night has fallen

Mike Banning is about to be called upon to save the world…again.

Gerard Butler has signed on to reprise his role in Night Has Fallen, the upcoming fourth entry in the successful Has Fallen action film franchise. Ric Roman Waugh, who directed last year’s Angel Has Fallen, will be back in the director’s chair for this sequel.

The Hollywood Reporter says Butler is back to star in Night Has Fallen, which, unfortunately, does not have any plot details listed yet. But we know it will star Butler’s Mike Banning, the former Army Ranger-turned-Secret-Service-agent who has protected multiple fictional presidents and prevented wars on a massive scale. Angel Has Fallen ended with Banning becoming the Director of the Secret Service and reconciling with his father, played by Nick Nolte, so expect Nolte to appear in this one. And don’t forget about franchise mainstay Morgan Freeman – he’ll likely be back, too.

Millennium Media is introducing the movie at this year’s virtual American Film Market in an attempt to find a distributor. FilmDistrict distributed the first movie, Focus Features handled the second, and Lionsgate took the third.

Personally, when it came to 2013’s inexplicable duel of two “Die Hard in the White House” concepts, I preferred Olympus Has Fallen to White House Down. I was sort of bowled over by the almost gleeful level of violence on display – Butler stabbing a guy in the head with a giant knife was a particularly memorable moment that has stayed with me and makes me sort of chuckle in disbelief when I think about it. Since then, this franchise has just leaned further into over-the-top depictions of geopolitics and acts of terror, ramping up the ridiculousness and ruffling some feathers in the process.

Waugh, a former stunt performer on films like Road House, Total Recall, Universal Soldier, Gone in 60 Seconds, and more, made the proper transition to directing with 2001’s In the Shadows. Since then, he’s directed films like Felon, Snitch, Shot Caller, and the Gerard Butler disaster movie Greenland, which skipped theaters and landed on VOD last month. He directed Angel Has Fallen, which was better liked than London Has Fallen but still not as appreciated as Olympus Has Fallen. Perhaps Night Has Fallen will restore the franchise to its former glory, or maybe even overtake it.

Screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen, who worked on Angel Has Fallen and previously wrote films like The Karate Kid, The Fifth Element, The Transporter, and Taken, is back to write the screenplay for this sequel. And this probably won’t be the last we see of Butler’s Mike Banning: there are two more movies envisioned in the grand plan, along with potential spin-offs and TV shows to boot.

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