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Luc Besson is Quietly Directing a Feature Biopic Called 'The Lady'

by
January 7, 2011
Source: Deadline

Luc Besson / Aung San Suu Kyi

What the - is Luc Besson making a big comeback? Deadline published an interesting report about French filmmaker Luc Besson, who was going to retire years ago, working on another project. Apparently Besson is quietly shooting a biopic in Paris called The Lady, telling the story of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was in the news a lot after being released from house arrest last November. Starring in the lead role is Michelle Yeoh, who has mostly been back in China, but she met Suu Kyi prior to shooting. EuropaCorp is fully financing the Left Bank Pictures production, but it doesn't have a US distributor yet.

The Lady, which is a real name for Suu Kyi in Burma, focuses on the heartrending choice she had to make about whether to return to England and nurse her husband, played by David Thewlis (The Omen, Harry Potter), who was dying of cancer, or to carry on fighting for democracy in Burma. Burma is controlled by a "military junta" that's paranoid about her popular support. She was first arrested in 1989 and spent part of the last 21 years as a prisoner in her own home, despite winning an election. Where is John Rambo when we need him? I kid, I kid. The screenplay, written by Rebecca Frayn, was penned after 18 months of interviews with Suu Kyi's relatives and friends. It sounds like this is going to be a very intricate and powerful biopic.

The reason for all the secrecy surrounding The Lady, despite not involving J.J. Abrams, is because Suu Kyi is still under scrutiny by the government in Burma and "could still be re-arrested any moment." According to Deadline, they "don't want to make [her] position any worse." But they were spotted shooting on location in Oxford, England and now Paris following six weeks in Bangkok, Thailand. That's all we know about the project, but it sounds fascinating, and I'm intrigued. Maybe we'll see this in Cannes? The UK distributor is planning a release "next autumn." So I assume that means they'll be putting it out this year? Stay tuned!

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