Some of the greatest movie franchises are trilogies. Lord of the Rings, the original Star Wars releases, and Back to the Future. When a trilogy just won’t cut it or a film franchise develops a cult following, Hollywood green lights another movie. Rambo and The Fast and The Furious franchise are perfect examples.
Now, you can add Gerard Bulter’s Mike Banning to the list. Recently, Millennium announced the fourth installment in the Fallen series Night Has Fallen.
The Series So Far
The franchise began in 2013 with Olympus Has Fallen. Mike Banning (Butler), a disgraced Secret Service Agent, thwarts a North Korean attack on the White House and the attempted assassination of the President of The United States.
In 2016, Butler reprising his role as Banning in London Has Fallen. This time, Banning and the President faced terrorists bent on revenge for a drone strike years before while attending a state funeral in London.
The most recent installment hit theaters in 2019. In Angel Has Fallen, Butler once again reprised the role of Mike Banning. Banning evaded law enforcement after being framed for an assassination attempt on the President. He eventually clears his name and becomes Director of the Secret Service at the end of the film.
The Future Of The Franchise
With no release date set, the next installment will film in various locations across Europe. With 2020 and the lockdowns in Europe limiting Hollywood’s ability to film, chances are production won’t start until 2021.
After the announcement of Night Has Fallen, the studio confirmed two more movies are in development. There are talks of a potential TV spin-off as well. This move by Millennium makes financial sense the series grossed roughly $521 million since 2013.
Where Will The Story Take Banning?
Questions remain about how this new installment will further the story of the aging Mike Banning. Many have compared Butler’s character to Matt Damon’s Bourne. While there are some similarities, the storylines are vastly different. One focuses on espionage, the other on protecting the President. It will be interesting to see how the studio handles the new installment and if they take a page out of the globe-trotting Bourne’s playbook.
In the end, will Butler hand the mantel over to a young fresh action star? Time will tell, but it is unlikely. Butler, while not an American, is about an All-American action hero as you can get. His star appeal is undeniable as he trends well with both men and women.
Ultimately Night Has Fallen will have to tackle a tough production schedule, fight a pandemic, and deal with an aging action hero. But, if anyone can do it, it will be Mike Banning’s, Gerald Butler.