Today, we learned that Focus Features has dated London Has Fallen, a sequel to the since-folded FilmDistrict’s 2013 hit Olympus Has Fallen, for October 2nd, 2015. Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett and Radha Mitchell are all expected to reprise their roles.
Some Hollywood double-hitters in recent years, such as competing friends-with-benefits comedies (Friends with Benefits and No Strings Attached) and Snow White reimaginings (Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman), have wound up relatively tied in terms of critical and commercial success. The same can’t be said for 2013’s rival White House take-over thrillers, Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down.
Olympus ruled the box office, soaring past expectations to gross $160 million on a $70 million, while White House flopped, coming in fourth place in its opening weekend and publicly embarassing distributor Sony (though international markets eventually pushed it up to $205 million, well over its $150 million budget). So, it’s only fitting that a sequel has been quickly pushed into development by Focus Features.
London Has Fallen‘s script, by Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, and Christian Gudegast, opens following the suspicious death of the British Prime Minister. As the world’s most valuable leaders gather to pay their respects at his funeral, a nefarious terrorist organization schemes to wipe out all of them with one devastating attack. It’s up to Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Butler), U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Eckhart), and a British MI6 agent (still uncast) to thwart the plot and prevent a global catastrophe.
Not returning for the sequel is director Antoine Fuqua, who has opted to direct boxing drama Southpaw instead. Focus Features is currently on the hunt for a new helmer.
As far as we’re concerned, the jury is still out on whether a follow-up for Olympus Has Fallen is a good idea. Though there was a certain amount of fun to be had in the thriller, mostly with the banter between Butler and Eckhart’s characters, it didn’t really set itself apart from other Die Hard clones. Hopefully, London Has Fallen will have something new to add to the thriller genre – though, regardless, it will probably still manage to draw in fans of the first.