'London Has Fallen' Is A Sequel, & The Movie Is A Surprising Follow-Up To 'Olympus'
Coming off some weak films, action star Gerard Butler could use a box office win. With another movie to be released on Friday, March 4, the actor might not have to wait too long. In London Has Fallen, Butler stars as Mike Banning, a Secret Service Agent who finds himself on his own with President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) in London after the city is attacked by terrorists. Needless to say, it's an action movie. And while an action flick starring the dynamic duo Butler and Eckhart sounds super fun, it should also sound a little familiar, because London Has Fallen is a sequel to Olympus Has Fallen . Remember Olympus Has Fallen? The action movie about what happens when Korean terrorists infiltrate the White House and try to kill the President only to be stopped by one disgraced former Special Forces member? No, not the one starring Channing Tatum. The one starring Gerard Butler. Yeah, that one. Well, now it has a sequel.
Where does one go to make a sequel about the White House being under attack? Abroad, of course! London Has Fallen movies the action across the sea to London, where the President and his BFF Secret Service agent are attending the British Prime Minister's funeral. When the funeral, which is being attended by many world leaders, is attacked, Banning and the President are forced to do their best to survive alone, without help from other agents and with very real threats from the terrorists behind the attack.
If you're sitting here wondering why Olympus Has Fallen, a relatively forgettable film that came out in 2013, is getting a sequel, you're not alone. The film grossed $99 million at the domestic box office and $161 million internationally — not bad numbers, but not necessarily sequel worthy, either. Still, Olympus Has Fallen was made for an estimated $70 million, meaning its box office success more than made up for the cost.
Moreover, the star power of Olympus Has Fallen is more than enough to warrant a sequel. Eckhart and Butler, who also produced the films, are enough to draw audiences to the movie theater, but add in supporting performances from Melissa Leo, Angela Bassett and Morgan Freeman (yes, that Morgan Freeman), and you've got yourself a cast that just can't lose. Leo, Bassett and Freeman have all returned for the sequel, as did Radha Mitchell and co-writers Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt. Not returning, though? Director Antoine Fuqua. Instead, London Has Fallen was directed by Iranian director Babak Najafi.
The returning cast isn't the only thing about London Has Fallen that feels familiar — the plot sounds almost as crazy as that of Olympus Has Fallen. That said, Eckhart insists that the film is based in reality. The actor revealed in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times that filming the sequel was particularly intense because of the very real danger terrorism poses to our lives. "Given the state of the world today and the threat of terrorism that exists for real, we were constantly aware that something similar to what we were filming could happen — though we all pray it never does," Eckhart said.
If London Has Fallen does well at the box office, we could be in for a trilogy. I wonder where these fictional terrorists will strike next.
Images: Gramercy Pictures/Lionsgate Films