In the spring of 2013, Millennium Films (best known for the Expendables franchise) released Antoine Fuqua's action thriller Olympus Has Fallen. The film centered on disgraced Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) as he attempted to single-handedly foil a terrorist attack on the White House. The film proved to be a fun throwback to classic action films, specifically likened to Die Hard, and eventually earned itself a sequel.
London Has Fallen sees the return of Mike Banning, as well as President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) and Secret Service Director Lynn Jacobs. Originally slated for a 2015 release, the film was unfortunately delayed when then-director Fredrick Bond quit the film mere weeks before it began shooting. The project brought Iranian-Swedish director Babak Najafi on board as a replacement - and with the release date now set for early 2016, the sequel seems to be back on track.
With only four months to go before the film's release, Millenium has released London Has Fallen's first official trailer (above). The trailer offers everything fans of the first film could hope for, from expanded action sequences to gruff one-liners to a somber, defiant speech given by Speaker Trumbull (Morgan Freeman). The sequel appears to be sticking closely to what worked in Olympus Has Fallen, playing with genre tropes and delivering visually impressive stunt work.
Check out the film's official synopsis, below:
"The sequel to the worldwide smash hit 'Olympus Has Fallen' begins in London, where the British Prime minister has passed away under mysterious circumstances. His funeral is a must-attend event for the leaders of the western world. But what starts out as the most protected event on earth turns into a deadly plot to kill the world's most powerful leaders, devastate every known landmark in the British capital, and unleash a terrifying vision of the future. Only three people have any hope of stopping it: the President of the United States, his formidable Secret Service head, and an English MI-6 Agent who rightly trusts now one."
Calling Olympus Has Fallen a "smash hit" may be a little too generous, with the film earning a respectable profit and receiving middling reviews overall. Still, the movie impressed many film-goers, thanks largely to the tongue-in-cheek nature of central character Banning combined with its adherence to genre conventions. With the news that Antoine Fuqua would not be returning for the sequel and screenwriters Katrin Benedikt and Creighton Rothenberge's disappointing work on Expendables 3, it wasn't certain the sequel could recapture what made the first film so successful.
Thankfully, the trailer indicates that London Has Fallen hasn't forgotten its predecessor. The action is even more over-the-top than the first film and the characters seem to have remained largely the same, despite the events of Olympus. So while the film likely won't end up being a staple of the genre, it stands a good chance of being a fun entry in the fledgling franchise.
London Has Fallen opens in U.S. theaters on March 4th, 2016.
Source: Millennium Films