It was a 16-year-old teenager who imagined this French film with 264 million dollars in revenue worldwide

Did you know that Luc Besson was only sixteen years old when he had the idea for “The Fifth Element”, a SF classic that he would direct almost two decades later?

Released in theaters in 1997, The Fifth Element is a little sci-fi classic. A feature film which grossed $264 million worldwide and allowed Luc Besson to definitively establish himself on the international scene. But did you know that this ambitious work, one of the biggest successes of French cinema in the United States, was born in the filmmaker’s imagination when he was just a teenager?

It was in 2017 that Luc Besson revealed that he had the idea for The Fifth Element, one of those rare films in which the hero and villain never speak to each other, when he was precisely sixteen years old.

“I started writing The Fifth Element when I was 16 and I shot it when I was 30, so I had time to think about it”says Besson at the microphone of Nerdist. “But when I started writing, it was more of a novel. In my head, it wasn’t a film and I never thought about making it into a film.”

“I had a lot of trouble with the script for The Fifth Element. I was young, I had little experience, it took me forever to understand. And you know how I found the theme of the film ?”then asks Besson.

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“At the time, my sister was 13 and I was helping her with her homework”he says. “She was doing an exercise on the Greek philosopher Plato, who wrote about the five elements. There is water, earth, fire and air. And the fifth element is the human being. I read that and I was like “F*****! That’s exactly what I’m missing!” So ​​I have to apologize because I stole from Plato.”

The Fifth Element, which earned Besson the César for Best Director, plunges the viewer into the 23rd century, into a strange and colorful universe where any hope of survival is impossible without the discovery of the fifth element. The feature film led by Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich and Gary Oldman was a very big success in French cinemas with 7.7 million spectators in attendance.

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