Prolific French filmmaker Luc Besson has gone on record that his upcoming kids flick Arthur and the Invisibles will be his last film as a director (either that or the sequel, depending on how the first movie does). Although the half-animated film took five years to produce, he’s kept busy with his production company, while writing other films.
Last year, he co-wrote and produced the cult action film District B13, and when ComingSoon.net sat down to talk to him, he surprised us with the news that he’s writing a sequel. It all started with an innocent question about when he decides that it’s right to do a sequel to a movie. “It’s about the feeling,” he told us. “There’s some film where you like the cast, you like the characters and you want to see them again. For example, ‘The Transporter,’ we love this guy, you want to see this guy again. The rule is we will see him again if we have a good story. If we don’t have a good story, there’s no film. We’re not here to just take the money and run. ‘B13’ I want to do the sequel to, I love the two characters, and there’s the room to do another one. I have the idea then I think we’re going to make it.”
We wondered whether District B13 director Pierre Morel, who is a very in-demand DP after shooting The Transporter and Unleashed, would helm the sequel as well, to which Besson mentioned another new project. “I will propose to him, but now he’s going to direct a film for me called ‘Taken,’ something I wrote. Liam Neeson is going to have the first part. It’s a great, great film.” In the film, Neeson will play an ex-soldier, whose daughter is kidnapped by slave masters while traveling in Europe, so he must track her down before she’s shipped off. Besson mentioned that there’s likely to be a little bit of action for Neeson in the film, something the actor has experience with after appearing in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace and Batman Begins.
Before we were whisked away, we also asked Besson whether he has an idea for another “Transporter” movie somewhere in that busy mind of his, since Jason Statham had previously told us he was up for it. “If we get a good idea, it’s with pleasure. Jason is lovely, and the character is great, I love the character. He’s cool, he doesn’t talk so much, he’s low-profile, he doesn’t want to show off too much. For me, he’s the new cool James Bond.”
Arthur and the Invisibles opens everywhere on Friday, January 12. Look for our full exclusive interview with Mr. Besson sometime before then.