Gerard Butler

Gerard Butler

Because even he’s not immune to the allures of a Sun-In mullet and a half wetsuit, Gerard Butler is in serious talks to star in the long-gestating Point Break remake. Vaya con dios, brah. Butler will take the Patrick Swayze role, Bodhi, the ringleader of the merry band of surfers and bank robbers who take on the disguises of former presidents to pull off their heists. While Bodhi will still be the most bitchin’ surfer slash criminal mastermind to ever grace these shores, he’ll also be some kind of alternative sports hero, as the film is now set in a new, as of yet undisclosed extreme sports world, where Bodhi “seeks nirvana through the conquest of a series of athletic feats such as surfing 100-foot waves.” Please let it be parkour. A gang of rubber-masked Ronald Reagans jumping off buildings and barrel rolling into banks with pizazz seems like almost as ridiculous a movie as its predecessor. BMX bikers? Oh! Skydivers. They could just capitulate on the skydiving scene from the original and continuously do that beautiful bonding thing where they come together in a circle, as one. As bros.

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whitehousetruth-1

If there’s anything that people can take from the films of 2013 – aside from the potential danger of living in big cities prone to being crushed by aliens, super villains, the undead, and whatnot – it’s that it’s hella easy to storm the White House and take the President hostage. After all, this happened not once (as seen in Olympus Has Fallen), but twice (as seen by fewer people in White House Down) at the multiplex. While White House Down (which had a decent run at the international box office) was a bit of a flop here in the states, Olympus Has Fallen was seen as a springtime hit. Now, Hollywood is already prepping a sequel, recently announced as London Has Fallen (which makes little sense, but I suppose 10 Downing Street Has Fallen just doesn’t have the same ring to it). This got us thinking: Could terrorists really take over the White House like they did in these movies?

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news london has fallen

When it comes to sequels, bigger is usually better, but one of this year’s “White House gets partially exploded” films is getting a sequel that appears to have skipped over this golden rule when it comes to its title. The follow-up to Olympus Has Fallen will be called London Has Fallen. Now, London might be far smaller and less majestically-Greek than Olympus, but the sequel’s title does come with a distinct advantage. The words “Olympus Has Fallen“ have a tenuous connection at best with the idea of terrorists placing bombs in the White House and cackling maniacally whereas London Has Fallen is probably a far better description of what will happen in the actual film. But it seems so much vague titling didn’t stop Olympus Has Fallen from raking in heaps of cash at the box office, enough to both greenlight a sequel and bring all the same stars on board for round two. Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, and Radha Mitchell have all been confirmed (by ScreenDaily) to return, but director Antoine Fuqua will apparently be passing the head-shot baton to an as-of-yet undeclared replacement. The story will see Messrs. Butler, Eckhart, and Freeman attending the funeral of the British Prime Minister when a band of terrorists begin running amok in London, forcing the trio to spring into action and and perform daring acts of bad guy-shooting. London Has Fallen will begin filming in London on May 5, 2014.

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bluntdance

What is Casting Couch? It’s tying a nice bow on this work week with casting news concerning lovely ladies like Michelle Yeoh, Olga Kurylenko, and Chloe Moretz. Oh yeah, and there’s some stuff about some dudes in there too. The upcoming adaptation of the Steven Sondheim musical Into the Woods that Rob Marshall has been putting together for Disney hasn’t been too secretive about its casting process. James Corden is rumored to be on board as the film’s lead, the Baker, we know for sure that mega-stars Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep are signed for sizzle roles as the wolf and the witch, and we even recently learned that Chris Pine and Jake Gyllenhaal are close to landing the roles of a couple of bumbling princes. But the one key ingredient that’s always been missing is who’s going to play the female lead, the Baker’s wife. Until now. Variety is reporting that Emily Blunt is finalizing a deal to take the role, and —oh man—does that super-talented angel coming on board instantly make this movie that much more appealing or what? The Wrap has a report that the delightful Christine Baranski may soon be getting an offer to join as well, but let’s take these things one step at a time.

