Hey, Reddit. I'm Luc Besson, director, screenwriter, and fan of all things scifi. Here’s your chance… AMA!

Proof: https://twitter.com/lucbesson/status/920079577526894592

EDIT: Hey guys, thank you so much for joining. I’m off to shoot ANNA soon, so I’ll be back again with more questions from you I guess. In the meantime, be sure to check out Valerian on Digital HD November 7th (pre-order HERE), and then VOD, Blu Ray, and DVD 11/21. See you in space.

Comments: 522 • Responses: 65  • Date: 

tomt44556677255 karma

5th Element is my favorite movie, but I always wondered, why did Zorg not get his leg fixed?

Luc_Besson316 karma

Too expensive. He's frugal

Immortal_Azrael206 karma

Are we ever going to get a sequel to Léon with Natalie Portman playing a grown Mathilda?

Luc_Besson270 karma

We never know....on one hand, I would love to see Mathilda older and I think that half of the people will love me for that and the other half will hate me for that. So I dont know what to do.

marculiu157 karma

What's the most annoying thing an actor can do when you are directing?

Luc_Besson263 karma

Not to know his lines.

bobrosspainter126 karma

What do you think are the biggest differences between the French and American styles of film making?

Luc_Besson396 karma

French are deeper, but sometimes too deep. Americans are efficient and sometimes too efficient.

TBMachine113 karma

I took my 8 year old son to see Valerian, and we both really loved it. I was disappointed that the film didn't connect with American audiences, because I thought it was great fun.

Can you tell us what might have been in store for these characters in the sequel? Is there an ark that you had hoped to play out in the next film or films?

Luc_Besson131 karma

In the next one we will know much more about Laureline and Valerian and where they come from. Their past....

ChuckEye110 karma

The final shot in Léon has a guitar part that leads into "Shape of my Heart" that isn't on Sting's album. Did you get Dominic Miller to record that introduction just for the movie?

Luc_Besson111 karma


demagogue77786 karma

Additionally, what is your free diving depth record?

Luc_Besson113 karma

50 meters

GregLittlefield80 karma

On a scale from 1 to 10, how annoyed are you that people keep asking you a sequel to The 5th Element/Leon/Whatever movie?

Luc_Besson300 karma

  1. It makes me so happy that my films are still alive in the mind of people. I will be eternally grateful to you.

Letter075 karma

How was it to work with Jean Reno and Gary Oldman in "Leon"?

Luc_Besson186 karma

Gary was amazing, inventive, and spectacular. Jean was, at the time, deeply in love and not concentrated. I had to fight with him. Good news is, he came back to his senses.

TBMachine72 karma

I really loved the 3D used in Valerian. It was some of the best 3D I have ever seen.

Why are they not releasing a 3D Blu-Ray of the film in the US?

Luc_Besson157 karma

I dont know but I'm going to ask

frankmint71 karma

Good day, Luc. Any change we can get a digital release of The Big Blue with the Bill Conte score? Eric's was good, but I fell in love with the movie with Bill's music.

Luc_Besson248 karma

I hate Bill's music in the film. Sorry

leesmapman65 karma

Coincidentially, I've watched Le Dernier Combat last month again. Really love it. Where was such a low-budget post-apocalyptic movie filmed?

Luc_Besson121 karma

Everything was filmed in Paris with absolutely no authorization in destroyed buildings. The entire budget was $180,000

tman050860 karma

What are your favorite Sci-Fi books?

Luc_Besson153 karma

"The Stars My Destination" by Alfred Bester

deadpool90254 karma

Hi Luc!

I'm a huge fan of your work, especially Subway, so thanks for making the film world that much more interesting. Anyways, my question is:

What are your biggest issues with the current state of the film industry?

Luc_Besson113 karma

Business is taking everyday more space. Creativity sounds like a default. The result is the films get more and more pre-eaten. The fun of movies when I started was the fact that we can take risks. It's almost not the case anymore. A film is always made by a director, not a studio.

Karsaurlong51 karma

What's your favorite comic book?

Luc_Besson87 karma

The Airtight Garage by Moeibus

jsho148 karma

What movie do you wish you could re-make with your own unique spin?

Luc_Besson121 karma


aught-o-mat46 karma

Do you have any relationship/communication with Jodorowski?

I absolutely love The Fifth Element and don’t think it was stolen from him. But I love that it seemed inspired by his work.

I’d love to see you and he truly collaborate on a project someday.

