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Will We Ever Get An Air Force One Sequel?

Before Olympus Has Fallen launched a franchise of action films in the "head of state in peril" genre, there was Air Force One. The 1997 action thriller also ratcheted up the suspense by depicting a very acute threat to the President of the United States. But there's a key difference between the films: while in Olympus Has Fallen, Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) must go to extraordinary lengths to save the commander in chief, in Air Force One, President James Marshall (Harrison Ford) does the ass-kicking himself.

As the title of the film suggests, Air Force One mostly takes place aboard the president of the United States's official — and totally tricked out — plane, which has been taken over by a group of hijackers following a state visit to Moscow. After getting aboard with the help of a secret service mole, the terrorists take the passengers hostage, including President Marshall and his family. What they didn't count on is the fact that Marshall is a war veteran and a Medal of Honor recipient who isn't afraid to roll up his sleeves, grab a machine gun, and get the job of taking back the plane done himself.

Is it an over-the-top premise? Absolutely. But, according to both critics and audiences at the time, it worked. Air Force One got solid reviews that praised the tight action and performances from the cast, and had a successful run in theaters. However, one thing it didn't get was a sequel.

With a Twister reboot and a Top Gun sequel on the way, is it possible that Air Force One could follow suit?

There has been chatter about an Air Force One sequel in recent years

Back in March of 2019, an unexpected rumor popped up on Discussing Film: there was allegedly a sequel to Air Force One in development. The report was scant on details, including where the alleged news came from, why Air Force One was getting a sequel over 20 years after it was released, and whether or not Ford would be reprising his role. So, while an exciting idea, it's certainly an announcement that should have been taken with a grain of salt.

Then, in October 2019, We Got This Covered came out with a similar bit of speculation. They claimed that a sequel, aptly titled Air Force Two, was in development and that Ford was indeed slated to return to reprise his role. Unlike Discussing Film's report, they also claimed: "this intel comes to us from the same sources who told us Marvel was developing a She-Hulk TV show and that Ewan McGregor was returning as Obi-Wan, so there's no reason to doubt it."

One report from an anonymous source could easily be dismissed, but two similar rumors in the same year might actually mean there's something behind them. However, despite the alleged reliability of at least one of the sources, it's now 2021 and there's been no other news or rumors of an Air Force One sequel. Sadly for fans of the film, even if the reports were true and a sequel was in development at that time, there's no guarantee that the movie will ever materialize.

There are still lots of factors to prevent an Air Force One sequel from happening

Despite a surprising amount of speculation about the possibility of an Air Force One sequel in recent years, that doesn't mean it's guaranteed. First, consider the unfortunate fact that, between the initial rumblings and now, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the film and TV industry. If the reports were true and there was a sequel in development in 2019, it's entirely possible that, like so many other projects, Air Force Two became a casualty of the pandemic.

There's also the timing issue at play with the concept of a direct sequel. As We Got This Covered pointed out in its reporting, Ford is now in his late 70s and already has another blockbuster action sequel, the delayed Indiana Jones 5, on his plate. We're not calling into question Ford's ability to bust heads in his advancing age, but it does seem like the type of role he'd want to film sooner rather than later.

And, while there are plenty of conceivable ways to mount a follow-up film with a new cast of characters, that begs the question of whether that type of sequel would be a success. Air Force One was a hit when it came out in the '90s and is remembered fondly, but it doesn't have quite the same level of lasting cultural cachet as other movies of a similar ilk that got follow-ups decades later, such as Top Gun. If the film doesn't secure Ford's return, it might not make sense to do it at all.

As of now, all we have to go on is speculation. While it sounds far fetched that an Air Force One sequel will happen, that doesn't mean it's out of the question.