Because movies need dramatic showdowns and one can only squeeze so many dramatic showdowns into a movie, the trend of dueling Hollywood studio projects exists in order to create meta-dramatic showdowns and Sony has now figuratively cocked its Channing Tatum gun.
The Hollywood Reporter reports with far less suggestive imagery that Channing Tatum is now currently in talks to star in Roland Emmerich’s White House Down, which follows a secret service agent who “must save the president when 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is taken over by paramilitary group.” This was last year’s biggest spec script sale, earning Amazing Spider-man writer James Vanderbilt 3 million dollars.
This casting development seems to put the film on equal footing now with its primary competition: Millenium’s Olympus Has Fallen. That more pretentiously titled pic has Gerard Butler attached and Training Day director Antoine Fuqua “circling” the project, which easily prompts the metaphor that the “Die Hard at 1600 Penn” idea is already a dead bloated carcass ready to be picked at by scavengers. But only cynical terrorists would think such a thing.
At the moment, both projects sound far more similar than this year’s two Snow White interpretations and it’s hard to know which one will hit theaters first, but by using the most reliable gauge for box office success–the lead actor’s abs–White House Down seems to be the more promising project.