Luc Besson's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets put on a rather unfortunate performance at the box office this summer. Released in the middle of a very crowded season, the would-be blockbuster made only $40 million domestically, and even when international numbers are factored in they still make the $177.2 million budget look like a big mistake. Obviously this means that the chances of a sequel are basically zero, but apparently one follow-up that is moving forward as a result of Valerian tanking is Lucy 2.
Variety has published an article about how EuropaCorp - Luc Besson's production company - is rebounding following Valerian's box office flop, and apparently it involves a smaller slate and doubling down on the kind of movies that have earned them the big bucks in the past: sci-fi/action thrillers a la Taken, The Professional and The Fifth Element. While Besson's next project will be an original thriller with a female protagonist (production is scheduled to start next month), apparently he has already completed the script for Lucy 2, and EuropaCorp CEO Marc Shmuger has labeled the sequel as being in "active development."
In the first Lucy, released in 2014, Scarlett Johansson starred as the titular character - a woman who gets caught up in a dangerous smuggling effort thanks to her sketchy boyfriend. She has a new experimental drug surgically placed inside her, but plans go awry when she is hit in the stomach and the bag inside her bursts. Rather than killing her, it instead turns her into a superhero whose incredible powers grow in strength with each passing day.
Lucy 2 has actually been in the works since the summer of 2015, but it's worth noting that Luc Besson was not always very into the idea. While Lucy made an incredible amount of money when it was first released ($463 million globally), Besson dismissed the idea of a follow-up by saying that the blockbuster was "not made for that." (The film does end with Lucy leaving her human form behind the become one with the universe) Besson kept the sequel option open with a caveat, saying that a "good enough" idea could change his mind, but could see the performance of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets making him a bit less captious.
Given the aforementioned ending of the first Lucy, we have no idea if Scarlett Johansson will return for the sequel - but given that Luc Besson seems to be pre-occupied with his other project, EuropaCorp has some time to work out a deal with the actress. She has recently been spending a whole lot of time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, being a key part of the year-long Avengers: Infinity War/Avengers 4 production down in Atlanta, Georgia, but she doesn't seem to have much going on professionally beyond that.
We'll hopefully here more about Lucy 2's project in the near future, but for now answer our poll below and tell us what you think about the project moving forward!
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.