Is it April Fools Day already? Unfortunately, we’re not so lucky. Millenium Films announced today that they’re moving forward with a sequel to the blow-up-the-White-House action extravaganza Olympus Has Fallen, titled London Has Fallen.
Olympus Has Fallen became a surprise hit back in March, earning better figures at the box office than the higher-budgeted, similarly-themed White House Down. However, it seems clear that the major draw for audiences was watching the Oval Office get blown up, not the wooden performance from star Gerard Butler. An easy explanation for White House Down‘s middling numbers: moviegoers felt like they had seen it all before… which they had, three months earlier, to be exact. Was anyone clamoring for a sequel to either film? If they were, I certainly didn’t hear them.
Regardless, London Has Fallen is actually happening. In the film, a terrorist plot during the British Prime Minister’s funeral turns London into a war-zone. Predictably for a Hollywood movie, it’s up to America to save the day. Butler will reprise his role as Secret Service agent Mike Banning, and Aaron Eckhart will return as President Benjamin Asher. Also confirmed to reappear are Morgan Freeman as Speaker Allan Trumbull, Angela Bassett as Secret Service Director Lynn Jacobs, and Radha Mitchell as Banning’s wife Leah. A currently-uncast English MI6 agent will assist Banning and Asher in their efforts to defeat the terrorists.
Olympus Has Fallen scribes Katrin Benedikt and Creighton Rothenberger are set to also pen the script for this follow-up. The original film’s director, Antoine Fuqua, is currently in post-production on the Denzel Washington-starring The Equalizer, so a new director will likely step in to helm London Has Fallen.
Millenium is understandably fast-tracking the project, so the sequel will begin production on location next May for a likely 2015 release date. Focus Features, which recently absorbed FilmDistrict, is on board to distribute the film.
It’s interesting to note that, while White House Down aimed to please teens with a bloodless PG-13 rating, Olympus Has Fallen went for the jugular with an R-rating and emerged the clear box-office victor. Whether the sequel will maintain that same, gritty tone remains to be seen, and a lot of it will probably depend on the director.
Are you surprised by news of this sequel? Who would you pick to direct London Has Fallen? Sound off in the comments section!
Source: The Film Stage