Believe or not, Luc Besson, the hugely successful producer behind action fare like “The Transporter” franchise, “Taken,” and the “District 13” films, and the director of “The Fifth Element” and “The Professional” is now directing a film about Burmese pro-democracy politician and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. Seriously. Shot last fall and due to hit theaters overseas later this year, we’re now getting our first major look at “The Lady.”
Michelle Yeoh takes on the lead role in the film, and a fansite (via Dark Horizons) has dug up a plethora of new stills from the film. If anything, Besson’s knack for beautifully shot composition is in full effect, as these look very, very strong. Aung San Suu Kyi became an icon for democratic freedom after she spent 15 years under house arrest in Burma after leading the National League for Democracy in an election victory over the ruling military junta in 1990. Her struggle gained international attention and last year, she was finally released from house arrest. This film won’t be a straight biopic however, and instead, will be set between 1988 – when Aung San Suu Kyi left Oxford to visit her sick mother and ended up staying in Burma – and 1999, the year her husband, Michael Aris (played by David Thewlis), died after being diagnosed with cancer. Aung San Suu Kyi was faced with an almost impossible decision of whether to stay or go after Aris had been forbidden from entering the country.
“The Lady” is slated to open in France on November 30th and is expected to hit the festival circuit this fall. Besson has “retired” from directing time and again, but this must have had a particular pull for him to want to step so far outside his usual wheelhouse. We’re definitely intrigued. Check out the pics below.