Luc Besson may be hard at work on DogMan, his first project as director in three years, but the legendary French filmmaker has another feature waiting in the wings.
June and John is a secret project Besson shot during lockdown, a low-budget experimental romance film that he made independently and self-financed. The Hollywood Reporter understands that the feature marks something of a departure for the director, who shot the film with a young cast and crew, which includes newcomers Luke Stanton Eddy and Matilda Pryce.
Produced by EuropaCorp and Virginie Besson-Silla, who has produced Besson’s last five films, June and John is being introduced to buyers in Cannes by Kinology.
Starring last year’s Palme d’Or winner Caleb Landry Jones (Nitram), DogMan is being billed as Besson’s directorial comeback, his first since 2019’s Anna, and tells the sprawling story of a child, bruised by life, who grows to find his salvation through the love of his dogs.
The film, which is shooting between France and the U.S., is being produced by Besson via his banner LBP. EuropaCorp, the company that he founded but that is now owned by New York-based Vine Alternative Investments, is co-producing the project.
Besson, who has been behind some of the biggest French-produced English-language films globally over the last 30 years and is known for titles such as La Femme Nikita, Leon and The Fifth Element, is looking to bounce back after a series of misfires as director, most notably his big-budget sci-fi Valerian that grossed $225.8 million on a $180 million budget.
The director has also faced sexual misconduct allegations from Dutch-Belgian actor Sand Van Roy, which he denied. In February 2019, French prosecutors dropped the case against Besson, citing lack of evidence, and in December 2021, a judge dismissed the case following a second investigation.