MovieXperience ~ Other People We Love > David Belle

Films: Banlieue 13 (District 13, District B13, Ghetto Gangz)

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The first time I saw David was in Banlieue 13. It's a French action film from 2004 produced and co-written by Luc Besson in order to showcase the talents of Cyril Raffaelli and David Belle. Cyril is a martial artist and stuntman (he did the fight choreography for The Transporter series, for example) while David is the founder of parkour. Between them they came up with absolutely breathtaking action sequences that they performed entirely on their own (no stuntmen here, since no one could do this stuff better than them anyway) filmed to perfection by Pierre Morel (who later went on to direct Taken). I cannot recommend that film enough.      
Here's the trailer:

And here's the opening chase scene, to this day the best parkour scene caught on film:

Thanks for posting these. The first time I saw these clips, I assumed it was wirework or cgi or some other fakery. After I learned that this is real, I was blown away! He's like a superhero. Batman couldn't even do that stuff without expensive scifi gadgets! And as I watch these clips again, I'm struck by how graceful he is. All that death-defying craziness looks like extreme ballet when he does it.

Montgomery Burns 13:


Film News
AFM 2011: Luc Besson Prepping BRICK MANSIONS, An English Language Remake Of DISTRICT B13

by Todd Brown, October 25, 2011 4:52 PM

Whether you call it Banlieue 13, District 13 or District B13 - it was released under all three titles in different territories - there's no denying that the Luc Besson produced action film caused something of a sensation upon release. For many it represented a first exposure to the sport of parkour - or free running - and the film's fusion of that free flowing style with traditional martial arts made it a hit among fans of international action.

And now Besson wants to do it again. In English.

EuropaCorp's American Film Market mailout declares that an English language remake titled Brick Mansions is now in production. But given that it does not list a director or cast - i.e. we do not know yet whether original star and co-founder of the parkour movement David Belle will appear - and the IMDB currently lists the project as in-development that seems a little bit premature. Here's the official synopsis, however:

* Chicago suburbs: nobody has control over Brick Mansions. Damien, an undercover cop, is facing an extreme mission: a mass-destruction weapon was stolen by Tremaine, the most powerful drug dealer in the Ghetto and Damien needs to infiltrate the gang to defuse the bomb. To accomplish his mission, he needs help from someone who knows well Brick Mansions: Lino, an expert at getting out of trouble with his extraordinary agility. Lino has had problems with the police in the past, but needs the mission to rescue his sister abducted by Tremaine. Will he accept joining forces with Damien?...Will they succeed in bringing down Tremaine?


Paul Walker In Talks For Luc Besson’s ‘District B 13′ Redo ‘Brick Mansions’

EXCLUSIVE: Paul Walker is in talks to star in Brick Mansions, the Americanized remake of the Paris-set Banlieue 13. The film has a script by Luc Besson (who co-wrote the original) and Robert Mark Kamen, Besson’s collaborator on Taken. The idea is for Walker to star with David Belle. Belle starred in the original and the sequel District 13: Ultimatum and he is also credited with creating Parkour, a sport that involves agility and leaping and climbing around obstacles. There is a lot of that in these films.

The film will be set in American city, most likely Chicago. Walker will play an undercover detective chasing a weapon of mass destruction that was stolen by a drug dealer in the ghetto known as Brick Mansions. He seeks help from the incredibly agile Lino (Belle), who knows Brick Mansions better than anyone and is the only person not cowering in fear of the drug dealers. Besson’s Europa Corp is producing, and while a number of Hollywood actors wanted the Lino role, Besson would not make the movie unless Belle was in it.

The original Banlieue 13 was directed by Pierre Morel, who went on to direct Besson’s Taken and From Paris With Love. Besson is giving this directing job to another protégé, but the company would not reveal who he is. Europa Corp will soon make a domestic distribution deal, which never seems to be a problem with the modestly budgeted smart action thrillers that Besson hatches. I’m sure there will be AFM action on Brick Mansions, though Besson is preoccupied with the Oscar season launch of The Lady, the film he directed with Michelle Yeoh starring as Burmese democracy reformist Aung San Suu Kyi and David Thewlis playing her husband Michael Aris, who kept their family together while she was placed under house arrest for more than a decade. Both are expected to be in the awards season mix after the film bowed at 2011 Toronto Film Festival and was acquired for domestic distribution by Cohen Media Group.

Walker will make the film before reprising his role in The Fast and the Furious 6. He’s repped by UTA and Luber Rocklin. Here is a trailer from the sequel that captures the acrobatics and action that distinguished both films:

cross=post from Paul picspam thread

Nice! Let's see how this develops!


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