Luc Besson is back in the director’s chair.
The French filmmaker, who was recently acquitted of all charges in a 2018 rape case, is directing the upcoming drama “DogMan” which will premiere during this year’s fall festival circuit. “DogMan” is described as the incredible story of a child, wounded by life, who finds his salvation through the love of his dogs. The feature film is Besson’s latest film since 2019’s “Anna”.
Caleb Landry Jones plays Douglas, a man who was abused as a child by his father and found solace in the friendship of dogs. Douglas later moves on to a woman and further explores his love of dogs. Jojo T. Gibbs also stars opposite Cannes Best Actor winner Jones, who took home the award in 2021 for “Nitram.”
Director Besson wrote “DogMan” and is producing the film through his LBP EuropaCorp. Paris-based Kinology will handle international market sales, while Apollo Films will distribute the film in France.
Besson has previously directed “The Fifth Element”, “Léon, the Professional” and “Valerian”. Besson was accused of assaulting actress Sand Van Roy in 2018; the case was dropped in 2021 after an investigation, but the legal charges were officially dropped in 2023 following multiple appeals by Van Roy.
“This decision confirms the dismissal in favor of Luc Besson and confirms all decisions in the past five years that have found him not guilty,” Besson’s attorney Thierry Marambert said at the time in a statement to IndieWire. “Therefore, this proceeding initiated in 2018, during which Luc Besson was systematically acquitted by all the magistrates who examined the case, is finally put to an end. As a lawyer, I welcome this exemplary procedure, which has allowed the manifestation of the truth which is that Luc Besson is innocent.”
“Léon, the Professional” actress Natalie Portman called the allegations against Besson “devastating” after working with the director as a child.
“It’s a film that is still loved, and people come to me talking about it more than anything I’ve ever done,” Portman said earlier this year of the 1994 film, “and it gave me my career, but it’s definitely, when you look at it now, it definitely has some awkward aspects, to say the least.So, yeah, it’s complicated for me.
“Dogman” will be released in theaters on September 27 in France, followed by an international launch. Check out the trailer below.