Channing Tatum was recently announced for a starring role in Roland Emmerich’s (ID4, Day After Tomorrow, 2012) upcoming film ‘White House Down.’ Little is known about the film except for a short synopsis, but it does have a release date picked out already. You know, the important stuff.
The film is described as “Die Hard in the White House Scenario, a paramilitary group takeover of the White House” with Tatum playing a secret service agent. It’s basically ‘Die Hard’ in a different building, well really ‘Die Hard’ in a much smaller building. They changed the height of the building, but not in the way to make it more interesting.
The ‘Die Hard films understood the need for heightening. In the sequel instead of John McClane’s wife being a few stories above him, she was miles overhead where he could not reach her. In the third film he had to run around an entire city to save people as well as the added revenge subplot. In the fourth he ran all over the eastern seaboard attempting to save the country.
Even if you ignore ‘Die Hard’ this movie is still a huge de-heightening of another film: ‘Air Force One.’ In that film a paramilitary group doesn’t take over something as simple as the president’s house. They take over the president’s plane. Also, who is the one to save everyone including the first lady and the first kid? That’s right, it’s the fucking president himself!
If you are making an action film I’m sure it is hard to not be like ‘Die Hard’ or many other great action movies of the past few decades. But if you take a look at your script and think “how can we heighten this plot for a sequel?” and the answer is the plot of a movie that has already been produced, STOP MAKING YOUR MOVIE.