Gerard Butler returns as Mike Banning for the fourth time in Night Has Fallen.
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Gerard Butler has “fallen” quite a bit over the last few years. He’s been there when they tried to kill the President in the White House. Then he was there when they tried to kill the President in London. And finally, he was framed for when they tried to kill the President while fishing and then later in a hospital. It’s been just non-stop assassination attempts for this guy and it doesn’t look like they are going to stop anytime soon. It’s official that Butler will be back for the fourth film in the series, Night Has Fallen.
In the “… Has Fallen” franchise, Gerard Butler plays Secret Service agent Mike Banning who’s navigated his fair share of threats against the well-being of the United States and the President specifically. In Olympus Has Fallen, North Korean terrorists took hold of the White House, wiped out the entirety of the Secret Service detail. Butler had to systematically run the gauntlet to protect the Commander-in-Chief.
Then, in London Has Fallen, he and the President survived a full-city takeover and escape a terrorist plot trying to eliminate the world leaders. And finally, Angel Has Fallen saw the threat coming from our own military machine with a group of contractors working to take down the government from the inside. Luckily, Gerard Butler has been up to the task each and every time.
The franchise, while not a critical success (49%, 28%, 39% respectively on the Tomatometer) has earned more than $500 million at the box office in total on only roughly a $190 million in budget. It makes sense the studio would want to continue cranking out Gerard Butler as Mike Banning stories. They are fun, mindless films with big body counts and thin (very thin) plot lines.
Night Has Fallen will represent the fourth movie in the franchise with Gerard Butler reprising his role. Ric Roman Waugh is back directing as well after helming Angel Has Fallen. He also directed Butler in Greenland which was originally slated to hit theaters over the summer but ended up going straight to VOD because of the pandemic-related theater closings.
Besides the newly minted title, little is know about what Gerard Butler will get up to in Night Has Fallen except that it’s unlikely to be the last in the franchise. Producer Alan Siegel has signaled that the studio would continue cranking these things out for as long as they can. And it stands to reason, if the previous movies were any indication, the President is once again in grave danger with only Mike Banning there to save him/her.
We’ll have to wait and see if Morgan Freeman reprises his role as leader of the free world or if Nick Nolte is back as his wacko prepper father. But speculation does have both of these characters returning, maybe even as foils for each other in their relationships with Banning.
Look, threats against the United States, both real and existential, will never stop. And even though the Secret Service has been wiped out three times over in the previous films, they never seem to have an issue finding new recruits. Gerard Butler has always been up to the task of stopping the ne’er-do-wells and leading the troops. Night Has Fallen should be more of the same.