Luc Besson just loves announcing that he’s quitting directing for good but every other year or two, he comes back and makes another one. And even though his next movie appears to be shrouded in mystery, it was revealed this week that the French director is making a biopic about pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.
Rumors intensified after Crouching Tiger star and ex-Bond girl Michelle Yeoh (Tomorrow Never Dies) traveled to Rangoon to meet with the pro-democracy leader. “I understand she is planning to play her in a film in the near future,” says Nyan Win, Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyer, adding that Yeoh spent the day at his client’s home on Monday looking at photos. We shed more light on the movie’s title and more details after the jump.
Some filming of Dans La Lumière, or Into the Light, has already taken place according to Wanasiri Morakul, director of the Thailand Film Office, who told AFP that Besson had been shooting scenes in the country for the film since fall. Siam Movie, a local production company involved in the movie, also confirmed that Besson and his crew were in Thailand mid-October. According to an article published at the time in the French daily newspaper Le Parisien, the cast and crew signed a confidentiality clause. But it was announced, however, that he had plans to shoot a movie in English for a budget of 22 million euros.
The director, whose movies The Big Blue, La Femme Nikita, the sci-fi hit The Fifth Element, and Leon earned him international fame, has been more active as a writer and producer in recent years and is the co-founder of EuropaCorp, which has spawned movies like The Transporter series and the box-office hit Taken. This year, he wrote, produced and directed The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec and Arthur 3: The War of the Two Worlds, part three of his animated trilogy Arthur and the Minimoys, and well, about a dozen other movies it seems. But his fans are most excited about Lockout, hoping it will mark a return to his sci-fi fantasy craziness of yore. (Watch The Fifth Element and you’ll understand.)
It is not clear whether Aung San Suu Kyi is in anyway involved with Besson’s biopic and especially the screenplay.
The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner, now aged 65, has become a pro-democracy icon leading a relentless fight against the Burmese military junta who arrested her in 1989. She spent 15 years of the last 21 years under house arrest and was finally freed on November 13. It was only a matter of time before someone made a movie.
She has had many famous supporters of the years campaigning for her freedom, the most ardent one being Bono. “I’m very excited, very thrilled at the possibility that this might be the beginning of some sort of rational discussion,” Bono told NME magazine following her release last month. U2’s album All That You Can’t Leave Behind was banned in Burma in 2000 after it was revealed that the single “Walk On” was dedicated to her. Don’t be surprised to see a U2 song on the soundtrack.