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Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 12.35.52 AM

Unlike a lot of actors, Aaron Eckhart maintains a great balance of starring in indies and blockbusters – muse to Neil LaBute, he appeared in his films In the Company of Men and Your Friends and Neighbors as well as starring as Harvey “Two Face” Dent in Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster The Dark Knight. He also has a chin dimple that rivals Cary Grant’s, which can never be a bad thing. For his latest film, Olympus Has Fallen (directed by Antoine Fuqua), Eckhart gets back into blockbuster mode as the recently widowed President Asher, who is held hostage in the White House by a terrorist group. While his former Secret Service Agent/boxing buddy Mike (Gerard Butler) infiltrates the White House in hopes of saving the day, the President never backs down, even while being held hostage. Eckhart talked with us about his everyman approach to playing the President, the fallout of his character in The Dark Knight, potential upcoming collaborations with LaBute, and a possible name for his autobiography.

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Gerard Butler has rocked out to Andrew Lloyd Weber jams in The Phantom of the Opera. He had movie audiences screaming “This is Sparta!” And he’s also played his fair share of romantic comedy leads. Though Butler tests his boundaries in his latest film Olympus Has Fallen, both producing the film and starring as Mike Banning, a former Secret Service Agent who pretty much single-handedly takes on a group of terrorists who have hijacked the White House. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), Olympus Has Fallen chronicles Mike’s journey as he makes the choice of saving the President of the United States (Aaron Eckhart) instead of the First Lady (Ashley Judd) when they get into a car crash one snowy evening. Six months later, Mike is no longer in the Secret Service, but he finds himself back in action when the White House is taken over, and he seems to be the only man to take care of business. Butler sat down with us to chat about the extensive research that he put into the film, as well as whether or not he would try his hand at starring in another musical, and what it was like to tackle Shakespeare in Coriolanus.

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review olympus has fallen

What if I told you that the new Gerard Butler film is like ‘Die Hard in the White House’ in more than just a generic ‘Die Hard in/on/at a…’ kind of way? Or that it features the highest, bloodiest, most ridiculous onscreen body count in an action film since Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo? Or that it’s the most purely entertaining film of Butler’s career? Or that the damn thing is a ton of fun? It’s all true… but none of it means there aren’t some incredibly unfortunate elements in Olympus Has Fallen too. Mike Banning (Butler) is head of the president’s (Aaron Eckhart) secret service protection detail, but an accident resulting in lost lives sees him reassigned to a desk job down the street at the U.S. Treasury building. When dozens of well-armed and highly organized North Korean terrorists attack the White House 18 months later the formerly disgraced agent becomes the president’s, and America’s, greatest hope. (Good thing they don’t know he’s actually Scottish.)

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Olympus Has Fallen

Although Olympus Has Fallen foolishly begins with Aaron Eckhart playing the president, it eventually rights this wrong by replacing him with Morgan Freeman, the true ruler of this great nation. All it takes is a terrorist takeover of the White House. Luckily, we have Gerard Butler on the inside and presidential succession on the outside to ensure that the bad guys won’t win. This one from Antoine Fuqua is the first of two “White House being taken over while a secret service agent is the only hope” movies we’ll see this year. It hits in March, and Roland Emmerich’s version, White House Down, hits in June. Hopefully we’ll get a trailer for that soon so we can compare, but check out the aggressively average look at Olympus for now:

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Playing for Keeps

The romantic comedy genre is a very forgiving place for performers and filmmakers. Rom-coms are relatively cheap to produce, and like horror films (which are far cheaper) they usually get a guaranteed audience on opening weekend, so it’s not uncommon to see actors and actresses on the downward slide in Hollywood find a home there. (The reverse works too, with actors on the rise getting a bump from a successful but otherwise low-key rom-coms.) The point is it’s always interesting to see who turns up in a romantic comedy that hits theaters with no expectations. George (Gerard Butler) was a big time soccer (the football kind) player once upon a time, but an ankle injury saw an end to his career and his stardom. His family also fell by the wayside at some point, but now he’s moved to the same town as his wife Stacie (Jessica Biel) and son Lewis (Noah Lomax) in the hopes of reconnecting with them both. He’s working towards a sportscasting career but takes a gig coaching Lewis’ soccer team while he waits for a call from ESPN. George tries to rekindle a life with his wife and son, but his recurring reckless behavior, the horn-dog soccer moms and Stacie’s Baxter of a fiance (James Tupper) may just derail his dream.

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What is Casting Couch? It’s where Hollywood moms come every day to find out if their actor kids have gotten a job. Remember that movie about the day JFK got shot that Tom Hanks was putting together because these days he’s such a history loving, lame dad? It’s called Parkland, and it just put together an awesome cast. According to Collider, director Vincent Bugliosi has signed the terrific trio of Paul Giamatti, Jackie Weaver, and Billy Boy Thornton to headline the cast. There’s no word on what characters they’ll be playing, but my guess is Giamatti will be JFK, Thornton will be Jackie O, and Weaver will be Lee Harvey Oswald. Makes sense, no?

