#FancastFriday ‘The Fifth Element’
The creative mind of Luc Besson has been a gift to cinema since the beginning of his career. From writing to directing and producing, we have Besson to thank for films like Leon: The Professional, La Femme Nikita, The Transporter Trilogy, the Taken Series starring Liam Neeson, Lucy and much more. Today marks the official release of the film Valerian and The City of A Thousand Planets which was directed by Besson and is based on the French comic-book series Valerian and Laureline. The film is said to be the most visually stunning film since James Cameron’s Avatar.
In honor of the release of Valerian, we wanted to take a look back at Luc Besson’s most classic film to date and that is none other than The Fifth Element. The film is a visual masterpiece that arguably came about before it’s time. Through the years, The Fifth Element continues to garner more esteem and an expansive fanbase. Visual effects, costumes, world building, strong female leads, comedy, unique characters… this film has everything that made Besson the amazing filmmaker he’s become known for. Here is our fancast for The Fifth Element:
Korben Dallas is the hero of our story. An ex-military soldier trying to live a simple, carefree life as a taxi driver until this beautiful being drops in his lap and he feels compelled to help her out even if that means becoming a fugitive, fighting aliens and saving the entire planet from a dark entity. The things we do for love, right? Ricky Whittle has the charm and charisma to fill the shoes previously worn by action star Bruce Willis. Whittle can be seen on the Starz series American Gods and early seasons of the CW’s The 100.
LeeLoo is the perfect specimen whose sole purpose is to save the world from the threat of humanity. She is beautiful, naive, intelligent, endearing and deadly. Previously played by action star Milla Jovovich the only actress capable is bringing LeeLoo to life and giving her the portrayal she deserves in Sofia Boutella. Boutella has recently starred in The Mummy, Star Trek Beyond and Kingsman: The Secret Service. Boutella knows how to balance being soft AND intimidating and that’s what is needed to play an iconic character like LeeLoo.
Mr. Zorg is the villain of our film. He operates as the head of a huge corporation while simultaneously forging and selling new types of weapons to all types of intergalactic criminals, rebels and bounty hunters. He is manipulative but with an element of regality that is intriguing and fun to watch on screen. The role was previously donned by Gary Oldman but this time Tom Hiddleston is worthy of filling those shoes. Hiddleston has an impressive resume but has become most known for playing the role of the MCU villain Loki. If anyone can play a bad guy that you love to love AND hate, it’s Tom Hiddleston.
Father Cornelius is a religious man who has been responsible for passing down the legend of The Fifth Element from generation to generation. When the threat looms over the planet he does everything he can to make sure the world avoids destruction, even if his actions are questionable. The character was brought to life by Ian Holm in the original version and the only other person who can bring the quick witted and comedic nature of the character is Simon Pegg. Pegg is hilarious just as he is intriguing and if a remake ever happens, he is the only person we can see playing this character.
Ruby Rhod was definitely the star of this film in his own right. The role was originally offered to Prince but eventually Chris Tucker won the role and we are glad he did. Ruby is a flamboyant and eccentric celebrity whose fame and egotistical attitude made him one of the most memorable aspects of the film. This time a little gender bending will occur as Janelle Monae is perfect for this role. Previously seen in Moonlight and Hidden Figures, Monae has made a name for herself for being unique, eccentric and having an “other-worldly” nature. She would do great as the iconic Ruby Rhod. Green?
President Lindberg was not a huge character but as the President in the future, his presence was definitely needed and gave us some laughs along way. Tommy “Tiny” Lister played the role with strength and his voice alone exuded authority but this time a little gender bending still seemed appropriate. Aisha Hinds has been making headlines for her role as Harriett Tubman in the WGN series Underground. Even when delivering serious lines, Hinds has a way of adding a little zest to make the moments her own and memorable.
Right Arm does exactly what his name says… he is the right hand man for Mr. Zorg. Always there to deliver a message or perform a task a little too dirty for his villainous boss. The role was previously portrayed by actor and singer Tricky. But in a reboot Eka Darville has the gritty and almost rock-star like disposition to play a character like Right Arm. Darville can be seen in series like Netflix’s Jessica Jones, Empire and the CW’s The Originals.
When the story begins Professor Pacoli is the first face we see. An explorer and archeologist, he has discovered the ancient tomb that holds the four stones and the fifth element. He is loyal to his work and while his role was small it set the tone for the film. John Bluthal brought the role to life in the original, but in a remake Jeffrey Wright definitely has what it takes to add that certain allure needed for this character. Wright’s extensive resume includes The Hunger Games Franchise, Hamlet, Casino Royale, Westworld and much more.
General Munro serves at the request of the President. When he realizes that the threat is more than his people can handle, he is the one who enlists the help of Korben Dallas. Brion James previously donned the hat of this character and the individual that would potentially portray the character has to have an authority but balance it with a lighthearted attitude. Donnie Yen is perfect for this role. He is an international legend and perhaps with him in the role, the character’s role could be expanded to fit Yen’s impressive capabilities.
Billy’s role is also small. He is the assistant to Professor Pacoli but his moments on screen provided funny yet intriguing moments on screen. When Billy comes into contact with aliens for the first time and even when he’s trying to save Professor Pacoli, they also set the tone for the film’s story. Luke Perry previously portrayed the character in the original film but this time we believe the character can be taken to a whole new level if portrayed by the amazingly talented Michael Pena. Pena can be seen in films like Ant-Man, End of Watch, Fury, The Martian and much more.
In the entire film, the most memorable and iconic character has to be none other than the Diva Plavalaguna. She is a celestial being who also lives life as a famous opera singer. But despite her status, she is well aware of the dark force that threatens all life in the universe and is an ally to our heroes. The Diva is captivating and regal. Although her role in the film is short, everything she did in the time giving is classic. The character was played by French actress Maiwenn but in a reboot, the character must be brought to life by the talented and statuesque Audra McDonald. She can be seen in films like Beauty and The Beast, Ricki and The Flash opposite Meryl Streep and on the Shonda Rhimes show Private Practice. McDonald also has an extensive theater background and perhaps in a remake, she can use her own vocals to sing the Diva’s iconic song.
There you have it… our choices for The Fifth Element remake. It has been twenty years since the original first came out and with the way cinematic storytelling has evolved, this is one remake that would probably benefit from being reintroduced to a newer generation of Geeks around the world. What do you think of our fancast? Who are some people you would fancast in some of these iconic roles? Let us know in the comments below.
Valerian and The City of A Thousand Planets is in theaters now!