Renowned French director Luc Besson, director of Léon and The Fifth Element is releasing a new thriller next year. Briarcliff Entertainment will release Luc Besson’s thriller DogMan in select theatres on March 15, 2024, and will expand on March 22, 2024. The film, written and directed by Besson, had its World Premiere at the Venice FIlm Festival and stars Caleb Landry Jones (Finch, Get Out, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri), Jojo T. Gibbs (Past Lives, Fresh) and Christopher Denham (Argo, Oppenheimer).
The plot synopsis from Briarcliff Entertainment reads,
“In DogMan, having just been arrested, Douglas opens his heart to tell the moving story of his life. As a survivor of childhood trauma, with a violent father who forces him to live in the family kennel, he develops a bond with dogs that defies understanding. Out of this hell, he grows to discover love, theatre, and cabaret, but also the injustice and disillusionment of the human world. In a life that’s been broken a thousand times, only the love of his dogs can bring salvation.”
Elements of the plot draw a semblance to a past film he had co-written with Robert Mark Kamen titled Unleashed, which starred Jet Li, Morgan Freeman, Bob Hoskins and Kerry Condon. Whereas that film was geared toward the martial arts action crowd with Li’s Danny character being raised as an attack dog, DogMan has the main character Douglas directly developing a kinship with the animals as he was being forced into dog-living situations. Caleb Landry Jones isn’t doing any martial arts, but he is thrown into the craziness of a revenge plot that features Besson’s signature gritty action, where the French director throws in the unique angle of Douglas instituting punishment in drag and incorporating his beloved pooches.
The Venice International Film Festival’s Alberto Barbera provided the following statement that confirms this is something different from what we normally expect to see from Besson: “I hope this movie that has convinced us will also convince those spectators and critics who think that Luc Besson only directs action movies, this is much more than that. I am not telling you anything about the plot, it is really surprising, it is a monument to an extraordinary American actor Caleb Landry Jones who makes a performance that will become memorable. You will discover this very soon.“