The White House got an unwelcome visit from paramilitary terrorists twice this year, in Antoine Fuqua's Olympus Has Fallen and Roland Emmerich's White House Down. Interestingly, while the former grossed less worldwide in theaters than the latter ($161 million vs. $205 million), Fuqua's R-Rated solo man on a mission thriller outgrossed Emmerich's blockbuster in the U.S. ($99 million vs. $73 million) and cost less than half as much to make; hence, it was declared the winner in the copycat movie showdown.
Further proof that Olympus Has Fallen deserves the crown for "Most Successful America, F-Yeah! Movie of 2013"? The film has earned a sequel - titled London Has Fallen - that is slated to begin principal photography in the eponymous UK capital city in May 2014, with a good chunk of the original cast already confirmed to reprise their roles.
Screen Daily has learned that Millennium Films is producing and financing London Has Fallen, with the incoming new Focus Features CEO Peter Schlessel - whose FilmDistrict distributed Olympus Has Fallen theatrically earlier this year - prepared to distribute the sequel, albeit through his new studio. The list of stars confirmed to return for the next Fallen installment include Olympus leads Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman and Aaron Eckhart, in addition to supporting players Angela Bassett and Radha Mitchell.
As for the storyline this time: the sequel is described as being more of a buddy romp, where U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Eckhart) and newly-instated Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Butler) must work together with an MI6 agent, in order to prevent a planned terrorist attack during the funeral for the recently-deceased British Prime Minister. Freeman will once again play Speaker Trumbull, who presumably gets left behind to do boring things - like running the U.S. government (no shutdown jokes, please) - while his boss goes out and saves the world.
Olympus Has Fallen is solid popcorn entertainment, even though (arguably) it's only partly successful at feeling like more than a feel-good flag-waving thriller that was plucked straight from the 1990s - back when U.S. presidents were badasses in films like Independence Day and Air Force One - and released in the more politically-jaded time like the early 21st century. The cast is partly to thank for the movie working as well as it does (including, standout supporting player Melissa Leo), as was the screenwriting and direction... to a lesser degree.
Wife-husband screenwriting duo Katrin Benedikt and Creighton Rothenberger are coming back to script London Has Fallen, but Fuqua will be preoccupied with The Equalizer (starring Denzel Washington), around the time that filming on London gets started. Regardless of who is selected to replace Fuqua at the helm, the returning cast alone may be enough to ensure that the sequel is passable fun (if perhaps sillier and more over the top in its expression of national pride than the original movie).
How about it - do you want to see a sequel to Olympus Has Fallen, as described above?
More on London Has Fallen as the story develops.
Source: Screen Daily