Bruce Willis is back as John McClane from ''Die Hard" — in a commercial for Advance Auto Parts' DieHard car batteries.
"A new chapter in the DieHard story begins," Advance captioned the two-minute YouTube video, which had premiered on TV during Fox's NFL coverage Sunday. "Watch as John McClane faces off against old foes and crosses paths with old friends. From fighting his way to Advance Auto Parts to racing against the clock to install his new DieHard Battery — McClane will stop at nothing, to start his car again."
Willis, 65, as McClane from the "Die Hard" movie franchise that began in 1988, sits in his car outside a construction site at night, his vintage car's ignition unable to turn. "Well, you wanted the quiet life, John," he tells himself. Seeking an auto-parts store, he walks along a dark street adorned with Christmas wreaths, recalling McClane's Christmastime adventure freeing hostages at Nakatomi Plaza. Passing a diner, he sees a familiar face at a booth inside, working on a laptop.
"Theo?!" he asks in astonishment, recognizing that computer-hacker criminal (Clarence Gilyard Jr., reprising his movie role). Suddenly, two ominous Hummers arrive behind McClane, and four men emerge. Inside an auto-parts store, an employee hums Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" — another callback to the film — and McClane suddenly crashes through the store's window. After buying a DieHard battery, he escapes through overhead air ducts a la the movie, and while dodging weapons fire encounters the film's limo driver, Argyle (De'voreaux White).
Chased by the Hummers, the two reach McClane's car. McClane replaces his battery, putting the old one to good use against a goon, but soon Theo is bearing down on them with a front loader. An explosion, of course, ensues before the spot ends.
"DieHard Is Back" reads text at the end, referring to Advance's announcement in December that it was buying the longtime Sears brand from the bankrupt department-store chain.
"#DieHardisBack #ad," Willis' eldest daughters Rumer, 32, Scout, 29, and Tallulah, 26, each posted Saturday on social media, along with a 15-second teaser clip that had suggested to many observers another sequel film. The following day, each tweeted a link to the full commercial.
Created by the firm The Marketing Arm, the commercial shot for four days in August under pandemic safety protocols in California's Simi Valley outside Los Angeles, reported Ad Age magazine. Willis told the outlet in a statement, "I've never done any sort of commercial with the John McClane character, but Advance Auto Parts brought an idea to integrate DieHard the battery into the 'Die Hard' story through a short film that's authentic to McClane and both brands."