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London Has Fallen

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London Has Fallen
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBabak Najafi
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Creighton Rothenberger
  • Katrin Benedikt
Based on
  • Creighton Rothenberger
  • Katrin Benedikt
Produced by
  • Gerard Butler
  • Alan Siegel
  • Mark Gill
  • John Thompson
  • Matt O'Toole
  • Les Weldon
CinematographyEd Wild
Edited by
  • Paul Martin Smith
  • Michael Duthie
Music byTrevor Morris
Distributed byFocus Features (through Gramercy Pictures)[1]
Release dates
  • March 1, 2016 (2016-03-01) (Hollywood)
  • March 4, 2016 (2016-03-04) (United States)
Running time
99 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$60 million[3][4]
Box office$205.9 million[4]

London Has Fallen is a 2016 American political action thriller film directed by Babak Najafi and written by Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, Chad St. John, and Christian Gudegast. It is the second installment in the Has Fallen film series, the sequel to Antoine Fuqua's 2013 film Olympus Has Fallen and stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, and Morgan Freeman, with Alon Moni Aboutboul, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Jackie Earle Haley, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell, Sean O'Bryan, Waleed Zuaiter, and Charlotte Riley in supporting roles. The film follows a plot to assassinate the world leaders of the G7 as they attend the British Prime Minister's funeral in London and Secret Service agent Mike Banning's efforts to protect United States President Benjamin Asher from being killed by Islamic terrorists.

Filming began in London on October 24, 2014. A Christmas break started in November with filming resuming in February 2015. The film was released by Focus Features under their recently revived Gramercy Pictures label on March 4, 2016, and grossed $205 million worldwide, with negative critical reviews for its production, special effects and action scenes.

A third film, titled Angel Has Fallen, was released on August 23, 2019.


G8 intelligence services locate Pakistani arms trafficker and terrorist mastermind Aamir Barkawi at his compound and authorize a US Air Force drone strike during his daughter's wedding, killing Barkawi's family and seemingly Barkawi himself.

Two years later, British Prime Minister James Wilson has suddenly died, and the G7 leaders prepare to attend his funeral in London. Secret Service Director Lynne Jacobs assigns Agent Mike Banning to lead U.S. President Benjamin Asher's overseas security detail, even though Banning's wife Leah is due to give birth in a few weeks. The entourage arrives via Air Force One at Stansted Airport, and Banning arranges an earlier arrival at Somerset House in London via Marine One.

As Asher's Presidential State Car arrives at St Paul's Cathedral, a large army of mercenaries led by Barkawi's son Kamran launch coordinated attacks on the city disguised as Metropolitan Police, the Queen's Guardsmen, and other first responders, killing the leaders of Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy, and France, damaging major landmarks, and generating mass panic. Asher's early arrival throws off the St. Paul's attack, and Banning returns him and Jacobs to Marine One. The terrorists destroy the helicopter's escorts with Stinger missiles, ultimately forcing a crash-landing in Hyde Park, killing Jacobs. Banning escorts Asher into the London Underground as the city's power is lost and residents shelter indoors.

In Washington, D.C., American Vice President Allan Trumbull investigates the incident with British authorities while trying to track down the President. He receives a call from Barkawi, who is still alive and operating in Sanaa. Seeking revenge for the drone strike that killed his daughter and having poisoned Wilson to lure the G7 leaders to London, Barkawi promises to broadcast Asher's execution online when Kamran captures him. Trumbull orders his staff to locate Barkawi's known terrorist operatives and find any connection to the attack, while British authorities stand down all first responders so any left in the open can be identified as terrorists. After leaving a sign to be picked up by satellite, Banning leads Asher to an MI6 safe-house, where MI6 Agent Jacquelin "Jax" Marshall briefs them. Marshall receives a voice message from Trumbull that they saw Banning's sign, and an extraction team is en route.

Security monitors display an approaching Delta Force team, but Banning realizes they have arrived too soon and are actually Barkawi's men. He fights and kills all of them and drives away with Asher, but their car is struck before they can reach the United States Embassy, and Asher is taken. Banning is rescued by an extraction team consisting of the real Delta Force and SAS, who suspect a mole in the British government.

