Even as Mitt Romney and Barack Obama race to win the White House, Roland Emmerich and Antoine Fuqua are competing to take it down. Both filmmakers are signed on to direct projects described as “Die Hard on Pennsylvania Avenue” — Columbia’s White House Down for Emmerich, and Millennium’s Olympus Has Fallen for Fuqua. While Fuqua’s film has had Gerard Butler attached for a couple of months now, Emmerich has just cast Channing Tatum, who’s just coming off of three films and has two more due out this year. More details after the jump.

White House Down has been set up at Columbia since the studio acquired the spec script from James Vanderbilt (Zodiac) this past March for around $3 million. Tatum is currently in negotiations to play a Secret Service agent and single parent. When a paramilitary group takes over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, it falls upon him to save the president. White House Down is coming together quickly, with a summer start planned and a November 1, 2013 release already set. Part of the reason for the hurry is, of course, Fuqua’s competing project, which was also aiming to enter production this summer the last time we checked.

Although Tatum’s been working steadily since he first broke out in Hollywood in the mid-2000s, 2012 is an unusually big year for him. In addition to 21 Jump Street, he’s also had Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire and the romantic tearjerker The Vow hit theaters in the first half of the year. And he still has two more due out this summer — Soderbergh’s Magic Mike and the action sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation, both of which open June 29. Tatum is now at work on his third collaboration with Soderbergh, The Bitter Pill, and is lined up to do Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher and possibly the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending at some point in the future. [THR]

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