The Fallen film series has always centered on the bond between Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) and President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman), but Angel Has Fallen is the first time they share a significant number of scenes. At the same time, Mike also gets to know his father Clay (Nick Nolte) in the third installment. Director Ric Roman Waugh joined Mike two father figures to talk to Screen Rant about the real-world implications of the movie as well as the hero’s bond with both men.
First of all, amazing job on this film; action-to-action, jam-packed. But I have to ask: Mike Banning is on the run in this film. I wanted to know; how much did real world fake news headlines play a part in this film?
Ric Roman Waugh: Look, I mean, we live around all this stuff right now, and the idea of this movie was to make it contemporary and relevant. At least feel relevant. You know, we're a fictional movie that's a big action-packed ride, but when you try to make something authentic, authenticity breeds authenticity, right? My whole job is to bring all those pieces to it, so that you're in this moment and hopefully living vicariously through Mike Banning.
First time, that I think is really cool, in the franchise that we see him on defense. I mean, he's always been the one-man wrecking machine, but this time, he's turned into the rabid dog. And not only how does he elude law enforcement, but not hurt them at the same time? They don't know any different. Dealing with a complexities of home, dealing with the hardships and complexities of: did he let down the paternal figure that has been the franchise's whole life? Running for help to the one person he hasn't seen in many, many years and that sense of estrangement coming back on that bond.
There were just so many delicious ways to take this road-style movie, in the way of complexity of character, adrenaline rush, twists and turns, Jada Pinkett Smith jumping into the franchise and just crushing the role of an FBI agent, and showing the humanity of all these characters and what they go through. That was our mission.
Mr. Freeman, can you talk to me about the relationship between Mike and the president? Because it feels like we really get to see his humanity when he's with the President.
Morgan Freeman: This is one of those situations where we can’t talk about franchises. We get to know this man in the first one; his fierce loyalty to his job, his profession, and to the country. And in the second, when he is almost inadvertently in the midst of all of this. But here, in the [third] one, we get more proximity between the two men.
And by now, when he becomes President, this is his angel. So, I mean, he knows it. He's very aware of this man's dedication, courage, and loyalty. That you can't even buy.
Yep. And we also get to see more of Mike Manning's kind of family life, as well. We get introduced to his father. Can you tell me the qualities that Mike and his father share?
Nick Nolte: Well…
Morgan Freeman: Dangerous.
Nick Nolte: Yeah, they’re both soldiers. One rejects a soldier’s life and doesn't think it's really proper for him to be around society. He didn’t want to infect his boy and he is also withholding love a bit.
And when he does get to meet the son, it's a question of whether he's capable of loving his son and whether the son’s capable of loving him. And the action forces that bond to come tight around, because they’re both soldiers even though they differ in a little bit of opinion.
But the father’s finding a whole new thing. Maybe was supposed to be with his son until now.
Well, guys, congratulations on the film. Thank you so much for your time.
- Angel Has Fallen (2019) release date: Aug 23, 2019