Gerard Butler Survived ‘Geostorm’ to Escape Comets in ‘Greenland’

In 1998 there was so much fear that an object from space would destroy the Earth that tow movies came out about the subject. The Earth has survived 21 years since Deep Impact and Armageddon, but it’s about to be plagued by movie comets again. This time, it will be Gerard Butler escaping to Greenland. Butler already had one encounter with disasters in the sky in Geostorm.

Gerard Butler attends the Photocall For Lions Gate’s “Angel Has Fallen” | Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Greenland reunites Butler with his Angel Has Fallen director Ric Roman Waugh. While we were speaking with Waugh, he told us about his upcoming disaster movie with Butler. To give you a taste of what to expect form Greenland, Angel Has Fallen is in theaters Friday, August 23.

The plot of ‘Greenland’

The comet in Deep Impact and asteroid in Armageddon are discovered as immediate threats. The comet in Greenland is a bit more complicated than that.

Greenland is a disaster film very much like A Quiet Place or World War Z or War of the Worlds,” Waugh. “It’s about a comet that is going to supposedly come by the Earth and be a big Super Bowl Party, the closest thing since Haley’s Comet.” 

Once it gets closer, the Earth realizes it’s in danger.

Ric Roman Waugh
Ric Roman Waugh (front center) on the set of Angel Has Fallen | Jack English/Lionsgate

“It doesn’t do what they think and they suddenly realize it’s a belt of comets, a belt of fragments which is how comets travel and they start entering the atmosphere and creating havoc,” Waugh continued. “Now they know within 24 hours, planet killers are behind it and we are very close to the next extinction period the way that we did when the dinosaurs were taken down.”

The science and morality behind ‘Greenland’

We may be living on borrowed time. Let’s hope no comets hit before we get to see Greenland.

“When you start doing the research, you realize these things are coming right by and very close to hitting us almost every year,” Waugh said. “We wanted to take a real-world feel to what it would be like if you were a family selected for a shelter location in Greenland, but you’re only one of the select few.”

When you’re the star of the movie, you get chosen for shelter. Then the movie gets to explore what that means to the rest of the world.

Gerard Butler
Gerard Butler attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party | Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

“Gerard Butler and Morena Baccarin play husband and wife with a young child and they are selected,” Waugh said. “It’s all about their journey to get to Greenland when so many other people weren’t.”

Waugh hopes Greenland asks those important questions.

“So what happens when it’s life or death in this type of catastrophic situation?” Waugh said. “Does humanity implode? Do we all become selfish or do we all realize that this division and this divisive world that we live in now is not going to matter, that we’re all going to bleed the same? Do we become selfless and help each other? So it harkens back to a lot of the movies that I like to make about the moral gray, the moral ambiguity and see how people would react and act in these type of situations.”

Gerard Butler and Ric Roman Waugh must have gotten along on ‘Angel Has Fallen’

Angel Has Fallen was the third in the franchise, each with a different director. Butler must’ve liked Waugh to join him for their next film.

Gerard Butler in Angel Has Fallen
Gerard Butler in Angel Has Fallen | Simon Varsano/Lionsgate

“We had a great time on Angel,” Waugh said. “We felt like we made the inside out of action movie, a huge action spectacle but with a lot of character and complexity to it. We just wrapped Monday night and we’re trying to do the same thing with a disaster movie, that it’s from the inside out. It’s all about character.”

‘Greenland’ won’t be quite the spectacle ‘Angel Has Fallen’ is

With his interest in exploring the human side of disaster, Waugh intends Greenland to elaborate more on the character development he explored in Angel Has Fallen than the explosions.

Greenland’s a little bit smaller,” Waugh said. “It’s a little bit more intimate. It has a higher concept engine but it’s a little more intimate.”

Ric Roman Waugh
Ric Roman Waugh on the set of Angel Has Fallen | Jack English/Lionsgate

Waugh likes to do as much of his action for real as he can. Comets will necessarily require some visual effects, but the rest he can do old school.

“For sure, but we do a lot of other in-camera lighting effects and all of the action, the things that we did was all real world,” Waugh said. “Unfortunately, I’m a pretty good filmmaker but I can’t pull a comet out of my hat.”

When can you see ‘Greenland?’

Gerard Butler and Ric Roman Waugh wrapped Greenland one week ago on August 12. Now he’s in post hoping to release the film in early 2020.

“Hopefully we’ll have it done by March,” Waugh said. 

Ric Roman Waugh still wants to make an Evel Knievel biopic.

As a former stuntman turned director, Ric Roman Waugh has a passion for Evel Knievel. He’s been struggling to make a film about him.

“I would love to make that movie,” Waugh said. “The hardest part of that movie has been figuring out who the hell can play Evel Knievel and really pull it off. The hard part is that Evel Knievel in the period that we wanted to make it was pretty young. We’ve talked about it maybe one day if the right person comes along, but that’s a Rubik’s cube that we still keep trying to put together.”