Despite prolific writing and producing credits, Luc Besson has only directed three times this century. He seems to be developing a taste for it again though, as hot on the heels of The Amazing Adventures of Adele Blanc Sec, Besson is planning an epic new sci-fi extravaganza.
The fires of Besson's enthusiasm have been stoked by Avatar. The director says he'd given up on FX films because the technology couldn't match his imagination. "When I made The Fifth Element, the technological tools were already outdated," explains Besson, "but since the arrival of digital technology, it's incredible what you can do. You can imagine anything, and there are always technicians to follow you in your delirium!"
It's strange now to remember the buzz around The Fifth Element in 1996, with Besson holed up in a top secret studio and everyone desperately wondering what he was going to produce. It really was the Avatar of its day, and it still looks great, despite being a bit hollow at the centre. We're quite excited then, that Besson is talking up this unnamed new project as "The Fifth Element to the power of ten".
As of now, Besson is at the creature-design stage, with pre-production proper pencilled in for 2011. Shooting, he thinks, will take place in 2012 and 2013, "because it will be very, very big." He plans the release for 2013 or 2014.
The Besson written-and-produced sci-fi Lock Out (aka Section 8) started filming in Belgrade last month, with James Mather and Stephen St Leger at the helm. Adele Blanc-Sec has already been out all over Europe, but the UK still awaits a release-date.