Robert Downey Jr. is apparently a big fan of “Olympus Has Fallen,” the Antoine Fuqua-directed 2013 action movie starring Gerard Butler as a secret service agent who fights terrorists in the White House and saves the president, played by Aaron Eckhart. The film, also starring Morgan Freeman, grossed $170 million worldwide and launched a franchise for Butler with 2016’s “London Has Fallen” and 2018’s “Angel Has Fallen.” While the “Has Fallen” franchise is a far cry from Downey Jr.’s action-driven Marvel movies, the actor apparently loves them so much that he personally contacted Butler.
“Robert Downey Jr. wrote me the nicest email after ‘Olympus Has Fallen,’” Butler recently told Uproxx. “He’s like, ‘We need more of these movies.’ These are the movies, when I was in New York as a kid, and people would shout at the screen and throw things and be like, ‘No!,’ and applaud and cheer… They’re fun. There are reasons that they’ve survived. There are reasons that audiences come out. It’s like you say, it’s a throwback to the ’90s movies where you’re just like, ‘Come on!’”
More from Variety
Butler said his latest action effort, “Plane,” has a similar vibe to the “Has Fallen” franchise that Downey Jr. loves so much. In “Plane,” Butler stars as a commercial pilot who must protect his passengers when his aircraft crash lands in a remote area in the Philippines ruled by anti-government militias.
“It’s a throwback where literally you’re in the energy of the group, and everybody’s either terrified or cheering you on,” Butler said of the film. “The movie is it has a lot of elements in it. It’s a drama, it’s an action movie, there’s survival elements, it’s a disaster movie.”
Variety film critic Owen Gleiberman gave “Plane” a favorable review, calling it a “high-flying action movie that’s as sturdy as Gerard Butler.” The review adds, “‘Plane’ is fodder, but the picture brazens through its own implausibilities, carried along — and occasionally aloft — by Gerard Butler’s squinty dynamo resolve.”
“Plane” opens in theaters Jan. 16 from Lionsgate.
Best of Variety