Luc_Besson186 karma

He waited until Fifth Element became a huge success and after the DVD release, he sued me. Then he lost. I have nothing more to say about him

pyxis46 karma

Thank you for making Leon. It's one of my favorites and I saw it in the theater 4 or 5 times.

What was it like working with Jean Reno on this film?

Luc_Besson67 karma

Jean Reno (and Eric Serra) are my best friends since I was 17. Being with them is always a pleasure, whether we're working or not.

Luc_Besson62 karma

Jean is my best friend (with Eric Serra) since I was 17. Being next to him is always a pleasure no matter if we're working or not.

notarussianhacker44 karma

Were there any paticular influences leading to Gary Oldman's character in Leon? Also, was his love for Beethoven just a random choice or is there more to it than that?

Luc_Besson73 karma

No specific influence for the character. In terms of Beethoven, regarding the strength and the volume of his music, and the fact that he was deaf. :)

leesmapman37 karma

Any plans on working with Jean Reno and Eric Serra again?

Luc_Besson61 karma

Let's have a dinner first

DiomaByrne33 karma

Susan Hayward argues in her book on you and your works that anit-establishment and anti capitalist themes can be read in many of your early films, specifically regarding the commodification of women in Nikita and the rejection of mainstream society by Jacques. Do you agree with her analysis and do you subscribe to any such views/ideologies?

Luc_Besson98 karma

In a way, yes. But I think it's the mission of art in any form. Art is not an anti-establishment view (in a literal sense). But art always proposes another view from another angle, from another mirror.

Sweetragnarok32 karma

Have so many questions to ask so I'll make mines count

  • If you had a chance will you consider doing a super hero movie? If yes what DC/Marvel character would you love to direct?

  • What is your favorite horror film?

  • There are a lot of Anime/Japanese and Korean Manga stories that will be great to do as a movie (example: Akira/ Ghost in a Shell). Is this something you would consider doing?

  • If you were to show a friend/fan round who has never been to France or any favorite place in the world, what little known cafe, restraurant or area would you say they should check out?

Luc_Besson144 karma

1) I'm not very interested 2) I don't like horror films. Too scary. I have nightmares after. 3) There is something very special with the Japanese creativity. I think we shouldn't touch it, and we should appreciate it the way it is. If they want to make a film, they should do it. Not us. 4) Have a chocolate on Piazza San Marco in Venice (not in LA!!!!)

ThisorThatEdition32 karma

Which edition of Léon do you prefer: Theatrical or International/Extended Cut?

Luc_Besson76 karma

The Extended Cut.

steve96731 karma

As a filmmaker, which films would you identify as your biggest influences?

Luc_Besson87 karma

None. I'm more influenced by the life around me. My parents, the nature, the others....

piknick199429 karma

What advice do you have for someone not in Hollywood looking to get their writing portfolio in the hands of producers or agents who can sell their work?

Luc_Besson84 karma

Most of the people send their work too soon. You have to work again and again on your script until you don't know how to make it better. That's the signal that you should send it to someone to read.

Two_Faced_Harvey28 karma

Any news on your next project?

Luc_Besson67 karma

I'm working on it. Starting the shooting in 10 days

Locke_John26 karma

Will you work with the greatest actor of our generation Ethan Hawke again? How was it working with him on Valerian?

Luc_Besson63 karma

I will work with him anytime. He's a great actor who deserves much more. He reminds me of Gary Oldman.

leesmapman25 karma

Any chance in getting the "The Story Of..." books released in English? I have lost the 5th Element book and my French isn't as good to read the Story of Leon (which I have in French)

Luc_Besson35 karma

We're working on it. Hopefully soon.

SuperBeethoven24 karma

Why do you think The Big Blue didnt do as well outside of France?

Luc_Besson115 karma

Let's rephrase your question: why didn't the Big Blue work in America? Probably because the distributor sold the film like: Rambo Under Water and I don't think it was the best way to sell it. Then in the rest of the world the film worked damn good.

wimpyroy21 karma

What's your favorite type of shoes to wear?

Luc_Besson51 karma


nhath117 karma

Why do you think Velerian wasn’t able to bring in a wider audience? Do you think it’s because the source material wasn’t known that well to the general public?

Luc_Besson48 karma

I think today there's so many films to watch, so many solicitations, that if the promotion is not well made, no one is aware.

AFalcon9017 karma

What are some of your favorite films of the past few years?

