Robert Downey Jr. is convinced the future of cinema lies with Gerard Butler.
“Plane” actor Butler revealed that MCU alum Downey reached out after the success of 2013 film “Olympus Has Fallen.” The action-thriller, directed by Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day,” “Emancipation”), starred Butler as a former Secret Service officer who fights terrorists occupying the White House and threatening to kill the president, played by Aaron Eckhart. Angela Bassett and Morgan Freeman additionally star.
Butler also produced the film, which spurred sequels “London Has Fallen” (2016) and “Angel Has Fallen” (2019).
“Robert Downey Jr. wrote me the nicest email after ‘Olympus Has Fallen.’ This is the same vibe,” Butler told Uproxx of continuing ’90s-inspired action films. “He’s like, ‘We need more of these movies.’ These are the movies, when I was in New York as a kid, and people would shout at the screen and throw things and be like, ‘No!,’ and applaud and cheer. And I think that’s what this movie is, it’s a throwback to that, where literally you’re in the energy of the group, and everybody’s either terrified or cheering you on.
Butler continued, “They’re fun. There are reasons that they’ve survived. There are reasons that audiences come out. It’s like you say, it’s a throwback to the ’90s movies where you’re just like, ‘Come on!’ One other thing I got to say about the movie is it has a lot of elements in it. It’s a drama, it’s an action movie, there’s survival elements, it’s a disaster movie.”
Butler’s “Last Seen Alive” VOD release beat out streaming titles like “Blonde” earlier this year. Butler and Downey’s comments on the return of classic action films were also reflected in the box office conquest of “Top Gun: Maverick,” the long-awaited sequel to the beloved 1984 military aviation movie.
Downey also weighed in on the Marvel-as-cinema debate, responding to Quentin Tarantino’s dig that Marvel actors are not movie stars but instead overshadowed by the superhero characters they play.
“I think our opinions on these matters say a lot about us,” Downey told Deadline in December 2022. “I think that we are in a time and place that I unwittingly contributed to, where IP has taken precedence over principle and personality. But it’s a double-edged sword. A piece of IP is only as good as the human talent you get to represent it, and you can have some great IP even if it’s coming from an auteur or a national treasure of a writer-director, and if you don’t have the right kind of artist playing that role, you’ll never know how good it could have been.”