Rumors have circulated for years about a possible sequel to Luc Besson’s fantastic 1994 film, The Professional (a.k.a. Leon). The proposed director of the sequel, Olivier Megaton, has told Screen Rant the film will more than likely never happen. But there’s room to be hopeful – because everybody involved still wants to make it.
Mathilda, the title of the sequel, already has a script, written by Besson, with Transporter 3 director Olivier Megaton in line to helm the project. Megaton is in Chicago to shoot the Zoe Saldana assassin movie Colombiana and discussed the rough development process.
Apparently, when The Professional was first completed, there were immediate plans to film a sequel following the main character, Mathilda (Natalie Portman). However, everybody wanted to wait for Portman to get a bit older – so that she could reprise the character at a more mature age.
While the filmmakers were waiting on Portman to age, Besson moved on from the production company that helped distribute The Professional, creating his own company, EuropaCorp. None too happy about the loss, the original studio has held The Professional rights close to the vest – and will not budge. Therefore, Besson cannot continue with his creative process.
In the film, Portman portrays 12-year-old Mathilda (for which she earned the top spot on our list of favorite performances by a child actor). Her family is murdered and her neighbor, Leon (Jean Reno) takes her in – and an awkward, yet charming, relationship develops. Her main goal is to study his talents as a hitman – so she can exact revenge.
Without ruining the film, she is more than able by the end of film – yet never accomplishes the feat. Mathilda would catch up with the titular character years later as she fulfills her revenge.
The development standstill is even more unfortunate because, as Megaton explained, Natalie Portman still wants to make the movie. Everybody involved is in for a sequel, everyone except the studio that controls the rights to the story.
This is essentially where Colombiana comes into play, which Megaton feels is as close to a Professional sequel as we’ll ever see. Although the characters and background are different, the film follows Zoe Saldana’s character as she seeks revenge for the murder of her parents when she was a child.
If you are still hoping for the Mathilda film, don’t abandon all hope. But this is a wake-up call for anybody expecting it to happen anytime soon.
Besson has filled the void with femme fatales in Nikita and now Colombiana. Both of which could enhance the possibility of The Professional sequel - or simply replace it.
If a sequel did happen, what would you like to see? Are you still going to remain hopeful for a Mathilda film? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.