Now that production on Roland Emmerich’s costly sci-fi flick Singularity has been delayed, the (in)famous filmmaker responsible for creating some of the biggest disaster flicks ever (Independence Day, 2012) is on the lookout for his next project. It appears that Emmerich’s search may be at an end, now that he’s circling an action-drama titled White House Down.
Sony Pictures recently shelled out $3 million to acquire the White House Down script from Mythology Entertainment and screenwriter James Vanderbilt. Deadline says the project revolves around “a paramilitary takeover of the White House” and reports it as having prompted comparisons to Die Hard when Sony picked it up earlier this year.
White House Down sounds like the sort of action genre fare more along the lines of Vanderbilt’s previous original screenplay, Basic, and his work on the comic book adaptation, The Losers. Such a comparatively grounded thriller could be a nice change of pace for Emmerich as a director, considering that everything else he’s done to date has been big, brash, and loud – be it his over-boiled period drama Anonymous or his numerous end-of-world movies.
Vanderbilt has recently found a lot of work around Tinseltown by fine-tuning the screenplays for such upcoming tentpole reboots as The Amazing Spider-Man, Total Recall, and (most recently) RoboCop. He’s certainly come far from his days of co-writing B-movie horror fare like Darkness Falls – and, hopefully, all of Vanderbilt’s impending script work (including that for White House Down) reflects said growth in popularity.
Of course, the original Die Hard has long been the standard by which contemporary action-thrillers are held up against – as evidenced by the number of recent and/or upcoming movies (Brake, The Raid: Redemption, The Last Stand) said to share elements with that classic, gritty macho flick. Hence comparisons to that title alone aren’t enough to guarantee White House Down will feel all that fresh or innovative – even though it’s (gasp!) not simply another revamping of an older movie.
If Emmerich does in fact close a deal to direct White House Down, then principal photography could get underway as soon as this fall. As always, we’ll be sure to keep you posted.