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So, while Luc Besson can't wrack his brain to find one good idea for a "Lucy" sequel, the folks behind "The Conjuring" have their franchise gears firmly moving forward. A sequel is coming next year, but a prequel titled "Annabelle" will drop first, providing you with the crucial backstory you will need for all the jump scares. Starring Annabelle Wallis, Alfre Woodard and some other people, the movie tracks the spooky origins of that creepy doll from "The Conjuring." The plot synopsis is pretty ridiculous, but just read it for yourself: John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia—a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia’s delight with Annabelle doesn’t last long. On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Studios are always keen to squeeze sequels out of success stories, and filmmaker Luc Besson and his EuropaCorp company have been as guilty of that as anyone. Films he produced like "Taken," "The Transporter" and "Taxi" have all been turned into franchises, while his own "La Femme Nikita" has spawned film and TV remakes.
Yet his most recent success story, the Scarlett Johansson-led "Lucy," won't be getting a follow-up according to him. In a recent interview with Want China Times (via The Playlist), Besson says he's open to the possibility but there are zero plans for one at the moment and he can't see how to do one:
"I don't see how we can do [a sequel]. It's not made for that. If I find something good enough, maybe I will, but for now I don't even think about it."
It does beg the question, what idea would be 'good enough' for him to move forward. »
- Garth Franklin
Not one but two people of the French persuasion come to class up the Empire Podcast studio this week, namely Two Days, One Night's Marion Cotillard and Lucy's Luc Besson. Here to sully up proceedings is the leaving editor of Empire, Mark Dinning, who enjoys his very own exit interview at the hands of the podcast team.Elsewhere, the potential for a Mack Bolan franchise starring Bradley Cooper is discussed, and Benedict Cumberbatch's named gets thoroughly butchered. Also, the current "Ice Bucket Challenge" trend gets, um, challenged.P.S. You can check out our podcast photo gallery here and subscribe to the Empire Podcast via our iTunes page or this handy RSS feed. You can subscribe to the magazine here if you like it in paper form, or here if you prefer things digitally. And to make use of our SquareSpace sponsor offer, be sure to click in »
In the course of his career, Luc Besson has produced the following: two "Taken" films (with a third on the way); three "Transporter" movies, along with a TV show based on the movie, plus a feature length reboot "The Transporter Legacy" coming next year; "Nikita"; the Hollywood remake "Point Of No Return" in addition to a TV series; four "Taxi" movies; three "Arthur" movies....you see where we're going. So when he says that there's no possibility of a followup to this summer's surprise hit "Lucy," you can see why we're taking his claim with a grain of salt. The writer/director/producer says that the Scarlett Johansson-starring "Lucy" saga begins and ends with the movie that dropped this summer. ”I don't see how we can do [a sequel]. It's not made for that,” Besson told the Taiwanese press. “If I find something good enough, maybe I will, but for now »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Luc Besson rarely does things in small doses and his latest action flick Lucy starring Scarlett Johannson as a woman who inadvertently ingests a drug that gives her extraordinary abilities isn’t an exception. It has now raked in over $170 worldwide and has become the director’s most successful opener in his native France, dismounting the 1997 futuristic hoot The Fifth Element.
Despite the success Besson is adamant that a sequel will not happen any time soon. Whilst on promotion duties in Tapei – where a large portion of the movie takes place – Besson addressed the sequel talk with local media outlets: “I don’t see how we can do one. It’s not made for that…If I find something good enough, maybe I will, but for now I don’t even think about it.”
It’s refreshing to think that in this day and age – considering the sheer abundance of »
- Gavin Logan
There are few filmmakers currently at work who can match the volume of content offered by French auteur Luc Besson. The 55 year-old writes, directs and produces cavalcades of titles and has done for many years.
In 2014 alone, he has written 3 films and 8 television episodes, produced 3 movies as well as directing a feature himself. That particular picture is Lucy – the all-action sci-fi extravaganza starring Scarlett Johansson in which he also penned the screenplay for – and it reaches UK cinemas on Friday. Our review is here. Glowing it is.
To celebrate its release, we count down six of the best projects with this multitude of talent’s name stamped upon them.
Besson’s mother and father were famed deep-sea divers so much of his childhood unfolded in the theatre of dreams that is the ocean. Throughout his career, the director has been attached to many aquatic documentaries and campaigns »
- Chris Haydon
Lucy was a surprise hit at the box office this summer, grossing over $100 million domestically, and $170 million worldwide. Not too shabby for an original movie with a $40 million budget. Some have wondered if there will be sequel because of its impressive box office run, but while speaking to local media in Taipei recently, director Luc Besson said it's unlikely he will make a second movie. It's not made for that. If I find something good enough, maybe I will, but for now »
- Jesse Giroux
He told local media in Taipei that he would only consider another film if he had a strong concept.
