Action Movie Anatomy hosts Ben Bateman and Andrew Ghai break down The Fifth Element! The Fifth Element (French: Le Cinquième Élément) is a 1997 English-language French science fiction action film directed and co-written by Luc Besson. It stars Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman and Milla Jovovich. Primarily set in the 23rd century, the film’s central plot involves the survival of planet Earth, which becomes the responsibility of Korben Dallas (Willis), a taxicab driver and former special forces major, after a young woman (Jovovich) falls into his cab. Dallas joins forces with her to recover four mystical stones essential for the defence of Earth against an impending attack. Besson started writing the story that became The Fifth Element when he was 16 years old; he was 38 when the film opened in cinemas. Besson wanted to shoot the film in France, but suitable locations could not be found; filming took place instead in London and Mauritania. Comics writers Jean Giraud and Jean-Claude Mézières, whose comics provided inspiration for parts of the film, were hired for production design. Costume design was by Jean Paul Gaultier.