One of the 35 movies we’re most excited about this summer is definitely action thriller Lucy, directed by Luc Besson (the super-producer behind action classic La Femme Nikita and The Fifth Element) and starring Captain America: The Winter Soldier actress Scarlett Johannson. It’s rare to see a female-led action thriller positioned as a summer tentpole, but that’s what Universal has done with Lucy, which the studio just shifted up from its previously announced August 8th release date to July 25th.
It’s unclear why Universal decided to make the move, given that its buzzy title The Purge: Anarchy opens on July 18th. Perhaps it has something to do with how crowded the August 8th date was; Lucy would have opened alongside Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a film aimed at the same younger demographic that Lucy is trying to grab, found footage thriller Into the Storm and Helen Mirren starrer The Hundred-Foot Journey. However, July 25th is pretty stuffed with films as well. Now, Lucy will have to contend with Brett Ratner’s Hercules, the Cameron Diaz-Jason Segel comedy Sex Tape and Lionsgate’s Step Up All In. Hopefully Lucy is able to secure the audience that Universal clearly feels it is capable of garnering in the face of such stiff competition.
In Lucy, Johannson plays the title character, an ordinary woman kidnapped and forced to become a drug mule who, upon having a dangerous substance leaked into her body, gains superhuman abilities. Opting to use these abilities to take her revenge, Lucy begins to hunt down her abductors, wreaking havoc across the world.
Morgan Freeman co-stars as a professor who realizes the significance of Lucy’s abilities, but this is unquestionably Johannson’s show. It’s exciting to see the talented actress get top billing in blockbuster fare like Lucy – she was relegated to supporting roles in The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but smaller films like Under the Skin have shown us that she’s more than capable of serving as a leading lady.
We’ll find out whether Universal’s gamble will pay off when Lucy opens July 25th.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter