Luc Besson’s ‘Dracula’ Film With Caleb Landry Jones Is Shooting Now, Says He Gave Tarantino His Retirement Idea

The release of Luc Besson’s Dogman (review here) into theaters this week has the French filmmaker talked about more than in a long time. But Besson isn’t slowing down any, as he’s already hard at work in Finland on his next film, Dracula: A Love Tale, which reunites him with actor Caleb Landry Jones and Oscar winner Christoph Waltz.

“I started shooting it already,” Besson said in an interview with The Discourse Podcast. “It comes from the from the Bram Stoker tale, but the vision for me is a love story between him and his princess – like in the book. And so you will see soon.”

At 65 years old, Besson acknowledges his career is winding down. His next movie will be number 22 for him, but he says his original plan was to retire after 10 movies, and that he gave this idea to Quentin Tarantino, who is about to quit after his tenth film…

“What’s funny is that I said that to Tarantino a long time ago,” Besson said. “So, he copied me. No, I was I was honest when I said that. I said that after like six or seven movies. And it was a way for me to concentrate and say, ‘If I have only ten bullets, I have to be careful with the last three.’ Because at this time, Hollywood, there was lots of sirens, coming to me saying, ‘here’s the script,’ and the projects that they proposed to me were not bad, but it was sequels – it was the Hollywood machine. And they propose with a lot of money. I don’t want to. I want to stay myself, how to stay pure,” he continued. “So I need to find a way to resist the sirens of these mermaids. And the way I found to do that was to say, ‘I’m going to do ten, so if I have two more films, I can’t do that. I have to do something more like the one I want.’

Besson’s tenth movie was 2005’s romantic-fantasy, Angel-A, which was critically panned. I remember seeing it in a theater and wondering where the guy who made La Femme Nikita and Leon: The Professional had gone. Obviously, he didn’t quit after that, but it took a while for him to get back into the groove.

“When I finally did the tenth, I stopped for a while, but I was still writing like four or five scripts per year,” he said.

So where does it end for Besson now? He has a finish line in mind: 25 movies total.

“So, maybe I should do one or two more because I still have a lot [to say],” Besson speculated. “Well, now I can tell you, I’m going to do three [films] and then I stop. Oh, so we’re done after three here. So, after “Dracula,” there’s two more, and I don’t bother you after that.”

I don’t buy for a second that Besson will give up on directing any time soon. But then, I don’t believe it from Tarantino, either.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.