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WonderCon 2014: Lucy

lucy-trailerWith the panel for the upcoming EuropaCorp-produced, Universal Studios-distributed film Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson, I believe I found myself more intrigued by the fact that writer/director Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, Leon, The Fifth Element) would be at WonderCon, rather than being psyched about the film itself.  That said, the trailer premiered a few weeks ago and many have seemed pretty psyched about it.  I can say I was fine with the trailer that initially debuted, especially since it looked like a film Besson may have actually put more of himself into it, like his earlier films, rather than the last few features we have seen from him (The Family), but I was not necessarily blown away in the same way others were.  Having said that, this was a fun presentation, complete with an enjoyable (and sometimes awkwardly humorous) conversation with Besson and some clips that have really turned me around on looking forward to the film.  Read on to learn more about this film panel presentation.

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Here’s the official panel description, because why not:

Writer/director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, La Femme Nikita) will present exclusive scenes from Lucy, his upcoming action-thriller starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman that unveils what humans could actually do with 100 percent of our brain capacity unlocked. In Lucy, after a woman is accidentally caught in a dark deal, she turns the tables on her captors and begins to attain unimaginable knowledge and power.

That is a pretty succinct way of describing the plot of this film, which Besson says he has been developed for the past ten years.  I would imagine that was a pretty on and off schedule, given how involved he’s been in writing and producing many other films for his various proteges to direct over the years, including the Taken films, the Transporter films, District B13, and plenty of others.  With that said, this is his return to hard action fare in a big way for the first time since 1997’s The Fifth Element (a favorite film of mine).  Besson explained how he enjoyed the idea of taking the theory of humans only being able to use 10% of their brains (which he has since learned is more than likely a false theory) and expanding that into a feature film full of action.  True to form, he enlisted Scarlett Johansson to play a strong female lead character.  Following these initial thoughts, we then watched the trailer, which is embedded at the end of this post.

After the trailer, Besson was happy to talk about his approach to film, specifically his action features.  He explained how much he loves showing the kinds of action that feel new or deliver in unusual ways.  La Femme Nikita served as his example, where he explained the scene involving an assassination in a restaurant and how that played with the expectations of the viewers, while also putting the character in a unique emotional position, as far as the film was concerned.  Besson also explained how Scarlett Johansson became involved, which was based on her reading and enjoying the script and Besson meeting with her and feeling a positive connection with a person he would have to spend 6 months or so of his life with.  There was also some discussion of the other members of the cast, including Choi Min-sik (Oldboy), who Besson described as the Asian Gary Oldman.  Amr Waked was another actor Besson was happy to talk about, as he explained how Waked essentially agreed to be in the film, while dealing with the turmoil taking place in Egypt at the time.

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A couple of clips from the film were then shown, which is what really got me excited about the film, Lucy, beyond the simple enjoyment of hearing Luc Besson be excited about one of his personal projects again.  The first clip was an extension of a lot of what is scene in the trailer, which seems like a lot of the action beats from the first act of the film, where Johansson’s character begins to use her new found powers.  It is the kind of clip that has me hoping the film is R-rated out the gate, rather than settling for an eventual unrated version later in the year, following its theatrical release.  The violence portrayed on screen is handled in a matter-of-fact way that felt in line with what I have seen Besson put into his other films, between the gunplay and the way in which characters handle guns in general.  There is some dark humor as well, playing with the idea of Lucy knowing everything and how she makes us aware of that, based on her drastic actions to get what she needs done in a timelier manner.  The second clip featured an extended car chase, which was just a lot of fun to watch.  It certainly has a stylized feel to it, but it also felt like a car-based version of the hover taxi cab chase in The Fifth Element, which is something I can easily get behind.

Watching both clips I became excited mainly due to the fact that I was seeing Besson’s style again, which I cannot say I have really scene in an effective manner in over a decade, which excites me.  Between the portrayal of action, the humor, and even the music (Eric Serra is back to score another Besson film), Lucy has a lot going for it to bring me back to 90s Besson.  Following the clips, Besson did actually address how his more recent films have seemingly not been as acclaimed as the ones from past times.  Basically he stated how he does not care much for critics, but with that said, he has found that his earlier films were not as well-received during their initial debuts either and have only grown to be loved more over time.  Besson also addressed his decision to consistently feature strong female lead characters.  He explained how he loves to reverse the ‘standard’ by showing the strength of women and the weakness of men, which is something he is very comfortable in doing.  Before leaving, Besson, who I assume has not attended these kinds of conventions often, explained how delighted he was to see a crowd like the one he was in front of and the array of costumes and geek enthusiasm on display.  It was a nice bit of acknowledgement from the man who gave us Victor the Cleaner.

Lucy opens in theaters on August 8, 2014

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Aaron is a writer/reviewer for WhySoBlu.com.  Follow him on Twitter @AaronsPS4.
He also co-hosts a podcast,
Out Now with Aaron and Abe, available via iTunes or at HHWLOD.com.

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Video Game Player, Comic Book Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

3 Responses to “WonderCon 2014: Lucy”


  1. Brian White

    Must-see!!! Glad to read you are now excited about this one 🙂

  2. Gerard Iribe

    So stoked for Lucy!!!!!

  3. Brian White

    I concur.