Luc Besson (born 18 March 1959) is a French director, writer and producer.
Besson's parents were scuba diving instructors, and his initial ambition was to become a marine biologist. However, at age 17 he had a diving accident which left him unable to dive, and out of the resulting boredom he began to write stories and work in the film industry.
Since then, he has worked on more than 50 movies with EuropaCorp (the studio he founded). He directed 16 of them.
He is one of the three directors credited with creating the French "cinéma du look", a French film movement of the 1980s whose films favoured style over substance. At least that's what the critics say. They often featured young people, often in love with each other, lost in urban Paris.
Besson is appreciated as much as he's criticized in Europe as the most "Hollywoodian" of French filmmakers. Action movies written by him and produced by his company have been routinely panned by some as "slick and commercial".
Films directed by Luc Besson:
- Le Dernier Combat (The Last Battle, 1983)
- Subway (1985)
- The Big Blue (Le Grand Bleu, 1988)
- Nikita (1990)
- Atlantis (sea life documentary, 1991)
- The Professional (Léon, 1994)
- The Fifth Element (Le Cinquième Elément, 1997)
- The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc, 1999)
- Angel-A (2005)
- The Arthur and the Invisibles trilogy (Arthur et les Minimoys, 2006-2010)
- The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010)
- The Lady (2011)
- Malavita (The Family, 2013)
- Lucy (2014)
- Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)
- Anna (2019)
Films written and/or produced by Luc Besson include:
- The Taxi series
- Taxi (Foreign Remake of the above)
- Banlieue 13
- Brick Mansions (remake of Banlieue 13)
- The Crimson Rivers II: Angels of the Apocalypse
- The Transporter and its sequels
- Taken and its sequels
- From Paris with Love
- Danny the Dog
- Kiss of the Dragon (Le Baiser mortel du Dragon)
- Three Days To Kill
Tropes associated with Luc Besson's films
- Action Girls: Ass-kicking women are common in his films.
- Associated Composer: Eric Serra composed the soundtrack of most of Besson's films.
- Creator Breakdown: He poured a ton of love into Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and its catastrophic failure hit him hard, resulting in an immediately infamous interview where he cast himself as the only director who cares about telling stories while everyone else are studio hacks.
- Dirty Cop: Corrupt cops factor into many of Besson's films.
- Invincible Hero: Besson's action heroes are typically supreme badasses set against impossible odds.
- Ms. Fanservice: Many women in his films are beautiful, and dressed in skimpy outfits.
- Police Are Useless: When police forces are not corrupt in his films, they are bumbling and/or incompetent.
- Production Posse:
- Besson has cast Jean Reno in several of his films, including his first four. Reno has also starred in a few EuropaCorp films written and produced by Besson but not directed by him.
- He cast his former wife Milla Jovovich as the female lead in two films.
- Not to mention composer Eric Serra, who worked on all of his directed films.
- Le Parkour creators David Belle and Cyril Raffaelli are typically behind the stunts and fight choreography of EuropaCorp films, if not in front of the camera.
- Write What You Know: Not surprisingly for a former diver, Besson's first wide release film was The Big Blue, which is about, well, divers.