Patriotism was in the air following the March 18 preem at the Arclight of FilmDistrict and Millennium’s actioner “Olympus Has Fallen.” All of which caused pic’s producer Mark Gill to recall a seminal, horrific episode in America’s recent history.
“I was working for Miramax when 9/11 happened and I walked out of our building, which was six blocks away from where the towers were falling, and I watched them fall, and I watched the people jump, and it sort of seared into my memory. So when I read this script, I thought, you know, this could be what happens next if we’re not particularly careful,” Gill said at the Lure afterparty. “America needs a boost, America needs a shot in the arm.”
Pic details the terrorist takeover of the White House (Secret Service code: “Olympus”), set against a dicey political backdrop that highlights contentious relations in North and South Korea.
“You always make a movie reflecting what’s relevant in your society today,” said actor-producer Gerard Butler of the film’s real-world synchronicity. “Like, if we made a movie about Spanish terrorists, nobody would give a shit.”
To that end, helmer Antoine Fuqua said he researched extensively for the project, consulting Navy SEALs and advisors from the Secret Service to plot every inch of the movie’s faux-terrorist attack. He also built, in Shreveport, a replica of the White House, which quickly turned into a tourist attraction for locals.
“It was bizarre for me in the morning when I would show up to work, because it was like, ‘Oh, I’m going to work at the White House,’” Fuqua quipped. “But I get to blow it up.”