Filmmaker Luc Besson is known for his ambitious and inventive sci-fi spectacles, most of which fail to be appreciated when they are unveiled, with writer Robert Kamen recently noting that the financial disappointment of Besson's The Fifth Element prevented a sequel from moving forward, which Besson had written a 180-page script for. Most sci-fi fans would argue that The Fifth Element was one of the most fantastical efforts of the '90s that helped pave the way for Milla Jovovich to become a major star, cementing it as a cult-favorite in subsequent decades, despite those initial lackluster reactions from audiences.
"We were going to do it as a sequel, but it made no sense, and The Fifth Element wasn't big enough here," Kamen detailed to Uproxx. "It was huge in the rest of the world, and it's a classic, but it only did $75 million here or $80 million. It was way ahead of its time. So we never did the sequel, and the sequel would have been taking the other 180-page thing he had and working it into a script."
Besson would go on to develop other high-concept narratives, such as Lucy and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, but it was the filmmaker's visionary ideas and immense ambitions that bewildered studios, which is how Kamen got involved in The Fifth Element in the first place.
"Bill Gerber, who produced Gran Torino, who was the executive vice-president or whatever at Warners, 1993, called me in," the writer expressed. "He said, 'We have this script. We can't make heads nor tails of it, but we think this guy is a visionary.' He sent me the script, and it made no sense. But I watched La Femme Nikita, and I saw a cinematic genius."
He continued, "So I come in and meet the guy, and I tell him everything that's wrong with his script. He doesn't get all of it because his English wasn't that great. And he sits there, and I could see that he was getting more and more pissed off. He's a French auteur, I'm just this f-cking Hollywood screenwriter. And at the end of the meeting, Billy called me up, he said, 'Dude, you just ruined that relationship.' Because all I had done was I just kept saying what a huge piece of sh-t this script was."
Besson ultimately enlisted Kamen to help him with the script, as the pair spent three days tweaking the original concept into a more cohesive narrative.
Looking back, however, Besson seemingly has no interest in continuing that world.
"In The Fifth Element, there's nothing in the DNA to make a sequel. There is none," Besson shared with ComicBook.com back in 2017. "They just live together, and they're happy, and she's the Fifth Element, and that's it, and they resolve the problem. So no, I don't think it will be good. It will be fake. It will be just for money, and I'm not interested."
Stay tuned for details on the possible future of The Fifth Element franchise.
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