PARIS – The French world of film was reeling with shock today when in the early hours of Monday morning, Luc Besson was arrested for kidnapping Liam Neeson’s sons.
The Gendarmes freed the two young men from Luc Besson’s
basement following a raid on his house in Paris.
Suspicions were initially raised when Liam Neeson
changed his mind and then made a series of substandard action films for the French producer/director. The two boys were ‘taken’ in 2007, when Liam Neeson turned down the lead in Taken, saying ‘the role is poorly written and the plot badly conceived’. Many were surprised when he changed his mind following ‘rewrites’. It is now clear that these rewrites came in the form of ransom notes, demanding his participation in the films in return for their continued safety.
A spokesperson for the 6th Arrondissement police department told the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:
We could dismiss the first Taken as a kind of joie de vivre, it had a certain je ne sais quoi even if it was très ridicule. But the sequels and then Unknown and Non Stop were just too much. This is the man who played Oscar Schindler for crying out loud. There was only one explanation. Luc Besson had obviously kidnapped members of Mr. Neeson’s family and were using them as leverage to force him into ho-hum movie roles that were gradually wasting away at his talent.
The police also revealed that Mr. Neeson himself participated in the raid and was responsible for killing of a number of M. Besson’s henchman that the Nikita director had hired from the Russian Mafia, though Besson himself almost escaped capture. ‘He climbed over a garden wall and was running down a back alley when Neeson captured him with a flying scissor kick,’ said one witness in French. ‘It was f*cked up.’
The police added:
A Europe-wide search has begun as it is believed that Besson has hidden Gary Oldman’s grandmother and George Clooney’s aunt in secret locations,
perhaps in Switzerland or Alsace Lorraine, though Besson refuses to give a precise location until he has a firm commitment from the actors to appear in a live action version of Asterix in America. The crime against Mr. Neeson however is the most grave, compounded by the fact that Mr. Neeson was forced to play a father whose child has been kidnapped, cruelly forcing him to reenact his real life situation before an unsuspecting world.
Taken 3 will be released in 2015.
PARIS – Luc Besson, French film director of such classics as Nikita and Leon, as well as producer of the Taken series, has announced that he is to produce and direct the long awaited sequel to the French Connection.
“I’ve talked with Gene Hackman and Bill Friedkin and they are both happy for me to do it”, said Luc.
In fact, Bill Friedkin told me that he had always envisioned it as a trilogy but the seventies was so lame when it came to making decent movies that no one would put up the money for a trilogy.
What do you bring to this film which is considered a classic of the genre?
I agree. It is a classic, but one thing always gave me Le Hump. This was the French Connection, right? But where was France? Or the French? Even Fernando Rey (who played the original villain) was Spanish. So in our version, I added some French things which will make it a real FRENCH connection. Ooh la la! As we say, constantly.
The official synopsis reads:
Joey ‘Popeye’ Doyle Jr. (Chris Pine) and Det. Buddy (Channing Tatum) are on the trail of a mysterious high end drug dealer, called Frenchie (Jean Reno). They track him down to Paris, a large city in France, where Frenchie maintains his cover as an onion seller, riding a bicycle and wearing a stripy jumper and a beret. Then there is a very exciting bicycle chase and they are fighting with baguettes and riding bicycles. And they get mixed up with Le Tour de France!
The French Connection 3: Attack on Paris will begin shooting in August.