Gerard Butler has managed to carve out a career playing gruff and violent action heroes in genre B-movie films like Den of Thieves and the Olympus Has Fallen series. The latter just released its third successful installment, Angel Has Fallen, last year; speaking with EW in a recent interview, Butler and director Ric Roman openly stated that the next Fallen film is in the planning stages. As Butler teased, "Yeah, I think you will be seeing another. We're toying away with another really fantastic idea that we're working on at the moment that obviously we can't say too much about."
The Fallen franchise has been a surprisingly successful one - the type of relic testosterone action film throwback that many don't think can still carve out a place in the market. All three chapters (Olympus Has Fallen, London Has Fallen, Angel Has Fallen) were made for under $100 million, and have actually gone down in budget with every new installment - a rarity in the action movie business. In terms of profit, the first two films made $170 million and $200+ million, respectively. Even though Angel Has Fallen made less ($147 million), it had the smallest budget in the franchise (just $40 million), so it still made enough profit to warrant a sequel.
As for the question of why to continue the series? Gerard Butler actually shared some thoughts on that, revealing that he thinks current events have set the stage for his Secret Service character Mike Banning to make a much-needed return: "I think with everything going on, we need him. He needs to come back."
In case you haven't dipped a toe into this franchise, the Fallen series follows Mike Banning (Butler), a former elite army agent who joined the Secret Service but ended up on desk duty after an accident that killed the First Lady. In the first film, Banning gets trapped in the White House with the President (Aaron Eckhart) during a terrorist attack; in the second film, Banning (now back on the president's personal guard) once again has to save the President from a massive assassination attempt, while on a visit to the UK. In the third film, Banning gets promoted to head of Secret Service - only to get framed for attempted murder of the president, forcing him to go on the run.
Angel Has Fallen ended with Banning clearing his name, once again saving the president, getting that director of Secret Service job, and reuniting with his estranged vet father (Nick Nolte). In fact, a hilarious post-credits scene for Angel Has Fallen showed Banning and his dad going for a sensory deprevation session, to help resolve their respective issues - it didn't go well.
With everything the Banning family has gone through, it wouldn't be a surprise if the next Fallen film made them the direct targets of the villains.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.