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Luc Besson to direct Robert DeNiro in gangster thriller Malavita

05.21.2012
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Director Luc Besson (LEON, THE FIFTH ELEMENT) is getting back behind the camera again for MALAVITA, which is described as a "gangster thriller" that will star none other than Robert DeNiro as a retired American gangster living with his family under the witness protection program in Normandy.  Based on the book Badfellas by Tonino Benacquista, it's an ironic twist for one of the main stars of Scorsese's GOODFELLAS

Here's the book synopsis:

Under cover of darkness, an American family moves into a villa in Cholong-sur-Avre in Normandy. Fred Blake, the father, tells everyone he is there to write a history of the Allied landings. His wife Maggie gets involved in a local charity; their teenage children enrol in the lycee. At first glance a family like any other. But Fred's real name is Giovanni Manzoni - an ex-Mafia boss who has grassed and is now part of the FBI's witness-protection program. And his record in other locations would indicate that his cover is not likely to last very long.

The project seems to be more of a black comedy than a "gangster thriller" so it's still up in the air on what we can expect.  LEON meets MEET THE PARENTS perhaps?

It's been a long while since Besson directed anything of note as he's been busy churning out something like twelve high-concept scripts per year and passing them off to someone else.  For me, Besson hasn't done anything prolific since THE FIFTH ELEMENT.  It'd be nice to see him back in form.

More as this develops.

And here's this, to remind you of Besson in top form:

Extra Tidbit: Anyone else feel a little embarrassed for Robert DeNiro in The Killer Elite? Okay, also for Clive Owen. Statham was right at home.
Source: Variety

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3:46PM on 05/21/2012

Besson directing is always a good news

Everyone (and their mother) knows about LEON & THE FIFTH ELEMENT, and possibly NIKITA...mostly because these three are the most kickass films by Besson. But IMO, there are also THE BIG BLUE (director's cut, not the edited one) and ANGEL-A which are two of his criminally underrated gems. I think because these two are basically romantic drama types, not his usual action films, turned most people off. But a good movie is always a good movie, and Besson returning in directing liveaction after so
Everyone (and their mother) knows about LEON & THE FIFTH ELEMENT, and possibly NIKITA...mostly because these three are the most kickass films by Besson. But IMO, there are also THE BIG BLUE (director's cut, not the edited one) and ANGEL-A which are two of his criminally underrated gems. I think because these two are basically romantic drama types, not his usual action films, turned most people off. But a good movie is always a good movie, and Besson returning in directing liveaction after so long is for me, is a really fantastic news. De Niro's seriously needs a LEON type character to salvage his gangster persona!
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2:34PM on 05/21/2012
Angel-A was Besson's last great movie. Most Americans don't know it exists,because A) it's in black and white, and B) it's in French.
Angel-A was Besson's last great movie. Most Americans don't know it exists,because A) it's in black and white, and B) it's in French.
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11:46AM on 05/21/2012

Tidbit

I thought The Killer Elite was fine until the cringe-worthy reveal of who the final target was going to be.
I thought The Killer Elite was fine until the cringe-worthy reveal of who the final target was going to be.
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11:35AM on 05/21/2012
I would have been excited about this 10 years ago. Now, not so much. We've all seen how De Niro's career gone. And Luc Besson hasn't really turned in anything worth writing home about (as a director) either, since 1997.
I would have been excited about this 10 years ago. Now, not so much. We've all seen how De Niro's career gone. And Luc Besson hasn't really turned in anything worth writing home about (as a director) either, since 1997.
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11:24AM on 05/21/2012
I thought Lockout was a very good film. Didn't take itself too seriously and was a lot of fun.
I thought Lockout was a very good film. Didn't take itself too seriously and was a lot of fun.
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