In the 2014 film Lucy, Scarlett Johansson plays the titular character.

At the end of the film she travels back in time and meets what is presumably a pre-human, and interacts with her by touching fingers.

The pre-human looks similar to reconstructions of what Lucy, an Australopithecus, would look like.

Has it been confirmed that Scarlett Johannson’s character was named after the Australopithecus Lucy?

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  • 5
    These Met Gala outfits are going beyond ridiculous and bending all the way back around to AWESOME May 18, 2023 at 12:01

2 Answers 2


Yes, in this Collider interview writer/director Luc Besson confirms that the human character was named after the real prehistoric Lucy:

Basically, she’s a normal, average girl. She’s studying in Taipei. She’s wondering what she’s going to do with her life, like every student woo’s 22 or 23 years old. And then, something falls in her lap that she was not expecting, at all. It could happen to you, or it could happen to me. It’s really a bad thing. And because of the consequences of that, she knows what she’s going to do with her life. She’s going to evolve. Her name is Lucy in reference of Lucy, the first woman that we discovered. The first Lucy was alive 3.4 million years ago. That’s a statement about evolution. The brain of prehistoric Lucy is 400 grams. Our brain today is one kilo and four grams. We took one kilo of brain in four million years, which is very slow. It took three million years to get from 2% to 10%, where we are today, and it’s going to take her a couple of hours to go from 10% to 100%.

He also mentions in this interview that the hominid we see at the beginning of the film is meant to be "the prehistoric Lucy".

  • 1
    I wonder what percent I lost from watching Lucy - a movie personification of the urban myth of 10% brain usage. (A misapplied statistic likely based on rat brain surgery) May 18, 2023 at 23:24
  • @lucasbachmann - Luc Besson mentioned in that second interview I linked that he knew the 10% thing wasn't true, but he considered it a kind of "metaphor" (not clear for what exactly, maybe just some notion of new abilities coming with superintelligence).
    – Hypnosifl
    May 18, 2023 at 23:33

Lucy was the name given to a fossil of one of the earliest primates scientists have discovered. Johansson's character was meant to symbolize the next step in human evolution, similar to how Lucy was.

  • 8
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Do you have any evidence for this, a statement from the writer or director?
    – DavidW
    May 17, 2023 at 14:55
  • 5
    Meant to, according to who?
    – Valorum
    May 17, 2023 at 19:02

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