Besson admitted that he has had a number of requests for a sequel, including enquiries from Universal over the possibility of a second instalment.
He said: "I don't see how we can do one. It's not made for that. If I find something good enough, maybe I will, but for now I don't even think about it."
Lucy has so far grossed nearly $170 million (£102m) worldwide, and Besson believes its late summer opening has helped it succeed as the film offers something "totally weird and strange", and a welcome change from this summer's franchise releases.
The film stars Scarlett Johansson as a woman who develops incredible physical and mental abilities after ingesting a drug. »
★★★★☆There's a popular myth, often perpetuated in movies, that humans only employ a small percentage of their brain function. One of the reasons this idea endures is the following assertion that there is the potential for us to unlock untapped mental power if only we could breach the fabled 10% barrier. With just a sliver more brain power, we might be super-intelligent or have even greater capabilities. These myths form the basis of The Fifth Element (1997) director Luc Besson's latest science fiction adventure, Lucy (2014), starring the excellent Scarlett Johansson. Having taken the Us box office by storm, this undeniably silly, but raucously entertaining, off-the-wall transhumanist actioner is an absolute riot.
- CineVue UK
Films with great women’s roles aren’t always great films. Films with poor female representation aren’t necessarily bad films. But poorly written female roles will always be a problem for cinema so long as they continue to persist. The damsel in distress. Angel-whore. The token girl. Trophy wives. Mother, daughter, sister. The unconditional love interest. These are among the popular clichés most frequently applied to female characters as they’re written on the page. Some films are so desperate for conflict that they just keep going to the well without altering the mold. Have women not earned the right by now to play more villains, complicated lovers, a-holes, The Best Friends, soldiers, comic reliefs or leads? Can a woman be sexy in a film and still have a great role? Yes. Give her agency. Can a woman support other characters but still have a great role? Yes. Keep her vital. »
- Katie Hasty and Donna Dickens
Coming hot on the heels of the news that Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) will lend his voice to Shere Khan in the upcoming Warner Bros. adaptation of The Jungle Book, it has now been revealed that Christian Bale (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies), Naomie Harris (Skyfall), Tom Hollander (About Time), Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan), Peter Mullan (Hercules) and Rohan Chand (Bad Words) have signed on to the Andy Serkis-helmed Jungle Book: Origins.
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Chand will play the orphan boy Mowgli, with Bale as panther Bagheera, Blanchett as python Kaa, Harris, Marsan and Mullan as wolves Nisha, Vihaan and Akela, and Hollander as Shere Khan’s underling jackal Tabaqui. Meanwhile, Serkis – who is making his directorial debut with the film – will also play Baloo the bear.
- Gary Collinson
To celebrate the release of Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson this Friday [read our review here], we’ve got an exclusive infographic designed by Christian Tate that showcases the kills and skills of Luc Besson’s greatest characters. Take a look…
Lucy is set in a world that is run by the mob, street gangs, drug addicts, and corrupt cops. Lucy (Scarlett Johansson), a woman living in Taipei, Taiwan, is forced to work as a drug mule for the mob. The drug implanted in her body inadvertently leaks into her system, changing her into a superhuman. She can absorb knowledge instantaneously, is able to move objects with her mind, and can not feel pain and other discomforts.
Lucy is set for release on August 22nd, with a cast that also includes Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight Rises), Choi Min-sik (Oldboy), Amr Waked (Contagion), Analeigh Tipton (Crazy, Stupid, Love), and Pilou Asbæk (Borgen).
The post Exclusive »
- Luke Owen
When we had the pleasure of sitting down with renowned French director Luc Besson, he admitted his frustrations at those taking his latest picture Lucy, at face value. The film, which stars Scarlett Johansson in the title role, tells the story of a woman who miraculously unlocks her mind’s full potential, and there has been criticism in regards to the scientific aspect of this production.
Besson is quick to point out this movie is just fiction, as he also discusses with us what it was like working alongside Johansson, and why this particular endeavour – which has been with him for over 10 years – is one that he chose to direct.
Lucy is released on August 22nd, and you can read our review of the film here.
- Stefan Pape
UK box office top ten and analysis for the weekend of Friday 15th to Sunday 17th August 2014….
The Expendables 3 failed to topple Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the U.S. box office this past weekend, and despite an extra day of preview screenings, the aging action stars have proven no match for The Inbetweeners here in the UK.
