The Olympus Has Fallen sequel London Has Fallen now has a new director, and in the nick of time too. Charlie Countryman helmer Fredrik Bond was previously set to direct after Olympus helmer Antoine Fuqua declined the opportunity over creative differences, but Bond subsequently left the project over a week ago when he felt the time crunch was just too intense. Millennium and star Gerard Butler began scrambling to find a replacement with production set to begin next month, but when Butler wasn’t liking many of the choices, he started considering leaving the project altogether. That won’t be happening, however, as Easy Money II: Hard to Kill helmer Babak Najafi is now in negotiations to take the helm. Hit the jump for more on the London Has Fallen director and the atypical, two-part shooting schedule that the film will undergo.
Per Heat Vision, Babak Najafi has been selected as the London Has Fallen director after a number of up-and-coming filmmakers gunned for the job. Wayne Blair (The Sapphires) and Gary Fleder (Runaway Jury) were reportedly other names that surfaced, but it is Najafi who has come away the victor.
The production schedule for London Has Fallen will see filming taking place for four weeks starting next month with Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, and Melissa Leo before pausing for three months. Butler is currently busy shooting Geostorm and is unavailable this fall, so he will be absent from this fall’s shoot and will show up on set in February, when filming will resume. I imagine this might make for some very awkward green screen-heavy “interactions” between Butler and the other characters.
If the deal makes, this will be Najafi’s English-language feature debut after helming the Swedist Snabba Cash sequel Easy Money II. He has also directed episodes of the Cinemax series Banshee. London Has Fallen is scheduled to open in theaters on October 2, 2015.