VARIETY – British singer-actor Luke Evans (“Murder Mystery,” “Nine Perfect Strangers”) and Taiwanese female actor Gwei Lun-mei (“Black Coal, Thin Ice,” “Girlfriend, Boyfriend”) will co-star in “Weekend Escape Project,” an action thriller being produced in Taiwan by EuropaCorp.
The film marks a further comeback for EuropaCorp after a four-year hiatus that followed the personal travails of its founder, Luc Besson, and financial difficulties at the company. EuropaCorp was taken over by its junior lender, Vine Alternative Investments, in 2020, as part of a restructuring deal.
Besson and Virginie Besson-Silla are producing the movie for EuropaCorp. Kinology is handling international sales.
Directed by George Huang, the film (aka “Weekend in Taipei”) is set to start shooting on July 3 in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital. Production is expected to take three months and take in locations including the Ximending district, Zhongshan Hall, the Dome and Taipei City Hall.
In February, Besson-Silla scouted locations for the film with director Olivier Megaton (“Transporter 3”) and met with Taipei mayor Wayne Chiang. Both Besson and Besson-Silla will be on the ground for the start of the shoot.
Besson previously used Taipei for the principal photography of 2014 sci-fi actioner “Lucy.” At the time, he castigated paparazzi for tailing star Scarlett Johanssen, but called the city “photogenic” and praised the high levels of cooperation with local authorities.
Evans has already arrived in the city and over the weekend used Instagram to drop a photo of the iconic Taipei 101 skyscraper and to tease “Guess where I am?”.
While the film’s plot details are under currently wraps, Taiwanese media report that Evans’ character is a U.S. Drug Enforcement officer who is on a duty visit to the city. There he meets Gwei’s character, described as an old lover. Action levels are expected to be on a par with those in “Taken,” “Transporter,” “From Paris with Love” and “Danny the Dog.”
After a financial restructuring, EuropaCorp is making a comeback this year. “DogMan,” the Besson-directed drama about a man who finds salvation through his love for canines, starring Caleb Landry Jones (“Nitram,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” is tipped to premiere at Venice.