After making an appearance in performance capture in “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”, actress Sasha Luss reunited with Luc Besson in 2019 for the film “Anna” in which she plays the leading role. At the time of the release in the United States, she reacted to accusations of rape against the French director.
Anna: the complicated release of Luc Besson’s latest film
After the huge commercial failure of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets in 2017, which put the company EuropaCorp in financial difficultiesLuc Besson returns in 2019 with the action thriller Anna. A clearly budgeted film less substantial that Valerian (30 million dollars) but which also sank to the box office.
Indeed, the feature film which stages Sasha Luss in the skin of a heroine in the line of Nikita, brought in only 31.6 million. A new financial wreck, which ended up definitively seal the fate of EuropaCorp.
The release of the film was also associated with a controversy targeting Luc Besson. Thus, the director had been accused of rape by an actress. The latter had also turned in Anna, but had been cut during editing. In the United States, these accusations complicated the release of the film.
Lionsgate had indeed acquired the distribution rights before the accusation fell, in 2017. The promotion at the time of the release was therefore very discreet, with in particular the absence of Luc Besson, and three main actors (Luke Evans, Helen Mirren and Cillian Murphy). the LA Times also mentioned the absence of screenings for the press before the release.
When Sasha Luss was talking about Luc Besson
It is under these conditions that Sasha Luss had therefore ensured the promotion of the film alone in the USA. Still for the LA Times, she had taken the time to address a thought as to the accusations against Luc Besson, whom she had met on the set of Valerian. She admitted having asked him in particular to assure her of his innocence:
I felt bad (…) I have known him for five years, and he has always behaved like a gentleman. It’s very sad. You have to understand that there was a long investigation and the authorities tried to find out whether it was true or not, and the case was dropped.
Indeed, on December 9, 2021, the investigating judge in the case had pronounced a dismissal in favor of Luc Besson. The plaintiff then appealed of this decision. The verdict on this appeal will be known on May 24.