After making La Femme Nikita, The Professional and The Fifth Element, the French filmmaker stepped away from the camera to write and produce—but now a "massive" sci-fi project is pulling him back in.
Inspired by the realism of James Cameron's Avatar, Besson is working on a film—which he might start shooting in 2012—that will be "The Fifth Element to the power of 10."
"When I did The Fifth Element, the technological tools were already a little outdated," Besson told Fantasy.Fr. "With the advent of digital technology, it is amazing what you can do. The technique has caught the imagination. One can imagine anything, there will always [be] technicians to follow you in your delusion."
Besson has been content to operate behind the scenes: producing and/or co-writing films like Taken, the Transporter series and From Paris With Love, as well as the upcoming sci-fi Lock Out, with Maggie Grace and Guy Pearce. He's also launched directors like Louis Leterrier (The Hulk) and Pierre Morel (the new Dune) while sitting on the sidelines, last directing 2006's CG misfire Arthur and the Invisibles.
But for a while there, in the late '90s, Besson was an impossibly smooth action stylist, one who also found the beating heart in the midst of the well-choreographed chaos. It'll be nice to see him behind the camera once again.