Luc_Besson67 karma

Avatar, Whiplash, Miss Sloane, Get Out......those are the first that came out of my mind

wi5hbone17 karma

Of all the elements, which is your favorite?


edit: interestingly I posted this first at the r/movies notifying post about Mr. Luc's AMA, before heading over here to ask it.. and low and behold; got a kind response.

Luc_Besson44 karma


demagogue77716 karma

Will there be a sequel to Adele blanc sec?

Luc_Besson36 karma

I would love to. Maybe a TV series...

DiomaByrne15 karma

Why did you decide to form your own production company and stop working with Gaumont? What have been the pros and cons of the change?

Luc_Besson57 karma

Gaumont is an old lady that I love and respect but when you're 18 years old you want to discover and redefine the world and as you know, your parents are always against it. So you have to cut the rope and go for your own experience.

Luc_Besson10 karma

Gaumont is an old lady that I love and respect. But when you're 18 you want to discover and redefine the world so you have to cut the rope with your parents and experience the world by yourself.

HarleyQuinn7815 karma

Would you ever revisit the characters from The Fifth Element? Like in an actual sequel or a book/comic book continuation of Corbin and Leelo's story?

Luc_Besson51 karma

I love the characters, but I started to write the story when I was 16, so it's a little far and I want to move on.

FriendlyCraig15 karma

We all know success takes time and talent, but how much luck do you think was involved in your success? Was there some big break that you'd like to share?

Luc_Besson56 karma

I get lucky for sure. But I provoke the luck a million times to get a chance.

SolidArf14 karma

Hi! I loved the editing decisions in Lucy - especially the idea to intercut symbolic shots of animals with the story. I was wondering what inspired that choice?

BTW, love your work! :)

Luc_Besson33 karma

The end of the film is pretty damn difficult to swallow so I wanted to prep the audience from the beginning to have their brain open. So by intercutting you are obliged to think differently and be much more open and clever.

CraigRoxwel12 karma

Have you watched/read The Expanse?

Luc_Besson22 karma


Elloco99912 karma

Could you tell us a bit about Anna ?

Luc_Besson36 karma

Nope :)

Chaoticcoco12 karma

Hey Luc, after the less enthusiastic response to the latest entry, is the transporter franchise officially dead now? Is the planned trilogy not going ahead?

Luc_Besson28 karma

The good thing about movies and characters...they never really died.

RatMooten12 karma

What is the next big project you are going to be working on?

Luc_Besson18 karma

Shooting ANNA in 10 days

coryrenton11 karma

which sci-fi films inspire jealousy in that you wish you had made them but could not do better, and which sci-fi films inspire anger in that you know you could have made them better?

Luc_Besson64 karma

Jealousy and anger are the worst engines to create. Desire, admiration, excitement are the good ones. 2001 is stunning. Brazil is unforgettable, the first Alien is a beacon, and the first Star Wars is just pure genius.

AndromedaFederation11 karma

Thank you Luc for all of your work! Valerian pulled me from my sit and into a beautiful world!

If you could offer a piece of advice..directing/filming is a passion of mine, how can one grow, within themselves, in your opinion, as a filmmaker?

Luc_Besson29 karma

Two things to do: never lie to yourself and open your senses 24 hours per day. Stories are everywhere around you, in the air, in the people, in the nature, everywhere.

doug_c11 karma

Taxi is one of my favourite films, it seems you have a certain style for crazy multi car pile ups in your car films. When are we going to see one again?

Luc_Besson18 karma

They are shooting Taxi 5 right now. Actually their last day of shooting is Friday.

darthmcchub10 karma

Hey Luc, do you have a favourite line of dialogue that you’ve written? What is it?

Luc_Besson42 karma

Roberto Mio Palmos! That's from the Big Blue and it doesn't make any sense in Italian.

BoomClank2510 karma

Luc, I haven't seen all of your work (I plan to watch Leon and Nikita soon), but I adore the Fifth Element and admire some qualities about Valerian (I think it could've been a lot better, though).

I have a few questions about Valerian, if you don't mind:

1) What inspired the Big Market scene, and the opening with Alpha's construction? Those were my favorite parts of the film, aside from Bubble's dance :)

2) What did Jean-Claude Mézières and Pierre Christin think of the film? Do you know?

3) Alexandre Desplat gave the film a fantastic score. Was he your first choice, and how did you get him involved with the project?

Luc_Besson40 karma

1) I got the idea of Big Market almost 20 years ago by going through an x-ray machine and seeing myself in two different ways: 1 in flesh and 1 in bones. It's still me but it's two different representations. That's the beginning of the idea of Big Market. 2) Jean-Claude and Pierre waited almost 50 years to see a film about Valerian and Laureline. They were crying when they watched it. I was crying too. Everybody was crying. We are such babies. 3) Alexandre was my first choice. It was just a pure pleasure working with him.

