French director Luc Besson said in a behind-the-scenes report Thursday that he fell in love with Taipei 10 years ago when he was promoting his film The Fifth Element and decided to pick the city as the location for his new action thriller Lucy.

Besson made the comments in an exclusive, 110-second behind-the-scenes preview of Lucy, released by Universal Pictures on Thursday.

The French director said he wanted the movie to be set in a fast-paced Asian city, and praised Taiwan’s friendly people and helpful government.

He also took into consideration the fact that not many movies in Europe or the United States have been shot in Taipei.

The film footage included various sites in Taipei such as city buildings, sea views, beaches, forests and mountains, all within a 100-mile radius, according to Besson.

Lucy, starring American actress Scarlett Johansson, was also shot in Paris and New York City.

It features Johansson as a drug mule in Taiwan who gains supernatural ability and becomes a fighting machine.

In the preview, Johansson said it was her first shoot in Taipei.

She said the city residents were friendly and she felt free to explore. In Taiwan, when the shooting of a movie starts, a religious ritual is usually held, Johansson said, adding that this was a special experience for her.

Besson is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on August 18 for a two-day visit to promote the film, the distributor United International Pictures said in a statement released earlier this week.

Lucy will be released in Taiwan cinemas on August 20.


Images via IMDB and Movies Of Hollywood