Luc Paul Maurice Besson (born March 18, 1959) is a French film 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, entered the film industry and worked his way up the ladder. 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".
He's been married four times, always with someone tied to his films: actress Anne Parillaud (from 1986 to 1991), actress Maïwenn Le Besco (from 1992 to 1997), actress Milla Jovovich (from 1997 to 1999) and producer Virginie Silla (since 2004).
- 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 (Leon: 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)
- The Taxi series
- Taxi (Foreign Remake of the above)
- Fanfan la Tulipe
- District 13
- Brick Mansions (remake of District 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.
- Action Hero: Pretty much Besson protagonist will be a deadly and capable badass.
- Associated Composer: Eric Serra composed the soundtrack of most of Besson's films.
- Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: He's pretty fond of using this trope in his movies.
- 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.