Gerard Butler is a bit like the Scottish Nicolas Cage; if there’s a script, he’s in. I don’t say this to be completely disparaging to King Leonidas, either. I actually like him as an actor, and I really enjoyed “300” and “Olympus Has Fallen.” The “Die Hard in the White House” with a gleefully violent and outlandish premise made for a terrific action flick. Despite my enjoyment, there was never a part of me that wanted more. Definitely not three more sequels. But here we are, on the heels of an announcement that another installment, “Night Has Fallen” is in the works.
Butler is set to reprise his role as the superhuman Secret Service agent Mike Banning, with “Angel has Fallen” director Ric Roman Waugh returning as well. Though no plot details have been revealed yet, the script will be penned by returning screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen, and will likely seen the returns of Nick Nolte and President Morgan Freeman. The announcement of “Night as Fallen” is surprising enough, but there are reports that there are at least two more movies in the works, plus a rumored TV show.
I don’t believe that the “Fallen” franchise warrants this many sequels. While the first film had everything you could want in an over the top action film, the later installments began to lean a bit too heavy on patriotic messages, with “London Has Fallen” bordering on xenophobia. There is quite a bit of “‘MURICA!” sentiment that somehow wove its way into the later sequels, losing much of its original charm and appeal.
The truth is, if it makes money, it makes sequels. The franchise has taken in a global haul of about $520 million, significantly more than their respective budgets of $30-$60 million. More than likely, “Night has Fallen” will continue this trend whether we really want it to or not. So don’t be surprise if Mike Banning limps on well past his prime, and things keep falling for his to pick back up.