As part of Den of Geek UK‘s interview with Mr Gerard Butler, who’s in town to promote the gloriously enjoyable disaster/action/sci-fi/drama that is Geostorm, we saved a few minutes at the end to talk about the future of Mike Banning and the status of Angel Has Fallen. Like many of Butler’s films, both Olympus and London Has Fallen proved to be quite divisive in terms of the violence and political content. But they sure were box office hits.
With that in mind I was especially keen to find out how Angel Has Fallen was progressing, so asked the man himself what the score was and the enthusiasm in his voice and body were evident the more he talked about it. The full interview is here.
Here’s what he had to say:
We’re starting in the early New Year and we have this phenomenal director, Ric Roman Waugh.
I should be seeing his new film Shot Caller next week.
Oh you’re seeing it? Well if you’re in any way excited about Angel Has Fallen now, before you’ve seen Shot Caller, you’ll be five times as excited after you’ve seen Shot Caller. It felt like… him on our franchise, such a new and interesting direction and a fresh way to take Mike Banning as a character and the story itself.
I’ve known Ric for years and we’d always wanted to work together, but he’d never imagined it was be on the third Has Fallen! [laughs] Because he’d always said [adopts serious tone] “I want to make like The Searchers with you, a movie that’ll be remembered for three generations!” and I said “Well what about Has Fallen 3?” and he said “That’s not what I was thinking!” [laughs] I said “Read this script, it’s kind of like The Fugitive, take it and let’s put your spin on it” and that’s what came back and he and I have been working on it ever since.
This is as similar as maybe Logan was to Wolverine, it’s definitely a Mike Banning who’s almost – [laughs] as I am now, Gerry Butler for his action career! – a Mike Banning who is paying the price of all these years, all the Olympus Has Fallen’s and London Has Fallen’s. He’s paying the price for that physically now and he’s struggling a bit in the job, it’s no longer the kind of superhero Mike Banning, but it’s a guy who’s on a more challenging journey and then on top of that everything turns against him when he gets set up for this assassination attempt on the President.
And some of those facts that he’s already struggling with are used against him and he ends up going on the run and is trying to elude the bad guys – and the good guys! – and find out who the hell is behind all of this. It is… I have actually become… I couldn’t even see a way to make a third, you know we’d joke about it “What, Tokyo? Hong Kong? What is it going to be!?” and it would be, for sure, what is it going to be? Until this idea came along and until Ric came along – now I’ve gone from not knowing what to do with it, to thinking this is going to be the best one.”
So there you have it.
It seems like a very smart move, as the original’s tension came from trapping one man inside the threats location (ala Die Hard) which was slightly dissipated in the sequel when the game of cat and mouse was spread across a strangely quiet London. Since Angel Has Fallen will centre on Air Force One, the presidential aircraft, there’s a lot of scope to follow in the footsteps of fellow plane based action treats Executive Decision, the Harrison Ford punch-fest Air Force One and, of course, Passenger 57, so let’s hope Mike Banning has made sure to bet on black.
Read the full Den of Geek NYCC Special Edition Magazine right here!