Before everything was a remake, everything was a Die Hard rip-off. The expression "It's Die Hard on a [blank] was all the rage in the 1990s, with films like "Die Hard on a Bus" (Speed) and "Die Hard on a Mountain" (Cliffhanger) and "Die Hard on a Battleship" (Under Siege) tearing up the box office for the better part of the decade. Eventually it simmered down a bit as the industry ran out of things to put Die Hard on. Well, it seems that they missed one: Sony Pictures has paid $3 million for James Vanderbilt's spec script White House Down, aka "Die Hard on a Why Didn't We Think of This Before?", and Roland Emmerich is in talks to direct, according to Deadline.
A film about a paramilitary unit taking over The White House probably seems like a low-budget vacation for Emmerich, whose previous films Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012 all focused on increasingly ridiculous ways to destroy the entire world on camera. White House Down would be his first feature film since last year's abysmal Shakespeare "biography" Anonymous, a costume epic that reimagined the iconic author as a patsy for the vastly superior upper class elite, and would shoot in the fall.
James Vanderbilt has made a name for himself recently by penning the screenplay to Marc Webb's upcoming Amazing Spider-Man reboot, and also contributed his writing talents to David Fincher's Zodiac, and the upcoming Robocop and Total Recall remakes.
Has the time come to bring rip-offs back to Hollywood, or are we so entrenched in actual remakes that simply playing off an earlier concept seems unthinkable? We'd love to hear your thoughts.
CraveOnline will be back with more White House Down news after we re-brand it as a sequel to Air Force One. God, that writes itself, doesn't it?