This year’s battle of the White House actioners did not play out as most expected. Director Roland Emmerich’s Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx-fronted White House Down was supposed to be a massive summer hit, but instead the film only managed to gross $73 million domestically. March’s Olympus Has Fallen, however, was a surprise success, taking in $161 million worldwide against a significantly smaller budget than Emmerich’s pic. Now it’s the Gerard Butler film that has franchise potential, as the newly restructured Focus Features (which recently absorbed FilmDistrict) is moving forward with an Olympus Has Fallen sequel called London Has Fallen. Hit the jump for more, including which actors will be back.
Screen Daily reports that Millennium Films is producing and financing London Has Fallen, with Focus Features onboard to distribute the film in the U.S. Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, and Radha Mitchell will reprise their roles from the first film, with the story now revolving around a plot to strike London during the funeral of the British Prime Minister. It is unlikely that Antoine Fuqua will return to direct given that a May 2014 production start date for London Has Fallen is being eyed. Fuqua is currently busy with post-production on the Denzel Washington thriller The Equalizer, which opens next September.
While White House Down outgrossed Olympus Has Fallen in the global marketplace (it took in $204 million), the Sony pic carried much larger expectations given its pedigree and $150 million budget. Audiences instead sparked to the graphically violent Olympus Has Fallen (always with the knife-into-head move), and it’ll be interesting to see if the success can be repeated with London Has Fallen. Katrin Benedikt and Creighton Rothenberger will return to pen the screenplay, and producers are currently out to directors.