Scarlett Johansson was hired to star in Lucy following Angelina Jolie and Milla Jovovich’s rejections; Luc Besson, however, has always denied this narrative.
Scarlett Johansson it wouldn’t have been Luc Besson’s first choice to play hers Lucy. Apparently, in fact, the director would have liked to work with in the first place Angelina Jolie or Milla Jovovich. Yet, to have disproved this narrative was the author of The Fifth Element himself.
Luc Besson, in fact, denied Angelina Jolie’s interest in Lucy and underlined the empathy that Scarlett Johansson immediately felt towards her film. This reaction convinced the French director to offer the role to the protagonist of Black Widow. Besson also added that he had interviewed very few actresses before choosing the lead of Lucy – and Angelina Jolie would not be one of them.
Furthermore, as reported by Box Office Mojo and TheWrap, Lucy was seen above all by a female audience, whose percentage fluctuates between 50 and 60% of all spectators who went to the theater. In this regard, Nikki Rocco, Universal Studios president of home distribution, said: “Having a female lead on an original property made absolutely a difference. Scarlett is a star and her presence in the film made him that much more attractive to women.”.
Michael Bodey of The Australian, on the other hand, said the women who made up half the audience are “a seemingly new precedent for an action movie” and that, due to her box office performance, Lucy is Besson’s film that “risks having the greatest cultural impact”, even more than The Fifth Element and Leon.