There were a lot of reasons to like Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element, from the quirky humor to the epic storyline to Mia Jovovich running around wearing a couple of strategically placed bandages. But the movie was also a visual wonder, serving up perhaps the most memorable future landscape since Blade Runner. One of the folks who helped design the world of The Fifth Element was comics artist Jean-Claude Mezieres. Much of his Fifth Element work has popped up on Imgur, showcasing sprawling future cityscapes, high-tech laboratories, and an early on the film’s unforgettable blue alien diva. (Some of the images are NSFW.)
One of Mezieres contributions was his design for Korben Dallas’ flying taxi cab. In fact, Dallas (played by Bruce Willis) had originally been conceived as a worker in a rocket factory, but instead he got to fly around town in a Mezieres-style cab, a change that resulted in some of the movie’s most memorable action set pieces, not to mention the way Leeloo literally falls into his life.
Mezieres is actually reuniting with director Luc Besson for Valerian, Mezieres’ 1967 time travel comic which Besson is adapting. The comics are about “time-traveling agent Valerian and femme sidekick Laureline.” You can buy prints of Mezieres’ Fifth Element prints right here.