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Gerard Butler

A few years back, Greg Silverman at Warners offered emerging screenwriter Chad St. John the job of writing a revenge movie that didn’t have any dialogue in it. St. John was up to the challenge, and he returned with an impressive screenplay that had less than a dozen lines of spoken words in just over 70 pages – most of which come right at the end. It’s been on the Black List since 2009, but even after going through a difficult menu of leading men (before landing on Gerard Butler), the film was set to actually happen soon. According to Deadline Hollywood, that’s no longer the case. Production has shut down, and the crew was told to go home. Apparently the independent production houses in charge – Envision Entertainment, Foresight Entertainment, and Emmet/Furla Films – could not meet the Warner Bros. imposed (via Dark Castle) drop-dead delivery date of March 31, 2013, as it would have meant only having 12 weeks of post-production. Without the domestic release, the foreign distribution was in question, and the film was unable to secure a bond. So that’s the ball game. It’s definitely an ambitious concept, so it’s even more of a shame that it got this close to rolling only to send the cameras back. With any hope, they’ll be able to regroup, work out a new schedule, and make this happen.

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Adrien Brody

Let’s take this moment to recount the many actors who have been attached to star in Albert Hughes‘ Motor City. First, Dominic Cooper was set as the lead, then he left and Jake Gyllenhaal looked poised to step in, and then ol’ Gylley left and Gerard Butler swooped in for the role. Along the way, other names like Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner were mentioned for the lead, and even Mickey Rourke got some buzz earlier this summer when he was mentioned for an undisclosed role. Yet, despite all that upheaval, co-stars Amber Heard and Gary Oldman have managed to stay consistently attached for months. Well, scratch that. A new report from Variety passes along word that Adrien Brody is now in negotiations for the villain role that Oldman had been set to play. This, in turn, leads us to an under-reported bit (also from Variety, via The Playlist) from way back in June that notes that both Oldman and Heard had left the project. Hughes better get moving on finding a new leading lady for Butler, who will play a newly-released felon bent on revenge in the Chad St. John script, as the film is set to start shooting on September 17th in Atlanta. Motor City is expected to be released next April.

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Behind the Hollywood Sign

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the nightly movie news column that cares… We begin this evening with an image from “Behind the Hollywood Sign,” a photo project from photographer Ted VanCleave that takes you up close and personal with Hollywood’s mountain-top moniker. It’s a gorgeous set of photos by any standard, and a great look at one of the iconic markers of the film industry.

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Let’s talk about what Playing For Keeps has going for it. It has a somewhat okay director in Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness). It has a talented cast with Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman, Dennis Quaid, and Judy Greer. It has a script from the guy who wrote So I Married An Axe Murderer (that is a plus, because that film is still funny). But it’s also directed by the guy who directed Seven Pounds (schmaltz, sap, with added jellyfish). And it only imagines that Butler is capable of playing a soccer-playing lothario and that Zeta-Jones can only be a deranged maneater. And, yeah, it also comes to us with a script by the guy who has only a story by credit on, of all things, In the Army Now. Let’s take it to the trailer!

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If you thought that the last scene in Kathryn Bigelow’s legendary bank-robbing-surfers movie Point Break was the coolest presentation of big wave riding that was ever going to be put on film…well, you were probably right. But just because it was the best word doesn’t mean it has to be the last word. So now we’ve got Chasing Mavericks, a Gerard Butler- and Jonny Weston-starring film that tells the true story of how surfing legend Jay Moriarty learned to ride a board on top of ridiculously big walls of water. Like most true stories about an underdog chasing an impossible dream, Chasing Mavericks looks pretty cheesy. All of the standard tropes are there: the tenuous relationship with an initially gruff mentor, the training montage sequences, the budding romance with an energetic blonde. But, before you dismiss this movie outright and go watch The Karate Kid for the thousandth time, note that there are a couple reasons why you might want to give it a chance.

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On one side, we have Roland Emmerich, Channing Tatum, and Jamie Foxx. On the other, we have Antoine Fuqua, Gerard Butler, and Aaron Eckhart. In the middle? Similarly themed and plotted films that have (apparently) both been deemed “Die Hard in the White House.” Choose a side now or…choose one later when the films are actually made? Variety reports that Eckhart has now joined the cast of Fuqua’s film, Olympus Has Fallen in the role of President of the United States (that’s the Jamie Foxx role, for those of you still trying to keep track). Eckhart’s good locks and lantern jaw seem pretty classically presidential, which is fair enough, because Emmerich’s White House Down is obviously going for awesome, ass-kicking points with Foxx.