The Expendables 3 opened in third place with £1,689,927, including £379k in previews – the lowest debut for the franchise to date. Meanwhile The Inbetweeners 2 followed up its impressive haul last weekend by adding another £4.3 million, pushing its haul to £22.37 million after just two weekends, while Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy held firm in second with £2.1 million.
The only other newcomer to crack the top ten this past weekend was the Simon Pegg-headlined Hector and the Search for Happiness, which disappointed down in ninth with just £240,222 (although it was an »
- Gary Collinson
Luc Besson’s Lucy may be based on a debunked myth, but does bad science in films matter if the story’s well-told, Ryan asks...
The myth that we only use 10 percent of our brain power appears to date back to the late 19th century. Conclusions by one pair of psychologists at Harvard - who were studying the potential intelligence of child prodigies versus adults - were misapplied and misquoted in the 1920s and 30s, and have lingered in pop culture ever since.
Luc Besson’s new film Lucy is the latest to base its story on the myth, with Scarlett Johansson starring as an ordinary American woman who’s pressed into service as a drug mule by an evil crime boss. When a bag full of an experimental substance leaks in Lucy’s stomach, she’s transformed from a weepy average 20-something into a turbo-charged, super-brained superheroine, first gunning »
It’s fair to say that the prolific French filmmaker Luc Besson has made too many underwhelming pictures of late – and that’s being kind. His once valued writing credentials have recently spawned the likes of The Family, Taken 2 and Brick Mansions, and the less said about all three of those the better, as they strive to compel and entertain and yet any such efforts feel so contrived. However his latest, Lucy, is stylistic and engaging, and a real return to form for the director, mastering a genre he was partly responsible for pioneering.
Scarlett Johansson takes on the eponymous lead role, who is forced into delivering a briefcase to the elusive Mr. Jang (Choi Min-sik), when a romantic fling (Pilou Asbæk) backs out of the deal. However this seemingly straightforward transaction turns into a nightmare, when she is ushered into a hotel room where dead bodies lie still, »
- Stefan Pape
Scarlett Johansson plays a bewildered American who's shanghaied in Taiwan by an Asian drug gang only to become superhuman when the drug she's had sewn into her - a synthetic, brain-boosting hormone - leaks into her system. As the gang try to get their product back, the new Lucy finds her mental capabilities expanding beyond the limit of human comprehension. Morgan Freeman is the neuro-boffin trying to get his head round it all as action maestro Luc Besson conducts his most surprising, head-spinning, and splendidly enjoyable thriller in years. »
The UK’s Artificial Eye is bowing Marion Cotillard-starrer Two Days, One Night in a crowded field of more mainstream fare on Friday that includes Warner Bros’ Into The Storm. It’s also a week that’s got a lot of ladies in the mix. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For is releasing with a cast that includes Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson and Eva Green, as is Luc Besson’s Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson. But packing a plea, rather than a pistol, in Two Days, Cotillard plays a woman who has one weekend to convince her co-workers to give up their bonuses so that her job can be saved. The film, which is also going out on-demand in the UK this week, debuted in competition in Cannes where it won raves, if not prizes. The unusually accessible drama from Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne showcases the talents »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Luc Besson flits very easily between the sublime and the ridiculous, gifting the world with Léon in the early days of his career before proceeding to make visually striking, utterly silly action thrillers like The Fifth Element, Taxi and The Transporter series (as writer/producer). Lucy falls squarely into the second category; a screwball sci-fi caper with Besson going full speed ahead into far-out territory. Perversely though, it's that willingness to stretch beyond all logic and reason that keeps you watching.
His opening gambit is a damned good one, however, with Scarlett Johansson's titular American college girl getting roped into a drugs smuggling deal by her latest squeeze in Taipei, clueless about the contents of the briefcase he chains to her wrist. Besson milks every bit »
Imagine what Lloyd and Harry, the heroes of the Farrelly brothers’ “Dumb and Dumber To,” the sequel to the movie you’ve all been waiting for (right?), could do if they only used more than just 1% of their brains. Which is apparently what they’ve been getting by on all this time. I guess we’ll find out when the film opens this November. Until then, take a gander at two posters featuring our leading men that mimics the poster for Luc Besson’s “Lucy.” I like Lloyd and Harry, but I much prefer a close-up shot of Scarlett Johansson’s face. Then again, maybe that’s just me. 20 years after the dimwits set out on their first adventure, they head out in search of one of their long lost children in the hope of gaining a new kidney. Starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, with Kathleen Turner and “The Walking Dead’s” Laurie Holden, »
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