Pierre Morel with John Travolta on the set of From Paris With Love.
John Travolta's crazy baldhead action-thriller From Paris With Love drops tomorrow, and while we're pretty thoroughly turned off by the idea of JT's old ass in a shoot 'em up flick, we're at least intrigued by the movie based solely off its director, veteran French filmmaker Pierre Morel.
Paris is just Morel's third feature as a director, but his last project was the thoroughly awesome Taken, and he's about to blow up big time, with no fewer than five projects in the works, including the sure-to-be-hyped-beyond-belief Dune, scheduled for a 2012 release. We took a minute to look back at Morel's resume, and it should be encouraging for all you struggling filmmakers out there: in ten years, dude has gone from credits like "Steadycam Operator" to directing big budget action extravaganzas. Keep at it folks...
THE TRANSPORTER, 2002
• Morel had worked for a decade in France as a cameraman and cinematographer for various small projects when he made his feature length debut as a cinematographer in the Jason Statham-starring, Luc Besson-written/produced Transporter. The perfectly-executed chase sequence in this opening scene makes subtitles superfluous.
BEFORE SUNSET, 2004
ROLE: Camera Operator
• Although his resume is mostly action-oriented, Morel went against type in '04, helping American director Richard Linklater film his Parisian romance featuring Julie Delphy and Ethan Hawke.
DISTRICT B13, 2004
• Morel made his directorial debut in this French action-thriller, penned by frequent collaborator Luc Besson. We're Jason Statham fans, but we're glad Morel used someone else for these killer parkour scenes.
• Morel's last project before graduating to full directorhood was this Phillip Atwell-helmed action flick starring Jason Statham, Jet Li, and Devon Aoki.
• What can we say about Taken that we haven't already said before? Not much except that it's action filmmaking at its best: minimal set-up, then Boom! guns, car chases, and throat chops. If anybody can make John Travolta's AARP ass dope, we're thinking it's Morel (although we're still stoked about Dune even if he can't).