Trumbull's staff identify a building owned by one of Barkawi's front companies, drawing massive power despite being seemingly unoccupied, and deduces it as Kamran's headquarters. Banning joins the extraction team to infiltrate the building, arriving seconds before Kamran can kill Asher on live coverage. Kamran escapes when his hacker, Sultan Mansoor, drops a grenade before being killed, forcing Banning to protect Asher from the blast. Banning and Asher escape just before the building is destroyed by the SAS squad captain using an explosive that Mike had planted earlier, killing Kamran and the remaining terrorists. Marshall helps British authorities restore London's security system and, discovering that MI5 Intelligence Chief John Lancaster is Barkawi's mole, kills him when he resists arrest. Trumbull tells Barkawi that his plan failed moments before the Air Force attacks his base with another drone strike, killing him.

Two weeks later, as London recovers, Banning is home with Leah and their newborn child Lynne, named after Jacobs. As Banning contemplates sending a resignation letter, he watches Trumbull speak on television about recent events. Inspired, Banning deletes the letter.


In addition, the MSNBC news anchor Lawrence O'Donnell appears, uncredited, as an unnamed news anchor reporting on the developments in London.



In October 2013, it was announced that Butler, Eckhart, Freeman, Bassett, Leo, Forster and Mitchell would reprise their roles from Olympus Has Fallen.[7] Production had been scheduled to begin in May 2015 in London, with Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt returning to write the script. Director Antoine Fuqua, however, did not return, due to his commitments with The Equalizer.[8] On May 1, 2014, it was announced Focus Features had acquired distribution rights to the sequel, and would release the film on October 2, 2015.[9] On August 18, 2014, it was announced that Charlie Countryman director Fredrik Bond would take over direction from Fuqua,[10] but Bond left the film on September 18, six weeks before the shooting was to begin.[11] On September 28, director Babak Najafi signed on to direct the film.[12] On October 10, Jackie Earle Haley joined the film to play Deputy Chief Mason.[13] On November 4, 2014, in a press release confirming that filming had started, it was also confirmed that Sean O'Bryan was reprising his role from the first film, while Alon Aboutboul, Charlotte Riley and Waleed Zuaiter were also in the cast.[14] On November 12, Mehdi Dehbi joined the film to play Sultan Mansoor, the youngest of three brothers whose life has been forever changed after a drone strike.[15] Scotsman Bryan Larkin, who plays SAS Commander Will Davies, joined the cast as a "posh English guy", but Najafi and Butler made an on-set decision to have him use his natural Scottish accent.[16]


Principal photography began on October 24, 2014, in London.[17] Four weeks of shooting were to take place, involving actors Freeman, Eckhart, Bassett and Melissa Leo, before a break for Christmas. Butler and Angela Bassett were seen filming in Somerset House.[18] Production also took place at Pinewood Studios.[19] Butler stated in an interview that the movie was also filmed in India and was to continue in Bulgaria.[20] Then President of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, visited the set of London Has Fallen during filming at the Boyana Film Studios in Bulgaria.[21][22] Filming lasted through April 2015.[12]


The music was composed and conducted by Trevor Morris, who provided the score for the first film.[23] The record was released on March 4, 2016, by Back Lot Music.[24] The score was recorded at Abbey Road Studios with The Chamber Orchestra of London.

London Has Fallen (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
1."London Has Fallen"1:58
2."Spotting Barkawi"2:25
3."Bourbon and Poor Choices"1:17
5."Scotland Yard"0:57
6."President Arrives in the UK"0:49
7."Motorcade / Marine One Lands"1:44
8."London Attacked"4:53
9."London Goes Dark"1:49
10."Marine One Crash"3:20
11."Jacob's Death"1:42
12."Not Much of a Talker"1:57
13."How Bad Is It?"1:03
14."I'm Not Going to Die on YouTube"9:04
15."Don't Jinx Me"4:04
16."Right Under Our Noses"3:51
17."Rescuing Asher"12:30
18."Hand Fight and Hand Grenade"1:59
19."Let's Get Outta Here"1:41
20."I Hate Funerals"1:18
23."Resignation Letter"0:50
24."End Titles / Credits"1:26
Total length:52:00


On May 20, 2015, Focus Features relaunched their Gramercy Pictures label for action, horror, and science fiction releases, with London Has Fallen being one of Gramercy's first titles.[1] The film was planned for an October 2, 2015 release; however, on June 12, 2015, it was announced that the film had been moved back to January 22, 2016, to avoid competition with The Martian, which swapped its original November 25 release date with Victor Frankenstein.[25][26] The timing of the release was criticized as "insensitive" by the Chair of the Tavistock Square Memorial Trust, Philip Nelson, as it coincided with the week of the 10th anniversary of the 7 July 2005 London bombings, in which 52 people were killed, and with the 2015 Sousse attacks, in which 30 British nationals were killed.[27] On September 16, 2015, the film's release was moved back again to March 4, 2016, because the studios needed more time to finish the film's visual effects.[28]

Home media[edit]

London Has Fallen was released on Blu-ray and DVD on June 14, 2016.


