If there’s one lesson to take from the White House-under-attack action film Olympus Has Fallen, it’s that it’s always darkest just before the dawn. And now that dawn has peeked over the horizon, illuminating the blue-and-yellow flag of Sweden waving like a beacon of hope. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Swedish director Babak Najafi has risen from the ashes like a well-insured phoenix to take over the troubled Olympus Has Fallen sequel, London Has Fallen. The film was left without a director when Fredrik Bond departed due to creative differences, just weeks before filming was set to begin. Millennium Films scrambled to find a new director, reportedly considering Wayne Blair (The Sapphires) and Gary Fleder (Runaway Jury), before Najafi moved forward in the dealmaking process. Assuming those negotiations are finalized, Najafi will jump into filming for four weeks, before pausing and picking up in February to accommodate star Gerard Butler’s other commitments.
The sequel sees America’s top political figures including the President (Aaron Eckhart), his Secret Service bodyguard (Butler), Speaker of the House (Morgan Freeman), and Secretary of Defense (Melissa Leo) once again thwarting a terrorist attack, this time in London. And while that plot is about as supportive of American exceptionalism as one can get, now it will be helmed by a foreign director making his English-language feature debut. In addition to a few episodes of the American series Banshee, Najafi most recently directed the Swedish crime movie Easy Money II: Hard To Kill (aka Snabba Cash II), meaning he’s already familiar with ridiculously titled sequels.