Way, way back in 1997, the internet movie discussion world was very much in its infancy, and the first thing you knew about a movie, if you weren’t an early adopter or a subscriber to something like Starlog, was when you saw the trailer in a movie theater. I remember seeing the trailer for Air Force One and at first thinking they had finally gotten around to making a new Jack Ryan movie starring Ford, and had jumped straight to one of the later Tom Clancy books.
Then it became clear it was something new, and it looked like an absolute blast. It pretty much was. The ultimate in “high concept” 1990s action. Harrison Ford starred as the U.S. President attempting to rescue everyone onboard his plane, Air Force One, when it is hijacked by a group of terrorists.
Co-stars included Gary Oldman as the lead terrorist, Glenn Close as the Vice President, and supporting turns from William H. Macy, Jurgen Prochnow, Dean Stockwell, Paul Guilfoyle, Xander Berkeley, and Andrew Divoff.
Unbelievably that was over 25 years ago. There was talk of a sequel to the Wolfgang Petersen movie for many years. Writer of the original movie Andrew Marlowe recently gave an interview to SyFy where he indicated they struggled to come up with an angle.
“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’.”
When asked about a potential remake instead, he was pretty clear on some hurdles to overcome:
“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.”
Air Force One made triple its budget back, and got two Oscar nominations.
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