Bruce Willis came to the Television Critics Association confab in Hollywood Thursday to talk about ''Touching Evil,'' the cable series he's producing for USA that premieres in March, but what really interested the TV scribes was talk about a possible fourth ''Die Hard'' movie. Willis and 20th Century Fox have been developing the sequel, the first since 1995, for more than a year, and he suggested that the only impediment now was the screenplay. ''We're working on it,'' he said of the project. ''Fox wants to do it. I want to do it. It depends on the script.''
The difficulty, Willis said, is creating a story that handles the franchise's terror-themed plotlines in a way that's appropriate for a post-9/11 audience. ''It's hard today to do,'' he said. ''The whole 'Die Hard' trilogy so far has been based on some element of terrorism, and it's difficult in today's world to do stories that fictionally portray terrorism.'' Maybe he needn't worry; the ''Die Hard'' videos were reportedly top renters in the weeks following the 9/11 attacks.
Is Willis, who's 48 and hasn't had a solid hit movie in four years, too old to put John McClane's tank top back on? On Thursday, he was sporting a thick, salt-and-pepper beard that his character wears in the upcoming movie ''Hostage.'' To play McClane again, he'd either have to shave it off or dye hard.