Luc Besson reportedly to cut short Taipei shoot


TAIPEI–Renowned French director Luc Besson is canceling the filming of scenes in downtown Taipei for his new movie “Lucy” because of the media’s intrusion into the filming process, according to local reports Sunday.

Besson’s cast and crew have been hounded by Taiwan television cameramen, which has upset the director, the reports said.

The latest incident involved a TV crew that managed to shoot footage of Besson, the movie’s star Scarlett Johansson and crew members working through various scenes, the reports said.

As a result, Besson is thinking about cutting short the shoot in Taipei, which would have included a scene about burning incense at Lungshan Temple to pray for good luck, the reports said.

The reports came two days after an incident in which vehicles driven by Besson’s crew were almost hit by a local media automobile during a segment of the filming in Taipei.

The incident occurred because the media group did not follow a pre-arranged reporting plan, which led to the “dangerous action,” Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin said at a press conference.

The near crash affected the progress of the shoot and upset the French director, said Hau, urging the local media to exercise self-restraint.

Qu You-ning, a Taiwanese director and Golden Bell Awards winner, said it is normal to see the media trying to take pictures of the filming process.

The film crew can ensure a successful shoot by negotiating with the media beforehand, Qu said.

Another local director Gavin Lin said Taiwanese journalists behave “much better” than those in other countries in trying to get information about the filming process.

He said the recent incidents should not affect any plans by other overseas film crews to shoot films in Taiwan.

“Lucy” is the biggest Hollywood film to be shot in Taiwan since Ang Lee’s 3-D epic adventure “Life of Pi.”

Besson’s action movie reportedly is about a woman, played by Johansson, working in Taiwan as a drug mule, who gains supernatural ability and becomes a fighting machine.