Whenever a film does well, Hollywood often likes to go bigger with sequels. For example: Olympus Has Fallen proved itself as a hit, so they scaled things up with London Has Fallen. However, with the franchise's upcoming third installment, things are about to get smaller than ever by pitting Gerard Butler's Mike Banning against bad guys on Air Force One. I recently sat down with Butler at the Geostorm press junket and asked him why they decided to go so small for the threequel, and he drew comparisons to Logan by explaining that they wanted to tell a more personal story for Banning. Butler said:
You know, it's fun to watch a city falling or the White House falling, and it's fun to watch it again, and you go 'what?' The joke would be, 'What's next? Tokyo?' OK. So let's take it in another direction and go inner world, and it just feels a little more surprising. It was almost like Logan was to Wolverine, is our Angel Has Fallen was to the first two.
Ever since Logan came out earlier this year, people have loved to draw comparisons to it when describing a franchise's mission to go darker and grittier. However, Gerard Butler's comments about Angel Has Fallen using the Logan template is one of the times when that makes quite a bit of sense. After demolishing London, the intention is not to repeat the same formula and destroy an even bigger city. They now want to turn the focus towards Butler's Mike Banning and let the character flex his more emotional muscles, while also kicking plenty of ass along the way.
Although Gerard Butler doesn't explicitly say in his description about where Angel Has Fallen is heading, it's hard not to think of mistakes made by the Die Hard franchise. Bruce Willis' iconic action series (which very clearly provided the DNA for Olympus Has Fallen) gradually increased its scope and scale with every subsequent entry, to the point at which all of the charm from the original Die Hard was lost. In effect, the Die Hard series arguably became a parody of itself when John McClane had to save an entire country, instead of one building. By contrast, Butler seems well-aware that the Has Fallen universe cannot keep getting bigger and bigger with each passing film, so they want to scale things back while also ramping up the emotional intensity of the story.
Check out a clip from my junket interview with Gerard Butler below to hear everything that he had to say about the overall creative direction of Angel Has Fallen.
Angel Has Fallen does not have a set release date yet, but you can catch Gerard Butler in his global warming-inspired blockbuster, Geostorm, when the disaster film debuts this weekend on October 20. As for the rest of the coming year's most prominent silver screen releases, make sure to take a look at our 2017 movie premiere guide and our 2018 movie premiere guide to see what else Hollywood has in store!