Olympus Has Fallen (2013) Poster


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Putting North Korean terrorists in the plot was widely viewed as prescient when real-world tensions between North Korea and the USA emerged in 2013. In an interview, director Antoine Fuqua said he did not want the film's villains to be from the Middle East because he felt other films had covered that, to the point of saturation. North Korea was interesting to him because it was completely closed off to the outside world, and no one really knew what it wanted or was capable of doing.
This was one of two movies released to cinemas in 2013 with the same premise, which is the garrisoning of the White House by criminals who hold the President hostage. The other was White House Down (2013).
One trailer, used in TV ads, included Emergency Alert System tones. They are used to alert TV viewers about real-life emergencies; using them outside of emergency broadcasts or tests violates federal law. In 2014, the FCC fined ESPN, Viacom, and NBC Universal $1.93 million for broadcasting Emergency Alert System tones in non-emergency broadcasts.
Morgan Freeman was filming the crisis room scenes in Louisiana at the height of his Internet death hoax. He began each day of filming by serenading the extras with old jazz songs, and endeared himself to the unsuspecting crew with pranks.
Cerberus, or Hellhound, is the three-headed dog that guards the gates of the Underworld in Greek mythology. It keeps those who have died from escaping across the river Styx.
While filming the White House tourist scenes in Louisiana, the weather was so hot that the Humane Society representative insisted that the German Shepherds playing K-9 watchdogs stay in an air-conditioned van between shoots.
When the U.S. flag is thrown from the top of the White House, it can be seen falling upside down. The flag flying upside down is a sign of distress.
Gerard Butler was once in consideration to star as CIA operative Mitch Rapp in a proposed film adaptation of Vince Flynn's novels. One's plot is very similar to this film; terrorists seize control of the White House, and Rapp must get to the President in his bunker before the terrorists do.
Angela Bassett only took her part because she always wanted to work alongside Morgan Freeman.
For her more physically demanding scenes, Melissa Leo did step-ups on an apple box in between takes, to keep her heart-rate up. She also wore a brown wig, because she needed to keep her hair long while shooting Treme (2010).
In the special features, it mentions that the attack on the White House was planned by former Secret Service agents who were asked how they would attack it if they had to.
The role of the Secret Service director was originally written for a man. Antoine Fuqua persuaded Angela Bassett to audition, then had the role re-written for a woman.
Ironically, Rick Yune, who plays the lead terrorist, was born in Washington D.C.
This is the second time Dylan McDermott has played a Secret Service Agent. He also played a similar role in In the Line of Fire (1993) with Clint Eastwood.
Aaron Eckhart (the President) and Morgan Freeman (the Speaker) both played Batman allies in The Dark Knight (2008).
This is the fourth film in which Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd have appeared in together, but this is the first time that their characters do not share any screen time together. The first three films they worked together in were: Kiss the Girls (1997), High Crimes (2002) and Dolphin Tale (2011).
Winona Ryder was the studio's first choice to play the First Lady.
The intruding aircraft is a modified Lockheed AC-130, itself a modified C-130 Hercules. In the movie, the plane has two GE M134 miniguns on each side. In real life, the aircraft only has air-to-ground armament on the left side to provide close air support to ground troops, among other high-risk tasks.
Hamish MacDonald is a real Australian news reporter who was, at the time, working for Channel 10, based in Sydney, Australia. He is now based in London as a Foreign Correspondent for ABC News America.
The interceptor planes are Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor jets designed for air superiority and intercept roles.
Dylan McDermott and Angela Bassett have both starred on the hit TV show American Horror Story (2011).
Although they do not share any screen time, the film stars Radha Mitchell and Cole Hauser, who played leading roles in the science-fiction horror movie Pitch Black (2000).
The typeface used for the word "Olympus" in the poster is the same as that of the logo of company "Olympus," manufacturer of optics.
Dylan McDermott and Robert Forster appeared together in Automata (2014).
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The opening theme-song is the same as in Air Force One (1997). However it has been edited to sound more 2013-like.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Body Count: 168.
When Speaker Trumbull tells Mike he has thirty minutes left, there is actually thirty minutes left in the movie at that point.
After the attack on the White House and kidnapping of the President and Vice President, Speaker Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) becomes Acting President of the United States. Freeman previously played the President of United States in Deep Impact (1998).
Whether it's coincidence or homage, Olympus Has Fallen contains a few allusions to the movie Die Hard (1988): The traitor who leads the North Koreans to the White House is ex-secret service agent Davey Forbes. Die Hard villain Hans Gruber mentions to Mr. Takagi that he read an article about his company's wealth on Forbes. In Olympus, the scene where Forbes finds Banning & casually smokes a cigarette before trying to kill him is similar to a Die Hard scene where McClane finds Hans in a storage area and has a cigarette with him before Hans tries to kill him. Also Banning plays a cat and mouse game with Kang in Olympus via radio, just like McClane plays a cat and mouse game with Hans in Die Hard via walkie talkie.

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