Talk about accidental synergy.
In Gerard Butler’s upcoming White House-in-peril thriller “Olympus Has Fallen” (a sort of precursor to this summer’s Channing Tatum action vehicle “White House Down”), the “300” star plays a recently-demoted Secret Service agent who must rescue the President from a group of North Korean terrorists after he’s trapped, “Die Hard”-style, in the executive mansion following an invasion. While not exactly “ripped-from-the-headlines,” it’s a concept that echoes current fears of an attack by the Communist nation, stoked by North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s recent threats to strike the U.S. mainland with nuclear warheads.
“It just makes it all the more relevant,” Butler told HitFix reporter Josh Lasser at the film’s recent junket. “Our movie is not actually about North Korean bad guys. It’s about a group of terrorists who are not the government. They’re a terrorist faction who come in and they have a very personal vendetta. And North Koreans are just maneuvering the same as the South Koreans and the Chinese and the Russians. They’re all involved in the fallout of what happens here. You make a movie based on the current global situation, based on tensions that are going on there now. So this is why it was relevant. It was relevant then, and today – I don’t know whether to say fortunately or unfortunately – but it’s way more relevant now.”
Echoed director Antoine Fuqua: “I mean that’s what movies are, right? It’s a bit of a reflection of life…that’s what we would do. We record, we translate, and sometimes if we’re lucky, we’re right at the pulse of what’s happening in the world today. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think that, you know, 10, 15, 20 years from now, 30 years from now, you look back at the world, where were we at that time? This movie becomes relevant to that time.”
Not only that, but it has the potential to strike a visceral chord with audiences.
“The reaction has been very powerful in screenings,” said Butler. “Because it’s very close to our hearts. You know, if we made a movie about Spanish terrorists, nobody would give a shit. [They’d] be like, ‘What? Why do I care about that?’ But they care about this.”
Curious to see what else Butler and Fuqua had to say? Click on the video above to watch the full interview.
“Olympus Has Fallen” hits theaters this Friday.