Upcoming action sequel London Has Fallen might not have as grandiose-sounding a title as its predecessor, Olympus Has Fallen, but it does have cast members Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman and Aaron Eckhart returning to reprise their roles as a Secret Service agent, Speaker of the House and President of the United States, respectively. Although Olympus Has Fallen didn’t quite outperform its thematic twin, White House Down, at the box office, its lower production budget makes it the bigger financial success of the two films.
It wasn’t long before Millennium Films green lit a sequel and set the production plans in motion, with Fredrik Bond boarding the project as director and screenwriters Katrin Benedikt and Creighton Rothenberger returning to pen the script. Everything was going smoothly, with production set to begin at the end of October, but now London Has Fallen has… well, not fallen, but at the very least been shaken up.
THR reports that Bond, who joined the production just last month, has now left London Has Fallen due to creative differences. Bond comes from a commercials background and made his feature directorial debut last year with indie romance thriller Charlie Countryman, which starred Shia LaBeouf in the title role. According to one of THR‘s sources, Bond’s decision to quit London Has Fallen may have been due to the film’s accelerated production schedule and lack of prep time.
It’s not the biggest director disaster in recent memory (Natalie Portman-produced period drama Jane Got a Gun infamously lost its director on the first day of filming and was troubled by numerous casting changes), but it’s also not exactly ideal for London Has Fallen to be left without a director just six weeks before filming is supposed to begin. That said, Charlie Countryman was slated pretty heavily by critics, so Bond’s departure might be for the best.
THR‘s sources say that Millennium is looking at other possible candidates now and hopes to find a replacement within the next 72 hours. Olympus Has Fallen director Antoine Fuqua is already committed to boxing drama Southpaw and a remake of The Magnificent Seven, starring Denzel Washington, which means that he’ll probably be too busy for this sequel. What Millennium really needs right now is a filmmaker who’ll be able to put together their own vision for the movie within a very short space of time.
There’s not really any chance of rescheduling either, since the release date for London Has Fallen is set for October next year. The filming schedule has already been split to accommodate Gerard Butler’s commitment to sci-fi action movie Geostorm, and any delays in shooting would result in an uncomfortably limited post-production window. We expect to bring you news of a new director for London Has Fallen by the beginning of next week.
London Has Fallen will arrive in theaters on October 2nd, 2015.