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September 19, 2017

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Luc Besson reportedly furious over media coverage in Taipei

TAIPEI--Renowed French director Luc Besson is saidto be extremely angry with the extensive media coverage of the filming of his new movie "Lucy" in downtown Taipei, local media reported yesterday.

Although a number of measures have been taken to keep the media away, television cameramen have still managed to shoot footage of Besson, his crew and the star of "Lucy," actress Scarlett Johansson working through various scenes of the movie.

Some local TV stations have taken turns broadcasting video of Besson directing shots and scenes outside the five-star Regent Taipei hotel the past couple of days, and print media have given extensive coverage to details of the filmmaking process.

"Besson's mood has been seriously affected by all of these unauthorized reports," the China Times quoted an unidentified source as saying.

The United Daily News said the director "went nuts" at one point over the media's intrusion into the filming process.

Besson is best known for his 1997 movie "The Fifth Element." His latest works include "The Lady" and the "Taken" series.

Security was tightened at the Regent entrance on Tuesday, with a huge black drape erected and a Japanese-style paper door set up to shield the filming process and the director's monitor from media eyes.

One of the crew's security guards also pointed green laser beams at journalists' faces, cameras and mobile phones to deter them from getting closer and taking pictures.

The United Daily News said that despite the media disturbances, the filming of gunfight scenes proceeded smoothly at the Regent on Tuesday from 5 a.m to about 5 p.m.

According to the paper, the film's cast includes Lee Chun, one of the sons of Oscar-winning Taiwan-born, New York-based director Ang Lee.

Two Taiwanese actors, Ken Lin and Hsing Feng, also have parts in the film, the paper said.

Lin plays the role of a hotel staff member, and Hsing Feng plays a taxi driver.

Both Lin and Lee Chun have studied performing arts in New York, according to the paper.

It quoted Lin as saying that he was impressed by Johansson's professionalism as an actress, saying that she rarely needed to reshoot scenes multiple times.

He also said he's had the chance to chat and interact with Johansson and Lee Chun during breaks in the filming.

The action movie "Lucy" is reportedly about a woman, played by Johansson, working in Taiwan as a drug mule, who gains supernatural ability and becomes a fighting machine.

Johansson has appeared in such blockbusters as "Iron Man 2" and "The Avengers."

"Lucy" is the biggest Hollywood film to be shot in Taiwan since Ang Lee's 3D epic adventure film "Life of Pi."

In sharp contrast to "Lucy," the filming of Lee's picture in Taichung in Central Taiwan took place with very few outside distractions from Taiwan's often freewheeling media.

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