The first trailer for Roland Emmerich’s White House Down was a bit of a somber affair, not really matching the more light-hearted tone of the screenplay that I read a while back. But this new trailer definitely gives more of an indication of the feel of what I had read. It also features more of stars Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx and plenty of action and explosions.
Director Roland Emmerich blew up the white House rather memorably in 1996′s Independence Day, although that was just one small moment in the overall film. This summer, he’s going to demolish the White House again, but this time he’ll do take his time in doing so. The first trailer for his upcoming action film White House Down has hit and as you can see, it is going to cause some severe property damage to the residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Blvd. I don’t think that they’re getting their damage deposit back.
I have to admit that I am surprised that Columbia pushed the trailer out while the similarly-themed Olympus Has Fallen is still in theaters and doing good box office. Oddly enough, a number of writers have been describing Olympus Has Fallen as “Die Hard in the White House,” but having read the screenplays for both films, I can say that it is White House Down that owes far more to the seminal Bruce Willis action film than Olympus Has Fallen does. Emmerich even has star Channing Tatum in a wife-beater t-shirt like Willis’s! Watching the trailer below, though, I am a bit concerned that Emmerich may have darkened up the script’s tone, which was similar to Die Hard‘s.
1. The Croods (Dreamworks/Fox, 4,046 Theaters, 98 Minutes, Rated PG): So, like the Flintstones, only with a bigger family and as a road picture? Okay then.
Dreamworks has always been a step or two behind Pixar when it comes to their animated films. It’s not as though they haven’t had successes. Heck, at the box office, they might be way ahead when it comes to grosses. But in the quality of what they put upon the screen, they are definitely second to Pixar.
Although, I doubt even Pixar would have been able to do much with this subject. The film focuses on a prehistoric family that has to travel to new lands when their home is destroyed.
The film is co-directed by the director of Lilo & Stitch and How to Train Your Dragon, which is a good sign. . But the other co-director worked on Space Chimps, which isn’t.
2. Olympus Has Fallen (FilmDistrict, 3,098 Theaters, 120 Minutes, Rated R): And now, we come to the Die Hard knock-off. Not only that, but it’s the first of two “Die Hard in the White House” films coming this year (the other, White House Down, starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, will be along in June).
They both have similar plots too: terrorists take over the White House and it’s up to one man to save the president. What separates this one is that the one man is Gerard Butler, the president is Aaron Eckhart, and Butler’s character is a disgraced former Secret Service Agent instead of a current one.
I always find it interesting when two movies make it so far into production with such a similar premise. Of course, based on the trailers, this one seems to really be working from the Die Hard template. It will be interesting to see how different White House Down turns out to be.
3. Admission (Focus Features, 2,160 Theaters, 117 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Tina Fey is now at a crossroads of her career. 30 Rock is done, and now the question is what she will do next.
It’s not like she doesn’t have options. She is a successful author, a great comedian, and has the makings of a good film career. But will she be a movie star? Can she be a movie star?
In this film Fey plays a strict Princeton admissions officer whose world is turned upside down when she is introduced to a potential student who might be the son she gave up for adoption years earlier. The things she does might cost her job, but might garner her so much more.
Jason Clarke will be leading a terrorist attack on the Executive Mansion in the Sony’s White House Down. The actor has been signed on to the play Stentz, the leader of a group of mercenaries who bring about the titular national security crisis.
Clarke will be squaring off against Channing Tatum whose secret service character is in the White House at the time of the attack. Maggie Gyllenhaal also stars the head of the Secret Service and Jamie Foxx plays the president.
White House Down has been described as “Die Hard in the White House” and having read James Vanderbilt’s script I would concur with that description. The film is definitely a throwback to the lighter tone of action films in the late 1980s/early 90s. (See our full script review here.)
Director Roland Emmerich is hoping to get the film in front of cameras later this year as he races the similar-themed Olympus Has Fallen to theaters.
Aaron Eckhart and Angela Bassett have joined the cast of Olympus Has Fallen, the other White House-invaded-by-terrorists film that isn’t White House Down.
Echkart will portray the President of the United States, who, along with key members of his administration, are taken hostage by a group led by a rouge North Korean spy. Bassett will be playing Secret Service director Lynne Jacobs, the boss of the agent who sets out to rescue the president to be played by Gerard Butler.
Olympus Has Fallen will get in front of cameras next with Antoine Fuqua directing. This is the harder-edged of the two White House-attacked films currently getting underway. The other, White House Down, is more of a throwback to the tone of high concept action films of the late 1980s/early 90s.
