Mondoshawan: Priest, you and those before you have served us well. But war is coming. Stones not safe on Earth anymore.
Priest: My lord, if you take the weapon, we will be defenseless when the evil returns.
Mondoshawan: In 300 years, when Evil returns… so shall we.
Besson met Bruce Willis a few years before production started and talked about the project, although he decided later to search for a relatively unknown young actor for the role of Korben instead, so as to spend less on actors and more on sets, costumes, and special effects. Willis approached Luc Besson expressing continued interest in the film, and after Besson explained the issue, Willis responded “You know, Luc, if I like it, we will find a way.” Willis made a deal with the production team for the role, a move which greatly pleased Besson.
Besson chose to hire Gary Oldman, who had starred in his previous film, Léon: The Professional, for the role of Zorg, describing Oldman as “one of the top five actors in the world.”
For the character Leeloo, Besson chose Milla Jovovich from the 200 to 300 applicants he met in person.
He states he was waiting to build a reputation for himself as a filmmaker before he commenced production of the film, so that he would be able to make it with creative control.
The Fifth Element
As a teenager, Besson envisioned the world of The Fifth Element in an attempt to alleviate boredom. He began writing the script when he was 16, though it was not released in cinemas until he was 38.