Box office[edit]

London Has Fallen grossed $62.7 million in North America and $143.2 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $205.8 million, against a budget of $60 million.[4] The film outgrossed its predecessor's total of $170 million.

In the United States and Canada, pre-release tracking suggested the film would gross $20–23 million from 3,490 theaters in its opening weekend, alongside Zootopia and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.[29] The film made $850,000 from its Thursday night previews and $7.6 million on its first day. It went on to gross $21.6 million in its opening weekend, finishing second at the box office behind Zootopia ($75 million).[30]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 28% based on 197 reviews, with an average rating of 4.10/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "London Has Fallen traps a talented cast—and all who dare to see it—in a mid-1990s basic-cable nightmare of a film loaded with xenophobia, and threadbare action-thriller clichés."[31] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 28 out of 100, based on reviews from 35 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[32] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale,[30] the same score as the first film.[33]

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club wrote: "A murky, brain-dead stab-a-thon packed with so many inane chases, laughable special effects, and mismatched stock footage shots that it begs to be made into a drinking game, London Has Fallen is one of those rare films that is good at absolutely nothing."[34] The A.V. Club later picked it as their worst film of the year.[35]


Variety described London Has Fallen as "effortlessly racist" invoking "familiar Islamophobia", a "terrorsploitation" fantasy designed to spread fear after the November 2015 Paris attacks, and "ugly, reactionary fear-mongering."[36] Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter styled it as "major world capitals destruction porn sub-genre" that feeds a "paranoia".[36]

The film has been called "extremely insensitive" by families of the victims of the 7/7 bombings after an early trailer was released ahead of the 10th anniversary of the attacks.[37]


On October 26, 2016, it was announced that a sequel titled Angel Has Fallen was in development, with Gerard Butler reprising his role, as well as once again acting as a producer on the film.[38]

On July 25, 2017, Ric Roman Waugh was announced as director for Angel Has Fallen.[39] On January 10, 2018, Holt McCallany joined the cast as Wade Jennings, an ex-military turned head of a technology company,[40] but was replaced later by Danny Huston. On January 18, 2018, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tim Blake Nelson were confirmed to appear in Angel Has Fallen. On February 13, 2018, Piper Perabo joined the cast.[41] Filming started on February 7, 2018[42] in Virginia Water Lake.[43]

