Roland Emmerich movies used to be good old-fashioned fun. Stuff like “Stargate” and “Independence Day” were silly but highly entertaining. Then, in the last decade the man’s output largely turned to crap. The biggest insult critics could throw at him is that Emmerich is a poor man’s Michael Bay. Ouch. Still, I believe the guy’s got at least one or two good movies left in him. “White House Down” could be that project.
Deadline today reported that Emmerich is signed on to helm the political-flavoured action thriller. Story details are scant, but the report says that it concerns a para-military takeover of the US president’s official residence, the White House. Jamie Foxx has apparently been cast as the President, and since there actually is a black dude in the position now, this doesn’t seem like such a stretch. Still, Foxx strikes me as a bit young to play the role. They might have to age him to give him more gravitas. As for action, Foxx has shown that he can handle himself. Joining the cast are current Hollywood flavour du jour Channing Tatum, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Tatum’s star cred is on the rise after getting strong notices for “21 Jump Street”. Rumour also has it that one of the main reasons “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is being postponed to next year (3D conversion aside) is that they’re going to re-shoot Tatum’s scenes. His character Duke originally died in the first half of the movie and test audiences were not pleased. So, Tatum should bring some of that popularity to his (unspecified) role in Emmerich’s movie. As for Gyllenhaal, she’s no stranger to big budget blockbusters, having taken over from Katie Holmes in “The Dark Knight”. She’ll likely play some kind of political advisor.
“White House Down” already has a script by James Vanderbilt, the guy who wrote “Zodiac”, so chances are this won’t be a (totally) dumbed-down affair. It’s slated to premiere 1st November 2013. Guess Emmeric didn’t really believe the world would end in 2012, then.