A few years ago, French director Luc Besson’s film Lucy made a bunch of money. Unfortunately, his follow-up Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets doesn’t star Scarlett Johansson, and c’est une bombe. Now Besson is mad at America for letting him down.
In a new interview with Brazilian website Cine Pop, [Luc] Besson wasn’t pulling any punches…
“And by the way, the aliens [in Valerian] are nice, you know, compared to big Hollywood films where the alien is always the villain, and the hero, which is always American, wants to show the power of America and how they can defend us…”
“But what bothers me most is that it’s always here to show the supremacy of America and how they are great,” Besson added. “I mean, which country in the world would have the guts to call a film ‘Captain Brazil?’ or ‘Captain France?’ I mean no one. We would be like so ashamed and say ‘no, no, we can’t do that.’ They can. They call it ‘Captain America’. And everybody thinks it’s normal.”
I can think of at least one good reason for that. Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created Steve Rogers all the way back in 1941, when Besson’s Vichy ancestors were still bending over for Adolf. Those comic-book guys probably didn’t think “Captain France” had the same ring to it.
(Imagine Captain France trying to fight the Red Skull. A couple pages of Cap running away, and then it turns into a porno comic. “And now, schweinhund, you will see what else is red!”)
A few years after Captain America’s debut, the U.S. and the other Allied forces liberated France. That’s why Besson doesn’t give interviews in German.
Well, no need to thank us, Luc! Watching your movie fail is all the reward we need. Deez nuts: Bon appetit!
P.S. The closest thing Captain America has to a counterpart in France is the villain Batroc the Leaper. And he’s a joke. He got taken out in the first 10 minutes of Winter Soldier.