In the past several years, Luc Besson‘s name attached to a movie usually meant two things: he didn’t direct it and it’s a cheesy action film. Since The Fifth Element in 1997, Besson has directed a few films, but he’s produced many more and it felt like the man who made Leon: The Professional and La Femme Nikita was just waiting for some inspiration. Maybe he was waiting for Aung San Suu Kyi.
A Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 1991, Aung San Suu Kyi is the daughter of a Burmese General who was murdered in 1947, eventually leading to the military taking control of the country. Years later she left Burma to go to school but in 1988, after marrying a foreigner and having two sons in Oxford, she returned and immediately took her father’s place as the head of a pro-Democracy movement in the beautiful but violently oppressed country. Over twenty years and several terrible hardships later, she’s still struggling today.
This is the story of The Lady, and it’s a return to form for a more mature Besson. It’s not flashy, it’s not action-packed, it’s just Michelle Yeoh as Suu Kyi, David Thewlis as her husband Michael (and his twin brother) and one of the most incredible true stories of standing up against evil imaginable. The film recently played at the AFI Fest Presented by Audi, opens on December 2 and you can read more after the jump. Read More »
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Posted on Thursday, October 27th, 2011 by Angie Han
So, that Americanized version of Pierre Morel’s French thriller District 13 we reported on back in 2009 is still happening, and it may have just found one of its stars. Paul Walker has entered negotiations to join the cast of the remake, which will be titled Brick Mansions and relocated to a city in the States (probably Chicago).
But the news isn’t all bad! Also on board is David Belle, who starred in the original and its sequel but will be playing a different character here. Plus, the script comes from Luc Besson, who co-wrote the original, and Robert Mark Kamen, who collaborated with Besson on Taken. More details after the jump.
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Throughout last year, we heard rumors of writer/producer/director Luc Besson going back to big sci-fi, but his latest directorial effort turned out to be something very different. Rather than returning to a genre in which he has already established a beachhead, Besson chose instead to chronicle the life of Burmese political activist Aung San Suu Kyi, with Michelle Yeoh in the lead role.
The result is The Lady, and a trailer for the film shows Besson applying his well-established methodology of blending effective actors with big, memorable images. Read More »
Two sequel shoot dates have cropped up in the last 24 hours. The first is for Taken 2, which Luc Besson told ComingSoon will shoot in October. Director Olivier Megaton has “everyone back for the sequel,” including Famke Janssen, says Besson. Which means that Taken 2 is going to be about Liam Neeson fighting the reanimated corpses of all the people he killed in the first movie, I suppose. (If one wants to read ComingSoon’s paraphrasing literally.) I’d see that movie.
After the break, we’ve got the possibly bigger news: The Wolverine is now likely to push back to a Spring 2012 start date, to accommodate both Japanese weather and Hugh Jackman‘s schedule making Les Miserables. Read More »
Luc Besson‘s latest film makes quite a break from what we’ve come to expect from the writer/director/producer thanks to a decade of making mostly cheap, visceral action films. The Lady stars Michelle Yeoh as Burmese revolutionary leader Aung San Suu Kyi — this is a real-life story of political oppression and resistance. The first teaser trailer, which shows Yeoh in character taking the stage in front of a throng of wildly cheering supporters, has just dropped. Along with it comes the film’s first poster, designed by Shepard Fairey, based on his design featuring the real Aung San Suu Kyi. See both below. Read More »
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If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.
Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »
Briefly: Cinemax’s TV version of The Transporter took a big step this week when the two leads were cast. Chris Vance, perhaps best known in the states for roles on Prison Break, Dexter and Burn Notice, is the new ‘professional transporter’ Frank Martin, played in three big-screen outings by Jason Statham. And Andrea Osvart will play Carla, his handler, “an extremely crafty former CIA operative who organizes his missions, acts as his eyes and ears on the outside, and continually stokes the flames of their unrequited attraction.”
More interesting is that the same stunt team that did the Transporter films will be working on the series. So while the show might not have the budget of the films, it might at least be able to approximate the action. Luc Besson produces the series, which is set for 12 episodes at this point. It will shoot this summer and then hit Cinemax next year. [EW, Deadline]
Olivier Megaton is set to direct Taken 2, but before that his movie Colombiana will be in theaters. The assassin/revenge film stars Zoe Saldana and is cut more from the La Femme Nikita and The Professional mold than the Taken template. Luc Besson‘s fingerprints are all over this one, and no wonder, given that he co-wrote with Robert Mark Kamen. Check out the trailer after the jump. Read More »
Briefly: The big drama surrounding Taken 2 was whether or not Liam Neeson would, in fact, return to be a badass former CIA agent whose daughter was once kidnapped. No one has really voiced much thought about the return of Maggie Grace, who played the object of Taken‘s title in the first place. But Deadline now confirms that Ms. Grace has finalized a deal to reprise her role as the daughter of Liam Neeson’s character. How does she fit into the story? Please just let us find out that she is kidnapped again; I want an entire series of these films in which Maggie Grace is kidnapped, leading to a My Dinner With Andre-style final sequel/coda where her character and Jack Bauer’s daughter sit down to vent and angrily tear apart lobsters at a fancy restaurant for 90 minutes.
Olivier Megaton, who has a name that is as badass as Liam Neeson’s character, will direct this sequel. He has already worked with producer Luc Besson more than once, most recently when he directed The Transporter 3. (Remember, too, that Maggie Grace is also in the ‘Taken in space’ movie Lockout, with Guy Pearce.)