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True-life American military tales are gunning for a real resurgence lately – what with Ben Affleck’s Argo, Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, and the Robert Pattinson-starring Mission: Blacklist – and it looks like that means we’re not safe from a 3D take on such projects. A morning press release out of the Cannes Film Festival (oh, and heads up, get ready for a metric ton of these in the coming days) reveals that Freedom Films and Paradox Entertainment have made a deal to produce the “epic action pic Thunder Run,” based on the book “Thunder Run – The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad.” In case that title doesn’t quite clue you in on the film’s subject matter, it will detail “the untold story of the dangerous and bloody capture of Baghdad by American Forces at the onset of the Iraq War. In April 2003, three battalions and fewer than a thousand men launched a violent thrust of tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles into the heart of a city of five million, igniting a three-day blitzkrieg, which military professionals often refer to as a lightning strike, or ‘thunder run.’” Despite the fact that the film’s producers are already flashing about its 3D bent and terming it an “epic,” Thunder Run is coming at us (really, right at our faces) with a solid action pedigree. Simon West (The Expendables 2, Con Air) will direct from a script by Robert Port and Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down), who are adapting from the book […]

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Today is Mother’s Day. Don’t worry, we’ll wait while you go and pick up that last minute gift (Amazon gift cards are great at this point) and take a few moments to call your mom and tell her you love her. It’s something that I did earlier today, taking a few moments to check in with the most important lady around, my Mom. And while talking to Mom meant explaining why I don’t call so often and hearing gossip about all the family members I call even less, it also meant talking about our latest favorites in the world of film and television. Because that’s what we do, Mom and I. We talk about the shows we’re watching, she asks me about the movies she should see in theaters and I implore her to read the Game of Thrones books because they are so much better than those Sookie Stackhouse books she reads. This is my relationship with my beloved mom, we share experiences over the 1,400 mile gap between Austin, TX and Cleveland, OH. We used to do the same thing when I was a kid, and the gap was the 30 feet between my room and my parents’ bedroom. We’ve always just liked watching movies together. I’ve long held to the notion that it wasn’t comic books or anti-socialism that got me into the world of pop culture, it was my Mom. So on Mom’s day, I’d like to take a moment to celebrate her favorites in our weekly […]

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Just last week, we were hit with the cataclysmic news that Roland Emmerich was likely to return to one of his favorite cinematic pastimes – blowing the White House the eff up – in the new, amusingly titled film White House Down. Turns out, that wasn’t the only script with a vendetta against 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. bouncing around Hollywood, and Emmerich, scribe Jamie Vanderbilt, and Columbia are just going to have to man up and deal with some similar competition. THR reports that director Antoine Fuqua currently has an offer to direct Nu Image/Millennium’s Olympus Has Fallen, an action thriller that the outlet is billing as “Die Hard in the White House.” Make this film now. The film’s script was penned by newbie scribes Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt, who sold it to Millennium about a month ago. The film centers on “an unlikely Secret Service agent” (aren’t they always) who is the only man standing in the way of terrorists who have seized the Presidential residence and workspace. White House Down also centers on a White House takeover, but which film will emerge victorious?

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Albert Hughes‘s next film (sorry, Akira remake that I pray to God never happens), Motor City, has been spinning its wheels for months now, mainly because it’s been unable to hold on to a leading man. The film has had a number of hot names attached to it for its male lead – including Dominic Cooper, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jeremy Renner, and Chris Evans – but none of them has stuck, with scheduling conflicts often to blame. The film is a somewhat interesting one, a sort of standard issue revenge story that could be spiced with some stylistic flash and a solid cast, and it centers on a recently-released criminal who goes after the people who put him in the big house. With Cooper, Gyllenhaal, Renner, and Evans all of the table, Variety now reports that Gerard Butler is in negotiations with Warner Bros. and Dark Castle to star in the film. He would star alongside Amber Heard (who has managed to stay attached the film through other casting woes) and Gary Oldman (the principal villain). While he’s a bit older than Cooper and Gyllenhaal, Butler certainly has the grit and brawn to bring a revenge-set criminal to life, so let’s hope this latest casting works out.

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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C

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