Jamie Foxx and Maggie Gyllenhaal are in negotiations to join the terrorists-take-over-the-White House action flick White House Down. Foxx is up for the role of James Sawyer, the Obama-esque President of the United States, the target of the terrorists attack. Gyllenhall will be playing Agent Carol Finnerty, the head of the President’s Secret Service detail.
Currently, Channing Tatum is set to play John Cale, the Secret Service agent in the White House when it comes under attack.
Both Foxx and Gyllenhaal are both solid actors, certainly higher on the scale than I would put lead Tatum. And having read James Vanderbilt’s initial screenplay draft for this project, they are really good choices. Now let’s see who director Roland Emmerich is going to cast for some of the supporting characters and villains.
As is the case every year, lots of news flows out of the Cannes Film Festival, and there is one piece in particular that caught my eye this morning more for something it states that goes unremarked upon.
IndieWire is carrying a notice about a $100 million co-financing deal between Millennium Films and an outfit called West Coast Film Partners. The first project that will benefit from this collaboration according to the story is director Antoine Fuqua’s thriller White House Taken.
Now, we’ve been following the development of a pair of White House-invaded-by-terrorists films for a while, and while the project over at Sony is called White House Down, the Fuqua project at Millennium up until now has been referred to as Olympus Has Fallen, a reference to a secret service code used in the film to indicate that the Executive Mansion is in the hands of terrorists. Could it be that someone at IndieWire crossed a mental wire and reported the wrong name for the project? If so, they would have had to do so three times – Once in the headline and twice in the body of their story.
More likely is that Millennium has indeed changed the name of their project, probably hoping to avoid having potential ticket buyers think that Olympus Has Fallen is some sort of Clash Of The Titans sequel. And since we saw how movie goers stayed away from a real sequel to that film, I suppose we can’t blame them for that line of thinking.
Unfortunately, this name change will only lead to another form of confusion with its similarity to the Roland Emerich-directed project being prepped at Sony. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony were to raise a fuss about it. Granted, Millennium was first to announce a White House invasion thriller project, beating Sony to the punch by several weeks. But Sony’s project, with a script by James Vanderbilt (which I quite enjoyed) and Channing Tatum in contention to star, was the first to use “White House” in the title. I expect that as both projects further progress, someone is going to blink and change their name. And I suspect that it will be Millennium.
Channing Tatum may be saving the President of the United States and the White House. The 21 Jump Street actor is currently in negotiations with Columbia to headline their action-thriller White House Down. Tatum will star as a Secret Service agent who finds himself trying to protect the President during a terrorist attack on the White House.
The studio and director Roland Emmerich are in a race to get the project to the screen before Mellinium’s similarly-themed terrrorists-attack-the-White House film Olympus Has Fallen, which currently has Gerard Butler and Antoine Fuqua attached to star and direct.
Now, the draft of James Vanderbilt’s script that I’ve read had a tone that recalls the original Die Hard and that leads me to ask, “Is Channing Tatum really the guy for this role?” Now I have to admit that I missed Tatum’s last movie, 21 Jump Street, which may just be the best indicator if he can handle the role. Hopefully he has the chops for the project.
Roland Emmerich, the director who blew up the White House in 1996′s Independence Day, may be taking another stab at causing mayhem at the famous home at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Deadline is reporting that Emmerich is in negotiations to helm White House Down for Sony.
Described as “Die Hard in the White House,” the spec script by the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man screenwriter James Vanderbilt was purchased by the studio last week for a record sum of $3 million. If that record purchase price didn’t mark this project as one to keep an eye on, the quick hiring of Emmerich for the director’s chair shows that the studio is intent on fast tracking this project. Deadline is also reporting that the studio wants to have the film in front of cameras by the fall, which would push production on Emmerich’s planned science-fiction film Singularity into 2013.
This is the second White House-related action project to be announced in the last couple of weeks. Millennium Films recently announced that they have attached Gerard Butler to a White House related action film titled Olympus Has Fallen.
Sony just has purchased a spec script titled White House Down from Jamie Vanderbilt. The studio is rumored to be paying the princely sum of $3 million, which could make it the biggest spec sale on record. Vanderbilt is the chief author of Sony’s Spider-Man reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man as well as their remake of Total Recall. He also has just finished a production rewrite on the upcoming Robocop remake for MGM. No director is attached to the project yet.
This is the second White House-related action project to be announced in the last couple of weeks. Millennium Films recently announced that they have attached Gerard Butler to a White House related action film titled Olympus Has Fallen. Depending on whether both of these get made, we could be seeing another concept showdown at the box office similar to the summer that both Armageddon and Deep Impact graced screens within weeks of each other or how movie goers will have their choice of two different Snow White films this year.