The film was released on August 23, 2019.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Petski, Denise (May 20, 2015). "Focus Features Revives Gramercy Pictures Label For Genre Films". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  2. ^ "LONDON HAS FALLEN (15)". British Board of Film Classification. February 4, 2016. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  3. ^ "Box Office: 'Zootopia' to Take Down 'Deadpool' With Huge $60 Million-Plus Debut". Variety. March 2, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "London Has Fallen (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  5. ^ "Alex Giannini, 'Legend' Actor, Dies at 52". The Hollywood Reporter. October 3, 2015.
  6. ^ "Theatre world mourns Mack & Mabel actor Alex Giannini".
  7. ^ Chitwood, Adam (October 29, 2013). "Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, and Aaron Eckhart Returning for OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN Sequel LONDON HAS FALLEN". Collider. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  8. ^ Kay, Jeremy (October 29, 2012). "London Has Fallen heads to AFM". Screen Daily. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  9. ^ "Focus Features Dates 'Olympus' Sequel 'London Has Fallen' For October 2015". Deadline Hollywood. May 1, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  10. ^ Kroll, Justin (August 18, 2014). "Fredrik Bond to Direct 'Olympus Has Fallen' Sequel". Variety. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  11. ^ Kit, Borys (September 18, 2014). "'Olympus Has Fallen' Sequel Loses Its Director". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Kit, Borys (September 28, 2014). "Troubled 'Olympus Has Fallen' Sequel Finds Director". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  13. ^ Sneider, Jeff (October 10, 2014). "'Olympus Has Fallen' Sequel Lands Jackie Earle Haley As First New Cast Member". TheWrap. Retrieved October 11, 2014.
  14. ^ Goldberg, Matt (November 4, 2014). "Filming begins on London Has Fallen starring Gerard Butler; First Synopsis Revealed". Collider. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  15. ^ Yamato, Jen (November 12, 2014). "'London Has Fallen' Adds 'Tyrant' Thesp". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  16. ^ Miller, Phil (February 26, 2016). "Role in London has Fallen for Scottish actor marks first step into world of blockbusters". The Herald. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  17. ^ "First day of filming 'London Has Fallen' sequel to "Olympus Has Fallen". Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman". Nick McArdle on Instagram. October 24, 2014. Archived from the original on December 23, 2021.
  18. ^ "PICS: Gerard Butler spotted speeding down Strand in filming of action thriller". Roar News. March 8, 2015. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  19. ^ "London Has Fallen". Pinewood Studios. Retrieved June 5, 2022.
  20. ^ Haq, Nilo (March 31, 2015). "Interview with Gerard Butler in Dubai". Saudi Beauty blog. Dubai. Eye candy Gerard Butler is the new ambassador for Boss Bottled
  21. ^ "Плевнелиев: Три пъти повече филми може да се снимат у нас". btv Новините. March 24, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  22. ^ "Bulgarian President visits London Has Fallen". Gerard Butler GALS. Bulgaria. March 24, 2015. Archived from the original on April 27, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  23. ^ "Trevor Morris to Return for 'London Has Fallen'". Film Music Reporter. April 23, 2015. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  24. ^ "London Has Fallen (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". Apple. March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  25. ^ Lesnick, Silas (June 12, 2015). "London Has Fallen Has Moved to 2016". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  26. ^ "Fox Switches 'The Martian' and 'Victor Frankenstein' Release Dates". June 10, 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  27. ^ "Gerard Butler film London Has Fallen SLAMMED as 'insensitive' while promoting capital's destruction days before 7/7 bombings anniversary". July 1, 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  28. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 16, 2015). "'London Has Fallen' On A New Release Date: Gerard Butler Action Film To Open March 4, 2016". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  29. ^ "Disney Unleashed: 'Zootopia' Toon Expected To Roar Past $60M – Weekend Preview". Deadline Hollywood. March 2, 2016.
  30. ^ a b @cinemascore (March 5, 2016). "Tonights' #CinemaScore Grades for #Zootopia, #LondonHasFallen & #WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot are in! Do you agree?" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  31. ^ "London Has Fallen (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  32. ^ "London Has Fallen Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  33. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 7, 2016). "'Zootopia' $73.7M Opening Sets Record For Original Disney Toon; 'London' Raises $21.7M; 'Whiskey' Trips". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  34. ^ Vishnevetsky, Ignatiy (March 2, 2016). "Gerard Butler scowls his way through the atrocious London Has Fallen". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  35. ^ "The 20 worst films of 2016". The A.V. Club. December 15, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  36. ^ a b "London Has Fallen has been condemned as racist 'terrorsploitation' for the Trump era". The Independent. March 3, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  37. ^ Child, Ben (July 2, 2015). "London Has Fallen attacked for 'insensitivity' by 7/7 victims' trust". The Guardian. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  38. ^ Lodderhose, Diana (October 26, 2016). "Gerard Butler Heads To Millennium Films' Threequel 'Angel Has Fallen'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  39. ^ Kroll, Justin (July 25, 2017). "'Shot Caller' Director Boards 'Olympus Has Fallen' Sequel 'Angel Has Fallen'". Variety. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  40. ^ Patten, Dominic (January 10, 2018). "'Mindhunter's Holt McCallany Joins Gerard Butler In 'Angel Has Fallen'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  41. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (February 13, 2018). "Piper Perabo Boards Gerard Butler-Toplined Sequel 'Angel Has Fallen'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  42. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (January 18, 2018). "Jada Pinkett Smith, Daughter Willow & Mom Adrienne Set Facebook Talk Show: Sundance". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  43. ^ Demony, Catarina (February 27, 2018). "Angel Has Fallen filming: Preparations under way for shooting in Virginia Water as crews spotted at popular beauty spot". Get Surrey. Retrieved February 27, 2018.

External links[edit]