You can’t keep a seemingly-unkillable, tough-guy action hero down, as evidenced by the sheer number of movies that have been produced featuring such characters as Bruce Willis’ John McClane, Sylvester Stallone’s John Rambo, Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and so on. Gerard Butler has his own big screen badass counterpart, in Mike Banning: the Secret Service agent who’s had to save the day twice now, first in 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen and then earlier this year, with the sequel London Has Fallen. Both films were profitable too – as Olympus grossed $161 million and London grossed $196 million worldwide against budgets of $70 million and $60 million, respectively.
Millennium Films is now moving forward with a third installment in the “Fallen” series, in the form of Angel Has Fallen. This time around, Mr. Banning himself will be the target – and seeing as “Angel” is the code name for Air Force One, it stands to reason that the U.S. president’s famous airplane will figure into the storyline, in some manner.
Deadline is reporting that Olympus/London Has Fallen screenwriting duo Katrin Benedikt and Creighton Rothenberger are returning to script Angel Has Fallen, but a director has yet to be formally attached to the project. That is expected to change within the foreseeable future, what with Millennium planning to begin production on Angel within the first half of 2017. That would put the threequel on-course to arrive near the end of the first quarter (or the beginning of the second quarter) of 2018, similar to the release pattern of its predecessors.
The Deadline report doesn’t mention if any other Olympus/London Has Fallen cast members will be returning in Angel Has Fallen alongside Butler. However, the potential involvement of Air Force One as either the main setting and/or a key plot device in Mike Banning’s next adventure suggests that Mike’s longtime buddy, (now, former?) U.S. president Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) will be back in action here. Morgan Freeman as Speaker-turned VP Allan Trumball made it out of both Olympus and London still alive, so chances are good that he too will play some role in Angel.
Olympus Has Fallen earned a mixed-but-decent critical reception, with most of the praise going to the film’s 1980/’90s action movie throwback tone and the direction by Antoine Fuqua (The Magnificent Seven ). London Has Fallen, generally speaking, didn’t go over as well, with the common criticism being that the sequel is an uninspired rehash of its predecessor – one that suffered from not having Fuqua at the helm and doubling-down on the elements commonly found in actual 1980s/’90s action movies (see: London‘s casually racist portrayal of its Middle-Eastern characters ) that Olympus had smartly avoided.
There have been action franchises that rebounded from an under-whelming second installment with a better third chapter (see Die Hard With a Vengeance, for example) – maybe Angel Has Fallen will manage to follow suit in that respect? Best to wait and see who signs on to direct the film before taking bets on that.
We’ll let you know when Angel Has Fallen gets an official theatrical release date.