Despite some issues with storytelling, Antoine Fuqua’s one-man-army film, Olympus Has Fallen, is a solidly entertaining action movie. The movie follows an ex-secret service operative fighting terrorists in the White House (not to be confused with Roland Emmerich’s White House Down about a wannabe secret service agent fighting terrorists in the White House).
While both blockbusters performed well at the box office, Fuqua’s R-rated action film grossed more domestically and cost significantly less to create; thus, Olympus Has Fallen is the one that earned a sequel, titled London Has Fallen. However, Fuqua will not be returning to direct the followup, which was originally intended to begin production May 2014. Millennium Films has instead tapped a newcomer to helm London Has Fallen.
THR reported Fredrik Bond (Charlie Countryman) is in negotiations with Millennium to direct London Has Fallen. The film is now aiming to begin production in October 2014 in order to meet the film’s October 2015 release date. Stars of Olympus Has Fallen, Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, and Morgan Freeman, will reprise their roles for the sequel.
Christian Gudegast (A Man Apart) and Olympus Has Fallen scriptwriters Katrin Benedikt and Creighton Rothenberger (who also co-wrote The Expendables 3) will be sharing writing credit for the London Has Fallen script. The sequel story follows secret service agent Mike Banning (Butler), U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Eckhart), and speaker of the House of Representatives Allan Trumbull (Freeman) who attend the funeral of the British prime minister in London, where a plot to kill the world’s leaders is revealed. Banning and Asher must work with an MI-6 agent in order to save the world’s most powerful leaders.
London Has Fallen seems to be a standard followup to a conventional lone gunman film -- a movie trope seen again and again in the action genre that has, arguably, been executed much better than what Fuqua accomplished in Olympus Has Fallen. With so many films following the same basic premise, it’s hard to create a new movie that stands out among the rest (although a drastic differentiation isn’t necessarily needed to do well at the box office).
Perhaps Bond will be able to bring a unique eye to London Has Fallen and create enough interesting visual sequences so as to separate the film from others within the genre. Although reviews of Charlie Countrymen were mixed -- and skewed more toward unfavorable -- Bond’s feature-length directorial debut was at least visually interesting.
Whether Bond will be able to translate the skills he demonstrated in his independent film (or improve upon them) in the blockbuster action sequel, London Has Fallen, remains to be seen and it not be worth speculating; although negotiations have begun between Millennium and Bond, the director has not yet signed on for the movie.
London Has Fallen is scheduled to premiere October 2nd, 2015.