Q: Is it a little bit coincidental that two similar films — "White House Down" and "Olympus Has Fallen" — both came out in the same year?

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

There's no denying that it's coincidental, but, incredibly, it may really have been only that.

It's tempting to assume there's some kind of corporate espionage or, in this case, political conspiracy at play when two movies about an attack on the White House are released just weeks apart. But "White House Down" screenwriter James Vanderbilt insists it really was a coincidence.

He said he had just finished writing his script when production on the other movie, "Olympus Has Fallen," was announced. He considered just throwing his own script in the trash, but his agent told him to shop it around anyway. Sony bought it the day they received it and rushed it through production, presumably hoping to beat "Olympus Has Fallen" to theaters.

So what we're left with is the idea that the existence of these two nearly identical scripts was actually a coincidence, but the fact that they were produced and released months apart was not.

If Sony hadn't known about "Olympus Has Fallen" when it got the "White House Down" script, it may not have bought it. At the very least, if Sony had taken the usual time to review the script and produce the film, it would have come out quite a bit later and the coincidence wouldn't have been as stark.

It would still have been a bit stark, though — two movies about disgraced Secret Service agents single-handedly defeating a terrorist attack on the White House would stick out even years apart.


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