Robert Downey Jr has been confirmed as an unexpected fan of Olympus Has Fallen by Gerard Butler, and he should join the franchise as the next villain. The success of Die Hard led to many imitators looking to capitalize on its formula, including “Die Hard on a boat” (AKA Under Siege) or “Die Hard on a plane” (Air Force One). That genre dried up towards the end of the ’90s, but the Has Fallen movie franchise gave the formula a shot in the arm. The success of Olympus Has Fallen in 2013 gave Butler an action franchise, where his Secret Service agent Banning often found himself in messy siege scenarios.
While promoting his action flick Plane, Butler revealed to Uproxx that Robert Downey Jr sent him “the nicest email after Olympus Has Fallen” and proclaimed “We need more of these movies.” There’s something lovely to the idea Downey Jr could bask in the simple, warm glow of Olympus Has Fallen’s b-movie thrills, especially amid his run as Tony Stark in the MCU. His fandom for the Has Fallen saga would also make him the perfect candidate for a villain in the next entry, Night Has Fallen. After planning a good guy for so long, a heel turn is overdue.
Downey Jr Could Fix Has Fallen’s Villain Problems
The Has Fallen movies have borrowed liberally from the Die Hard movies, but they’ve struggled with memorable antagonists of their own. Rick Yune’s North Korean terrorist from Olympus is probably the more memorable, while Angel Has Fallen’s Wade was only interesting because he was played by Danny Huston. The franchise is lacking a powerhouse foe like Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber or even John Lithgow’s Qualen from Cliffhanger. An antagonist played by Downey Jr could change all that. He’s got the charisma and wit to make for a scenery-chewing threat, and it would be nice to feel like Banning has to struggle to win for a change.
Would Downey Jr Actually Join The Has Fallen Series?
Downey Jr obviously understands the meat-and-potato appeal of films like Olympus Has Fallen – which needs an Expendables crossover – but the question of him joining the series is another thing. His unparalleled success with the MCU made him one of the highest-paid actors of all time and he has been somewhat selective with his choices in the years since 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. Even if he likes them, convincing Downey Jr to play the bad guy in the fourth entry of a critically derided action series is a big ask.
Despite their success, the budgets for the Has Fallen movies have gradually shrunk with each outing too. Downey Jr doesn’t come cheap, and his asking price alone may rule out his involvement. That said, he’s in the rare position as a star to essentially do whatever he wants, so if he could film all his scenes quickly and have a fun time filming it, a Downey Jr appearance in the upcoming Night Has Fallen isn’t an impossibility. Whatever direction the next movie takes, hopefully, it will at least introduce a truly great villain for Banning to overcome.