Ever since I first read about Barack Obama’s armoured presidential limousine, ‘The Beast’, I’ve had a thought in the back of my mind whenever I saw it mentioned: someone should totally make a movie out of that.
It would be like a cross between Air Force One and Phone Booth. You’ve got an armoured presidential supercar, built to withstand bomb blasts, with all sorts of gadgets built in. The details of the real car are classified, but that doesn’t matter; give it any capabilities the plot requires. Add a fictional President and a cast of Secret Service agents and aides. They’re on a visit to somewhere – it might as well be the UK – and there’s a ridiculously elaborate terrorist attack of the sort that only happens in high-concept action films. At first the plot is about protecting the President, but then the stakes are raised, and the armoured presidential limo must not only protect the head of state but also save the city.
We could go down the Air Force One route and make the President the action hero, or we could put him in a more passive hostage role and make the hero a Secret Service agent. Of course the real hero is the car. We’d have interest in the first half of the film as the audience learns about its (fictional) abilities, and then in the second half of the film we watch the heroes make ingeneous use of those abilities in situations that test them to their limits. The car is destroyed at the climax, and by that time the audience should have become so attached to it as a character that it feels like a hero nobly sacrificing themselves. (Possibly it gets repaired and appears shiny and new in the final scene.)
If it’s set in the UK, there’s no language barrier but there could be interesting tension between the US and UK security forces. We can have confusion and everyone second-guessing one another about which cars are the decoys and which has POTUS in. Maybe there was an innocent mix-up and he’s in one of the cars that ought to have been used as decoys, and that becomes pivotal to the plot. The eccentric designer of the Beast’s secret systems could have to be brought in to show the heroes how to make the most of those systems. At a pivotal moment it could get stuck. There could be a pun about the license plate number of the Beast. Civilians held hostage! Someone turns out to be a traitor! Stuff blows up! The armoured limousine drives unscathed out of a burning building!
Come on, it would be awesome. Don’t tell me I’m the only person thinking about this.