Today French filmmaker Luc Besson turns 60 years old. Since
his early works, he proved to have
something special, a gift for innovative science fiction and fantasy tales, and
a good eye in images storytelling. Teaming up with an unknown-by-then Jean Reno, they rebuilt the underground
french cinema with a big influence of American blockbusters but still with a European personality that gave those films a unique touch. Movies like Le Dernier Combat (aka The Last Battle) (1983), Subway (1985), The Big Blue (1988) and La Femme Nikita (1990) are a good proof of that. But it was in the early 1990s
when his two movies Léon: The
Professional (1994) and, especially, The Fifth Element (1997), hit the
jackpot and became instant cult classics, undisputable referents for a
But the change of the century brought Luc Besson to some kind of oblivion. The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999) and Angel-A (2005) were decent movies, but being in the shadow of the predecessor titles they didn’t achieve the expected response from the critics, audience and box office. His next works were more oriented on the fantasy for kids subgenre, Arthur and the Invisibles (2006), Arthur and the Great Adventure (2009) and Les Aventures Extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010). In the last decade, he’s been back to more adult-oriented movies with biography drama The Lady (2011) and crime thriller The Family (2013). But it was with Lucy (2014) when the audience got back the feeling of having the old Luc Besson back.
His latest movie to date Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017), intended to be the first one of a series of films based on the comic book series Valerian and Laureline by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières. And his upcoming project, expected to see the light sometime this year, is action thriller Anna (2019). Not much is known about this movie, only that it will be rated R for strong violence, language, and some sexual content and will focus on a female heroine. Sasha Luss will play Anna, the title character, and will be accompanied by Cillian Murphy, Luke Evans, Helen Mirren, Alexander Petrov, Sand Van Roy, Réginal Kudiwu, Eric Godon and Jess Liaudin. With a budget of 30 million dollars, Besson’s EuropaCorp is producing while Lionsgate is set to handle the distribution under their Summit Entertainment label. Principal photography on the film began in early November 2017, and the film is already set as completed.
There was a time when one could say “anything with Luc Besson involved in is going to be good”. His hand as a writer and producer has brought some of the most interesting action thrillers of the last years, being part of the inception of movies and sagas like Taxi (1998), Wasabi (2001), Kiss of the Dragon (2001), The Transporter (2002), Revolver (2005), Taken (2008), District 13 (2009), Colombiana (2011) or 3 Days to Kill (2014) only to name some. That said, it is fair to say we all are waiting with high interest the moment Anna (2019) hits theaters because there we will be.
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