Olympus Has Fallen Explodes On the Big Screen

By: Sarah Beackley

Staff Writer

March 29, 2013


Last Friday marked the release of Olympus Has Fallen, a brilliant and breathtaking cinematic presentation of what a terrorist attack on the White House might look like. Mike Banning (Gerald Butler) is now a former presidential guard after a fall from grace involving a fatal car accident involving the first lady (played by Ashley Judd). Eighteen months later, the formalities of his position no longer matter when he must use his inside knowledge to work with national security and save President Asher (Aaron Eckhart) from kidnappers.

July 5th at 7pm in the White House is supposed to be a quiet, yet important evening involving a meeting with leaders in South Korea to negotiate military assistance overseas. North Korean terrorists pose as part of the peaceful South Korean citizens, make their way into the White House, and take over. The entire city of Washington D.C. is bombarded with air fire, grenades, bullets from every direction and machine gun fire falling like rain. The death toll is steadily increasing inside and outside and the President and his team are being held hostage while the North Korean leader gains access codes that can detonate enough missiles to wipe out the entire United States. Mike Banning must communicate with Speaker Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) and the Secret Service Director (Angela Bassett) to get the President to safety. On top of that, he had better watch his back as former coworker and friend Forbes (Dylan McDermott) is now a traitor and working with the enemy.

While the setting is Washington D.C., the actual filming locations included Bossier City, Louisiana. A full size replica of the White House was created for the filming of Olympus Has Fallen, down to the smallest details. Because much of the ground attacks with guns occurred in and around the White House and several filming sequences with helicopters and nuclear weapons took place on the roof, the roof was actually a separate set a few blocks away from the rest of the replica. Location finders had to wait quite a while to find a place for filming as the research for the script took years. After all the pre-production work put in, the main attack was jam packed into less than fifteen minutes. This movie was filmed on Texas St. and Common St. in Bossier City, which sits along the east side of the Red River with attractions such as the Ark La Tex Mardi Gras Museum. The secondary filming location was nearby in Shreveport, LA, home to Shehee Stadium. Famous for their riverboat casinos, this film brought a big boost to the area’s filming industry. An action packed, suspenseful thriller, the movie leaves you wondering what the real danger of such a massive attack could be, but everyone involved in creating this production agree not to worry; our secret service has everything under control.

Olympus Has Fallen Fun Facts: The part of Secret Service Director Lynn Jacobs was originally written for a man, but director Antoine Fugua persuaded Angela Bassett to audition and the part was re-written for a female role.
Gerald Butler was not seriously hurt in filming, but he did manage to break a few small bones in his neck, making the remainder of filming painful for him.
Opening weekend was great for this epic and powerful film, grossing $30,373,794 at the box office.

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