Air Force One one writer talks Ford-starring sequel proposal

The original action hit was released this week in 1997

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Released this week back in 1997, Wolfgang Peterson’s Air Force One offered Harrison Ford one of his biggest hits of the decade playing an arse-kicking POTUS who hordes off Gary Oldman and his team of terrorists on the titular presidential plane.

To coincide with the film’s run on Peacock, SyFy Wire spoke to screenwriter Andrew W. Marlowe about sequel and reboot ideas.

“We had talked about it, but there are always challenges with that [kind of] franchise|, Marlowe responded in relation to a question about whether a series of Air Force One films were ever discussed. “You get into the Die Hard problem of every time John McClane goes on vacation or goes anywhere, the terrorists take over. So we were very cautious. We had conversations with Beacon and all the folks involved, but we never landed on a story that we thought could do justice to what we had accomplished in the main film. We had set the bar incredibly high.|

Had they carried on, Marlowe says the idea would’ve involved getting Ford onboard another form of transport.

|Harrison as as president goes someplace, he’s on an Air Force carrier, it’s attacked, he’s in the middle of an unstable geopolitical situation. And so, there are things he can and can’t do, because you don’t want to inflame it. He’s got to navigate it and he’s the person at the heart of it. There are many variations on it and with the tuning fork, we didn’t get it to the point where we are all like, “Ah, that’s perfect! We’re not repeating the first movie. We’re building on it.””

A while back, there were rumors that a sequel might be in the works with Ford reprising his role. Marlowe confirms that there has been discussions.

“People have talked about it, people are still talking about it. I think we’re in a period of time when, if you’ve had something that’s extraordinarily successful, people want to see if they can mine that IP. But again, I think our bar is, “Are we saying something new? Are we saying something relevant to the culture now?” We don’t want to do something that’s just exploitative storytelling, we want to do something that feels like it has a purpose in the world. And when we were doing it, the presidency and that position was not as politically charged as it is today. And so, I think that there are specific challenges about doing it in the contemporary climate that we would have to figure out. But believe me, people keep talking about it.”

You’ve got to wonder though, what with so many legacy sequels dying in the ass at the box office of late, including Harrison Ford’s own Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, whether the heyday of the legacy sequel is now beyond us?

Despite talk of everything from direct legacy sequels to Lethal Weapon, Days of Thunder, and The Thing, the box-office suggests that the audiences aren’t there for films featuring stars reprising their now-decades old roles. Likely because theaters’ biggest ticket buyers, the teenager, don’t have any fondness let alone connection with those characters. Sad, but likely so.

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