special Operations training program. His job: to “work on what the Pentagon considered the most important mission in Iraq: training Iraqi forces to take over security duties from U.S. troops.”
As part of his job, he supervised “a private security company, . . . which had contracts worth $79 million to train a corps of Iraqi police to conduct special operations. In the course of his service, however, he discovers a plot by this corrupt security contractor to charge millions for services that are never provided. Even worse, he learns that the contractor’s employees have tortured and killed innocent Iraqis in the bargain, just for sport.
Let’s say his last email message to you told how he confronted the contractor and reported what he had learned to his superiors, who supposedly started an investigation. Next thing you know, your buddy ends up dead, shot through the head in a trailer in Iraq, and the official military conclusion is that he committed suicide, despite that fact that he was a devout Catholic and devoted father and husband. What’s worse, the Army then concluded their investigation into his claims of corruption post haste, determining “there were no contractual violations” and that your buddy’s allegations were “unfounded.”
This was a guy you knew well: an honor student at the Point who graduated 3rd in his class, a former infrantry man and Platoon Leader with Special Forces training who ” eventually became division operations officer for the 82nd Airborne.” (I know, a goody-goody like this might be hard to believe in real life, but hey, you’re making a move, right?)
Then you learn from Ted’s wife that she’d had a phone conversation from him “that chilled her two weeks before his death.”
“I heard something in his voice,” she tells you. “In Ted’s voice, there was fear. He did not like the nighttime and being alone.” When asked what had happened to him, she simply says one word: “Iraq.”
No way, her husband committed suicide, you tell her, so off to Iraq you go to investigate his death on behalf of his family to find out the truth, no matter whose toes you step on, or what nasty characters get in your way.
Well, I think you can take it from there. By the way, if you do use my idea, I expect a modest royalty. But don’t worry, I plan on contributing all of it to a good cause.