Some mornings you just wake up and discover that you’re back in the 1990s. That can be the only reason for White House Down, a film which disaster master Roland Emmerich is in the frame to direct.
According to Deadline the film has been compared to Die Hard because it “focuses on a paramilitary takeover of the White House”. Wasn’t something similar done in 1997 when Harrison Ford’s US President battled terrorists on Air Force One?
Sony Pictures (who also released Air Force One) paid $3 million for James Vanderbilt’s spec script. Vanderbilt has heat at the moment-he wrote David Fincher’s first rate Zodiac and tapped the key-board on Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man. He also has a pointless adaptation of David Peace’s Red Riding on the way for Ridley Scott. Red Riding has already been adapted with aplomb by Tony Grisoni a couple of years back.
White House Down can only add something new to the ‘Die Hard on a…’ genre by either being a sequel to Air Force One (it wouldn’t take much), or by being an interesting two-hander between a young-ish actor playing a CIA agent and an elder cinematic statesman playing the president. Casting for the latter shouldn’t be too difficult, maybe Kevin Costner (who turned down Air Force One!).
It’s amazing that I made it through the article without a Bill Clinton joke.