Skip to main content

The Unbelievable Reason Den Of Thieves Was Able To Get Access To The Federal Reserve Bank

Gerard Butler in Den of Thieves

While we've already told you about how Den Of Thieves has been inspired by some of the greatest crime films ever set in Los Angeles, and how it will be different, there's another pretty big reason why the Gerard Butler-led heist thriller is unique. It revolves around a group of bank robbers trying to complete a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Los Angeles.

Gaining access to the actual Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Los Angeles was always going to be difficult, what with the fact that it is the home to billions upon billions of dollars. Luckily, and, quite frankly, unbelievably, though, one of the film's producers Tucker Tooley had some inside access to the building. That's because his dad actually helped to develop and design the building. Tooley recalled,

It's so funny, though. This is a little tidbit. My dad ironically happens to be the developer that developed the downtown Federal Reserve Bank in Los Angeles. So I am working on the movie and I call him and I say, 'Can we get a tour of the Fed?' And he's like, 'Sure. Of course. No problem.' We did the tour and it is unbelievable. I said to the woman, 'How much money is in there?' And she said, 'I'm not allowed to tell you.' I was like, 'Is it $100 million? A billion? $10 billion?' She was like, 'Somewhere between $20 billion and a $1 trillion. But I can't tell you how much.' It is insane. Even then we were like, 'There's no way to rob this.' And that's what this movie is about.

Co-writer and director Christian Gadegast also opened up about this experience inside the Federal Reserve Bank, admitting that simply seeing that amount of money was "pretty trippy." Gudegast recalled,

I have to tell you it is pretty surreal when you go through the actual vault. You are sitting there, and it is this football field long, 60 feet wide, two stories high, stacked full of money tubs, every single one of them packed with $30 million in cash. It's pretty trippy. Suddenly when you are in there it is like paper. It is very visually jaw dropping.

Just in case you're still in the dark about why robbing the Federal Reserve Bank is so audacious, and is so inherently cinematic, Tooley explained,

It's the bank for banks. It's the biggest holder of currency on the planet. The Los Angeles Fed and the Atlanta Fed are the two biggest bank operations, they're the most secure buildings, second to The White House, guarded by the Secret Service, totally impenetrable. In this movie we are going to show you how to rob them.

You can get a quick glimpse at how Pablo Schreiber, O'Shea Jackson, and Curtis Jackson's robbers will try to do just that, and how Gerard Butler's corrupt cop will try to stop them, by watching the trailer for Den Of Thieves below.

Den Of Thieves will be released on January 19.