Jamie Foxx May Be President in ‘White House Down’ [Updated]

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 19th, 2013 at 1:18 pm,

UPDATE: Maggie Gyllenhaal also looks to join White House Down.

Roland Emmerich’s films rarely fail to draw big-name actors, and the latest project from the Independence Day director, White House Down, is no exception. The project is based on a spec script penned by James Vanderbilt (The Losers, Amazing Spider-Man), described as an action-thriller in the vein of Die Hard and 24.

Channing Tatum has already been locked down to portray the lead in the film: a Secret Service agent who must handle a paramilitary takeover of the White House.

Deadline is reporting that Jamie Foxx has entered talks to play the Commander-in-chief in White House Down. [Insert obligatory joke about Hollywood movies that feature a black president.] A deal with the Oscar-winner is expected to be struck soon, as production on the film is slated to get going later this summer.

Early word from those who have reportedly read the script is that Vanderbilt’s draft is an appealing thriller that nonetheless unfolds as “Die Hard in the White House,” often matching John McTiernan’s flick beat-for-beat (in terms of plot points and character arcs). Moreover, the lead role reads as a great fit for Tatum; envision a cross between Tatum’s character from 21 Jump Street and John McClane, and you’ve got the gist.

Foxx gets his fair share of hate around the Interwebz – which (for this writer) is confusing, in the aftermath of his performances in Ray, Collateral, Jarhead, The Kingdom, Horrible Bosses, and what looks to be a great turn in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (based on the trailer). Still, he’s a far less divisive name than the one-two punch of Emmerich and Tatum, as far as early buzz for White House Down is concerned.

UPDATE: Variety is reporting that Oscar-nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Dark Knight, Crazy Heart) is in talks to portray the female lead in White House Down – a character described as a “patriotic Secret Service agent on the president’s detail.”

django unchained jamie foxx don johnson 570x265 Jamie Foxx May Be President in White House Down [Updated]

Jamie Foxx and Franco Nero in ‘Django Unchained’

Emmerich’s movies now tend to be overblown in style, even when they’re not just rehashes of his previous apocalyptic blockbusters (see: 10,000 BC, Anonymous) – but that approach seems called for with White House Down. The film could also help Tatum on his quest to stand apart from his fellow “pretty boy” actor types – he has made steady progress on over the past couple years – with both notable supporting roles in films like The Dilemma and Haywire, along with his leading turns in The Vow, 21 Jump Street, and this month’s Magic Mike.

That’s all to say: White House Down won’t be a re-invention of the wheel when it comes to the action movie storytelling formula; still, it does have the potential to be a good piece of genre entertainment. Take (or leave) that for what it’s worth.

We’ll keep you updated on White House Down as more information comes our way.


Source: Deadline, Variety

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  1. Foxx doesn’t have the gravitas for such a role.

    Who does everyone think has played the best US President?

    For me it is either Harrison Ford (Air Force One) or Dennis Haysbert (24).

    • While I love Jaime Fox, I think he is a wonderful actor in both his comedy and drama roles, I agree with you DSB, I just cannot see him being president. It is not a racial thing for me, its just that I cannot see it.

      I CAN see him as a super cool secret service agent, or something. Again, this is not a racial thing, its just that I cant see him playing the president in either a serious or a comedy role. So please, people, don’t take this as a racist thing.

      Thank you

      • Ah, your comment was actually really nice. I’m black, and don’t take it as a racist thing, at all (seriously).

        Something working against Jamie is that frankly, he looks too young, and not hardened or wizened enough to be President.

        The man actually isn’t a spring chicken, but, he just looks very, very young (I would go into how ‘black doesn’t crack’, but that actually might be seen as racist, so…moving on (lol!). He also has a sort of higher-pitched voice. He seems short in stature.

        I know. I know. This all sounds silly, but combined, they just don’t give him the air of someone in control of any large organization – let alone the country.

        Don’t get me wrong, now – I LOVE Jamie as an actor and singer. The man pushed hard for decades, and was overlooked for far too long.

        But, at this very moment, I just can’t see it.

        I will say though, knowing his range, I’ll definitely still give him a chance on this film (no one thought Heath Ledger would make a good Joker, either). Maybe with makeup, some weight gain, hair styling, etc., they can give him more of the appearance and feel he needs.

        • Thank you.

          And knowing his range, and if they give him prosthetics (gained weight) and some grey(er) hair, I think he COULD pull it off.

          And very good point about Heath Ledger. That part actually gave me some hope about him pulling it off.

          • Jamie Foxx was overlooked for decades because he is a bad actor. He lands one good acting role, does a ham job in it and gets an Oscar. Spare me. He sucked in Django Unchained, which was written by one of the best screenwriters in Hollywood. Race has nothing to do with my opinion and everything to do with Foxx’s success.

    • Dennis Haysbert was a great President! lol

      • And that’s the thing is that Haysbert played a great President in 24, but in the Unit he could also pull off playing a soldier. He has that range that I don’t think Foxx has or ever will have.

