Roughly a year ago, ComingSoon.net spoke with director Pierre Morel about his upcoming action-thriller Taken and neither of us could possibly have had any idea at the time that the movie would explode and become such a huge sleeper hit in the United States nine months after its release in Europe.
At the time, Morel had just finished shooting From Paris With Love, his third pairing with long-time partner, producer Luc Besson, a secret agent action-comedy that brings together the unlikely pairing of John Travolta with Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The latter plays a Cambridge-educated government agent who wants to move up the ranks in the world of espionage. He is tested by being teamed with a new partner in Travolta’s Charlie Fox, an outrageously crazy wild card who does absolutely nothing by the book as they chase after drug dealers and a terrorist ring. It has all the great action set pieces Morel’s fans have come to expect following Taken and his first movie, District B13–oddly, that movie’s sequel is being released in the States on the same day. It’s still very much a movie that acts as a travelogue of Paris, while also harking back to the great action flicks of the ’90s like Die Hard and Lethal Weapon with a bit of John Woo thrown in for good measure. It’s the latter which will probably be the best reference since it allows Travolta to show off some of his first action moves since starring in Woo’s Broken Arrow and Face/Off.
ComingSoon.net sat down with Morel in New York City to talk about the movie and we also talked a little bit about how his life has changed since the success of Taken, including the filmmaker scoring the dream gig of bringing a new version of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi epic Dune to the big screen.
Here are some of the things we discussed in this exclusive video interview:
* How From Paris With Love is Morel’s first movie to open in the U.S. before France
* How he became involved in his third Luc Besson production
* How he incorporates his own ideas for the action into the script
* Some of his influences and how some of them come together in the movie
* Doing physical action scenes with actors who don’t normally do that
* Taking risks and staying in the R-rated realm
* How tricky it is to make an action movie in Paris and shooting at the Eiffel Tower
* How life has changed since Taken and how studios are looking to him for ideas(he says that the things he’s been developing aren’t ready yet)
* We talk a lot about Dune, how he got the gig, what he wants to do with it and we even throw out an idea of some possible casting. We also share a true story about trying to go see David Lynch’s Dune a week after its release and not getting to see it because not enough people showed up to make it worth the theater’s time to screen it.
* And More!
From Paris With Love opens nationwide on Friday, February 5.