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7/7 bombings: London Has Fallen trailer branded 'insensitive' ahead of 10th anniversary

Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman star in the Olympus Has Fallen sequel

Jess Denham
Monday 06 July 2015 10:35 BST
Westminster Abbey blows up in the controversial teaser trailer for London Has Fallen
Westminster Abbey blows up in the controversial teaser trailer for London Has Fallen (Lionsgate)

Gerard Butler's upcoming disaster movie London Has Fallen has come under heavy criticism after its first look trailer debuted online between the Tunisia massacre and the tenth anniversary of the London terror attacks.

The Olympus Has Fallen sequel is not due in cinemas until early next year, but the timing of the teaser clip's release has been branded "extremely insensitive" by the chairman of an organisation set up in tribute to victims of the 7/7 bombings.

Philip Nelson of The Tavistock Square Memorial Trust told The Mirror he was alarmed after seeing images of Big Ben with its clock face blown out.


"This is not the first time that Hollywood has been insensitive," he said. "If the story is about terrorism then this is extremely sensitive.

"People have also recently died of a terrorist attack in Tunisia. [The Trust] has had lots of help from America so I just think that these are the wrong images to portray. Is the summer the best time to be promoting this film anyway?"

London Has Fallen's 60-second trailer opens with shots of iconic landmarks from the London Eye to Buckingham Palace, before a series of fiery explosions across the capital spark panic, high-speed police chases and lots of worried looks from Morgan Freeman.

"In 2013...Olympus 2016...London will fall," text overlays read, as a terrifying dystopian vision is revealed.

The official synopsis promises a dramatic storyline based on what happens after the British Prime Minister mysteriously dies. As the western world's leaders gather to attend his funeral, a deadly plot is launched to kill them and devastate London. The only three people with the power to stop this chaos are the US president (Aaron Eckhart), his secret service head Mike Banning (Butler) and a rightly distrusting English MI6 agent (Charlotte Riley).

Chelsea Bridge explodes as London comes under attack (Lionsgate)

Nelson is not the only one to question the lack of sensitivity in the timing, with many film fans taking to Twitter to air their views before Britain marks ten years since 52 people died and more than 700 were injured at Russell Square, Aldgate, Edgeware Road and Tavistock Square.

Official memorial events are scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday 7 July, with Prime Minister David Cameron, London Mayor Boris Johnson and other politicians joining survivors, relatives of victims and members of the emergency services in solidarity against terrorism.

Lionsgate representatives are yet to respond to a request for comment.

Paramount Pictures was forced to apologise last July for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles promotional poster, which announced that the film would arrive on 11 September and featured an image of the turtles leaping from a burning New York skyscraper.

The poster was judged severely insensitive by many as it was found to be reminiscent of the 2001 terrorist attacks, during which people were photographed jumping from the burning World Trade Centers. It was immediately discontinued.

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