Rewind the clock about a year and the headline for this article would have immediately prompted lots of rants about Channing Tatum’s (lack of) acting abilities, and Roland Emmerich’s overblown approach to filmmaking. Jump ahead to the present and… well, that’s still probably going to be the case.
But we digress.
Tatum, hot off the one-two punch of this year’s The Vow and 21 Jump Street, has entered talks to headline White House Down, a new action-thriller that will be directed by Emmerich – based on an original spec script by James Vanderbilt (this summer’s Amazing Spider-Man) that pulled in a tidy sum of $3 million from Sony.
Following his breakout role in Step Up, Tatum failed to make an impression (well, a good one) with his turns in lucrative titles like Public Enemies, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and Dear John. Things started to turn around for the ex-fashion model when many critics singled him out as the highlight in the otherwise lackluster 2011 comedy The Dilemma; however, Tatum’s headlining effort in The Eagle a month later didn’t go over so well.
As mentioned before, the actor’s starmeter is on an upwards trajectory right now thanks to his most recent work – which explains Deadline‘s report that Tatum is being sought to headline White House Down. If he signs on, Tatum will play a Secret Service agent in the film, the story of which revolves around a paramilitary takeover of the White House (also described as a “‘Die Hard’ in the White House scenario”).
Passing over the Die Hard analogy, the familiar setup for White House Down has also been compared to numerous other works – including, the collective literature of Tom Clancy and the sixth season of the 24 TV show.
Many have already dismissed White House Down as a generic romp; Vanderbilt’s mixed action movie writing resume (The Rundown, The Losers) and Emmerich’s involvement make it easier to justify that position. Still, the director’s return to the sort of leaner and meaner thriller fare that he first made his mark with (see: Moon 44, Universal Soldier) is welcome – following numerous apocalyptic thrillers overflowing with spectacle (and clichés).
As for Tatum: regardless of whether or not you’re ready to stand in his corner, he’s already on his way to bigger and better things – including, two more Steven Soderbergh collaborations (Magic Mike and The Bitter Pill), a part in Moneyball director Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher and possibly a role in the Wachowskis’ new sci-fi flick, Jupiter Ascending.
White House Down is scheduled to begin a theatrical release in the U.S. on November 1st, 2013. We will continue to keep you posted on its status during the lead-up to production.