        • I agree. Dennis Haysbert was great on 24. He is an underrated actor. Unfortunately, Foxx gets better role offers because he is famous, despite his lack of talent.

    • Dennis Haysbert was fantastic and he was also Presidential, which is something many performances lack. Another performance I enjoyed was Kevin Pollak’s role in Deterrence. From comedic roles, Kevin Kline (Dave) and Michael Douglas both did great work.

      Given the ridiculous push for the world to embrace Channing Tatum as the new god of acting, however, I’d say the project isn’t worried about credibility. It’s the same kind of casting that results in Denise Richards portraying a nuclear physicist.

      • Yes, Michael Douglas was great.

    • Martin Sheen in The West Wing.
      I’ll admit part of the reason is because the shows political views lined up with my own but more so it was because Sheen played the role like a president should be IMO, the smartest man in the room. Not like a guy who you’d want to have a beer with.

    • hey does anyone know if they are still doing auditions for the movie white house down? I am 13 years old and really love to act. I also live in montreal. I am 4″8 with brown hair and eyes, I am also caucasion. Do you know if they need a kid actor in the movie? maybe like a daughter or just a small role…I am up for anything!

  2. dakota fanning will play secretary of state kate upton will be first lady makes as much sense

  3. Whoever plays the president has to obviously look the part, but he also has to appear vulnerable enough that he needs protection. The problem with JF is that he looks like he should be the one kicking butt, not needing to be protected. Then again, it may be possible that the script may call for the Prez to take up a gun and fight the bad guys himself, but it’d have to be done right. Otherwise, it’s a rehash of Air Force One. Ford played a convincing President who could both lead as a president and kick ass because he was a former military pilot. (What is it with President who were ex-pilots? Bill Pullman’s President in Independence Day was also a ex-fighter pilot. I guess community organizer just doesn’t sound as good.)

    • Considering WHD is being directed by Emmerich, Foxx as the president could feel similar to Pullman’s version in ID4.

  4. Jamie Fox is a terrific actor, but I wouldn’t be able to take him seriously as the president of the US (then again, I couldn’t take Bush seriously either and he was a REAL president ;)).

    When I think of Jamie Fox, I (unfortunately) always think of his portrayal as the record producer in ‘Get Him To The Greek’ before any of his other roles (for some reason that’s just the immediate role that comes to mind at first thought – just like RDJ = Tony Stark, Will Smith = the fresh prince, etc.).
    It’s gonna be difficult leap for sure…

    • “When I think of Jamie Fox, I (unfortunately) always think of his portrayal as the record producer in ‘Get Him To The Greek’

      That was Sean Combs aka P Diddy.

      • :o
        I just checked and you’re completely right!
        Huh, I don’t usually get things like this wrong.
        I apologize to Mr. Fox and Mr. Combs.

  5. Foxx was incredible in “The Kingdom.” Ditto for “Miami Vice.” I have no doubt he will bring it as the POTUS!

    • Are you kidding? That movie sucked from start to finish, largely due to Jamie Foxx. Foxx was ok in Ray and Ali; all of his other movies suck.

  6. Never been a fan of Jamie Foxx. Couldn’t finish Horrible Bosses, and for the first time of ever, I’m not looking forward to a Tarantino movie.

    My favorite movie of his is Stealth.

    It’s nothing against his acting, he is great, it’s just something about him puts me off. It’s an irrational dislike, there is no reason for it.

    That said, I can’t see him being a President, much in the same way I couldn’t see him being Ray Charles (sorry for the bad joke). Vice-President, maybe; a Secretary of Something, for sure, but not the man in charge.

    • heeee was actually only in like three scenes in Horrible Bosses :P

      • Still couldn’t get past his scenes

    • You’re right. These people’s comments are racial. All of these people are too PC to admit that they think Foxx is a bad actor. That’s what PC and fear of racism has done to the African American community. Jamie Foxx is overrated. His acting is over the top ridiculous, yet no one is willing to admit it out of fear of being called racist or being called an Uncle Tom. Judge a person on his/her merits, not skin color. Do I think Ryan Reynolds or Channing Tatum should be cast as president? No because they are bad actors. MLK was right; base judgment on the content of a person’s character, not color of skin.

  7. Does anybody know who will be playing the role of Emily(Tatum’s daughter in the movie)? I auditioned to play her … but still waiting for a reply?

  8. Anyone who would cast Jamie Foxx as President of the US is an idiot. This movie is going to be an epic failure. There was already a stupid “attack the White House” movie made this year; why would anyone pay $10 to see this piece of crap?

  9. I’m also concerned Jamie Foxx doesn’t have the gravitas. He doesn’t seem like a “politician”, but rather the secret service agent. Lots of more stately actors of any race could have probably been a better fit. He’s nothing like Obama, who carries himself off in a much more polished way.

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