When Antoine Fuqua‘s “assault on the White House” movie Olympus Has Fallen introduced Gerard Butler as hard-luck Secret Service Agent Mike Banning, moviegoers who checked it out were treated to a fun if farfetched action movie in which Butler and Commander-in-Chief Aaron Eckhart emerged as heroes. Then, the unasked-for sequel London Has Fallen, this time overseen by director Babak Najafi, took Banning to the title city to protect world leaders from an assassination attempt. The sequel failed to capture the charm of the first film, but since its box office take neared $200 million, another film in the franchise was all but inevitable.
So it’s with a heavy sigh that I report a third film, Angel Has Fallen, will once again feature Butler as Banning. Deadline reports that the Millennium Films picture will see Banning as the target this time around, a distinction earned by his repeated attempts to foil the bad guys’ plans in two straight movies. And while the title might be a little confusing, it should go a long way towards explaining the plot to learn that “Angel” is the code name for Air Force One. Yes, the President will be in peril once more, as will the entirety of Washington D.C. … again.
Franchise creators Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt will write the script; no director has been set just yet. Butler will produce along with Alan Siegel, Mark Gill, John Thompson and Matt O’Toole; Avi Lerner, Trevor Short and Christine Otal are executive producers.
The previous installments of the Fallen franchise have had mid-range budgets–around $60 to $70 million–and have returned between $160 and $200 million. Of course this third movie is going to get picked up. It’s just a matter of time until we know who else besides Butler will be returning/starring. Millennium is targeting a production start in the first half of 2017 so expect more news sooner than later.