Last spring was Die-Hard-at-the-box-office for a pair of Die-Hard-in-the-White-House movies. Olympus Has Fallen, with Gerard Butler as the heroic Secret Service agent and Aaron Eckhart as the president of the United States, opened first, grossing $98.9 million in the U.S. and an additional $62.1 million overseas. Three months later, Sony released White House Down, starring Channing Tatum as Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx as Aaron Eckhart. That one died really hard in the U.S., grossing just $73.1 million, but added $132.2 million internationally. White House Down made about $40 million more, but it also cost almost twice as much as Olympus Has Fallen. So let’s call it a draw.
But if success these days is measured in terms of franchises rather than revenue, Olympus Has Fallen might have just pulled out a belated victory. Talk of a second Olympus Has Fallen began last fall, but now it’s getting louder. Deadline says the sequel, titled London Has Fallen, is on its way from Focus Features, and scheduled to open on October 2, 2015. Gerard Butler will return as Mike Banning, who really deserves a much cooler name (like maybe Cage Hardjaw), as the Sercret Service hero who saves the day amidst another global crisis. The plot synopsis:
“Round 2 picks up in London, where the British Prime Minister has died under mysterious circumstances. His funeral is a must-attend event for leaders of the Western world. But what starts out as the most protected event on the planet turns into a deadly plot to kill the world’s most powerful leaders. Only three people have any hope of stopping it: POTUS, his formidable Secret Service head (Butler), and an English MI-6 agent who trusts no one.”
Having POTUS involved in the action was one of White House Down’s significant advantages over Olympus Has Fallen. Jamie Foxx got to shoot bad guys, make quips, and generally look like a heroic leader; Aaron Eckhart spent most of his movie chained to a railing in an underground bunker, slowly giving in to all the terrorists’ demands and acting like a major wuss. It seems like the Olympus filmmakers might have recognized that issue and are looking to rectify it with this sequel. And I’m going to put this out there right now: If London Has Fallen doesn’t include a sequence where London Bridge is destroyed by evildoers as Agent
Cage Hardjaw Mike Banning gravely intones “London Bridge is falling down, falling down... I repeat, London Bridge has fallen down, fallen down,” it is a massive failure.