ArcaneFries9 karma

Would you ever consider making a more morose style sci-fi film, perhaps similar to an expanded version of Philip K Dick's Electric Ant or I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon?

Luc_Besson19 karma

Sorry, I dont know the references you mention

UpThaDumpaaa9 karma

Huge fan of 5th Element! Did you get to keep any props from that movie for yourself? If so, which ones?

Also, I'd kill for something signed by you! Cheers!

Luc_Besson30 karma

I keep the model of the boat Flhoston Paradise.

lshic9 karma

Hey Luc, l love "Le Grand Bleu", Leon and Valerian.

Which one of those do you like most?

Luc_Besson43 karma

It's like asking someone "which kid of yours do you prefer?"

jjh01028 karma

What was your favorite movie to direct? Like, fun wise?

Luc_Besson34 karma

It's never fun because I'm so dedicated. Most of the time I finish exhausted with 10 extra kilos. So it's fun like crossing the Atlantic on a 10 meter boat.

ChristianBalesClone6 karma

Bonjour, Luc! Im a big fan of your films, and the cast for Anna looks great so far!

Is there anyone in Hollywood that you have yet to work with that you would be excited to collaborate with?

Luc_Besson15 karma

So many actors and actresses are amazing. So I would be happy to work with many of them. My only question is always the same: who is the best for the part?

Azureknight2053 karma

The Fifth Element and Leon are two of my favorite movies of all time. Was there ever any pressure to try to follow these movies up with sequels? To me, they are perfect movies, and stand well on their own, but in this day and age, studios want to franchise everything. Was there ever an idea for The Fifth Element 2?

Luc_Besson13 karma

I'm not very sensitive to pressure. I try to be honest with myself. If I find a good idea for a sequel, whatever the film is, I will do it.

Farscape293 karma

Is there any chance we'll ever revisit the world created by The Fifth Element? Not necessarily with the same heroes/villains, what kind of stories would you tell minus Dallas Korban and Leelo?

Luc_Besson19 karma

I love the film and the characters, but I started writing the Fifth Element when I was 16, so I guess it's time for me to move on.

Couldnt_think_of_a3 karma

Is there anything that can be done for the horror genre to make it interesting or creative?

Luc_Besson61 karma

The biggest horror film ever made is playing on the news everyday at 8pm.

jawnquixote3 karma

We've seen a TON of new, thought provoking sci-fi in recent years. Are there any films specifically that you wish you could have directed?

Luc_Besson15 karma


ak_doug3 karma

I am never disappointed in your movies, they are always imaginative and interesting. But the premise of "Lucy" is fundamentally flawed and scientifically unsound. Did you get a lot of grief from people while trying to make it?

Luc_Besson18 karma

I worked for a year with huge professors in Paris. I knew exactly what was right and what was wrong. But it's a movie and my goal was to make interesting something that was not. If I ask you to watch 2 hour documentary about the brain, all the kids when they're 16 will fall asleep. Now if at the end of Lucy they go on the internet to check out, my mission has been accomplished.

Franck_TUNGS7EN2 karma

Hello Mr.Besson !

Are there things or characters in your movie Valerian, that are actually inspired by Metroid/Super Metroid video games ? Not to say that Laureline looks a lot like Samus ! Or is it a "simple coincidence" ? And do you like video games in general ? Thanks :)

Luc_Besson9 karma

The first album of Valerian was in 1971 when the video game you mentioned was probably not even born. The real question is did they get inspired by Valerian, like many others.

BeerDrinkinGreg2 karma

Luc, I am a big fan of your action movies. (Sorry, not a sci-fi guy).

But I have a question. What are the chances of a French remake of "The Godfather"? Think of the casting. Imagine maybe Tcheky Karyo as Michael, Anne Parliaud as Connie. I would love to see Luc Besson as a Mob underboss. Such a movie would need your touch as a director!

Luc_Besson4 karma

Not with me :)

cinecade2 karma

Dane DeHan and Cara Delivigne are two of my favorite actors working today! How did you find working with them?

Luc_Besson8 karma

It was an absolute pleasure every day, every hour.

heykarlll1 karma

Mr. Besson,

When making LEON, were you at all influenced by the movies of John Woo?

Luc_Besson7 karma

Not at all. I love John Woo and his style, but I'm far from him.