Curious about the "Leone"

Two months later, the picture has reached and the United States - but in a shortened to twenty-five minutes version. For the sake of peace of mind of the American public, in particular out of the picture was cut line how Mathilda helped Leon in his "work", as well as all the implications, including the scene where she offered to become her lover Leon.
Whatever it was, it did not stop the film to gain cult status and is now considered by most audiences and critics the best work by Luc Besson. On the 20th anniversary of "Leon" we have decided to recall some facts from the history of one of the most moving tapes 1990s.
"Leon" was created as a filler
It's hard to believe, but the best film of Besson was conceived as a filler (filler). After the release of "Nikita", which became a breakthrough film for Besson, opening the way for him to foreign markets, he finally got a chance to come to grips with the project of his dreams - "Fifth Element". Besson even met with Bruce Willis, who was interested in the idea of ​​the film. But investors still were not sure of the success of a very ambitious paintings, which at that time threatened to become (and eventually became) is not the most expensive Hollywood film in history. The negotiation process was delayed, and in order not to waste time, Besson decided something to occupy yourself by removing a quick a movie. They became "Leon". The script was written in just thirty days, the shooting took ninety days. And the result is still remembered.

Leon and Victor from "Nikita" - relatives
Who said that only Quentin Tarantino can build your personal kinovselennuyu where the characters of some of his films are relatives of the other characters? Luc Besson once mentioned that Victor cleaner that appears in the end of "Nikita", may be a distant relative of Leon. And it is difficult not to notice the similarities: both are assassins, dress similarly, are knitted hats and the same sunglasses. However, Victor is much more cruel and ruthless than its American cousin, and unlike it has no code of honor, prohibiting him to kill women.

Of course, the word Besson can be regarded as a kind of Easter egg for fans. But the fact remains - the plot of "Leon" was born just after Luc Besson, realizing the potential of such a character, Victor, was determined to investigate it in detail. These results and formed the backbone of "Leon».
Last Besson movie with Jean Reno
Many famous directors have their permanent actors, which they repeatedly shot in his films. Martin Scorsese was Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio have now. Kurt Russell starred in five films of John Carpenter. Christopher Nolan continues to regularly call Michael Caine in all of its new projects. Luc Besson was such permanent actor Jean Reno. Starring debut in black and white short film Besson "Penultimate" Reno then participated in all the films directed by 80's - early 90's, "Last Stand", "subway", "Big Blue" and "Nikita". "Leon" is the culmination of their collaboration, and to this day remains probably the most well-known role of the actor, as well as the last time, when they worked together on the set. After that they went a little way: of course, Reno starred in several films that Besson produced, but never again played in the movies, where he served as director.

"Leon" - Natalie Portman is the debut on the big screen
I wonder how many people when watching "Leon" think about the fact that the role of Matilda was the debut Natalie Hershlag, which is still just getting used to the name Portman in the film? Of course, the future actress had a certain theatrical experience, but the film was her completely unknown territory.
Also interesting is that Portman did not originally was casting "Leon" because at that time it had not yet turned and twelve, and the character of Matilda scenario was thirteen or fourteen years old. However, Portman, which already was not to occupy ambitions came to audition again and played the scene where Mathilde mourns his brother, was so struck by Besson, he finally gave her the role.
Of course, the parents were very concerned about Natalie adult content script. For example, they insisted that the film is not addictive and does not exhaled. Besson has agreed to this request, and if you carefully review the film, we can see that Portman really never lasted.

The scene where Gary Oldman shouts "ALL!" - Improvisation
During his career, Gary Oldman starred in a huge number of films, ranging from small bands and ending multi-million dollar blockbusters, easily playing as heroes and villains notorious for what is true earned the title of Master of Disguise.
But of all the many characters Oldman Norman Stansfield is perhaps the best known. Corrupt police, a lover of classical music, having a clear mental problems - every time he appears on screen, it is both amusing and frightening, now rightly considered one of the most memorable of all time kinozlodeev. And who cares now that the actor has not received any nomination for this role.

When working on a way Oldman improvised in almost every scene that sometimes displeases Luc Besson, but did not prevent him to include all of these moments in the film. Get at least a scene where Stansfield confesses his love to Beethoven. Or a scene where he sniffs father of Matilda, which was a complete surprise to the actor who played him. The same applies to one of the most memorable moments in the film where Stansfield shouts "ALL!».
Originally Oldman did a few takes where this remark uttered in a normal voice, and then decided to play a trick on slightly director. He showed the sign of the sound engineer take off the headphones, and then yelled in a replica of his lungs. Besson appreciated the joke and used in the installation of this particular double.

The original ending
The original script Leon was even more grim and controversial than the final film. For instance, it attended the scene of love between Leon and Mathilda. But it's flowers in comparison with how Besson conceived to complete the film. That's how the final look "Leon" in the original script.
Slow Motion
Matilda appears. Her great cloak of Leon, a pistol with a silencer. Her face was hard and still - we've never seen her like this. At the entrance to the building are two cops who were looking at her in astonishment. This last expression in their lives.
She comes into the corridor. In his late Stansfield laughing with his colleagues. Matilda is, does not see a white sheet on the floor. She squats and lifts one end. Leon blood everywhere, but the expression on his face nice and relaxed. Matilda stroking his cheek.
Someone knocks on the back Stansfield. The group turns around and sees a little girl sitting near a corpse. Matilda kisses Leon and stands up. Her gun is lying on the floor.
She looks at Stansfield, right in his eyes and smiles broadly. Stansfield did not understand what was happening. Matilda pulls his hand out of his pocket and throws him something. Stansfield catches subject. This metallic ring. Stansfield less and less understand what is happening.
Matilda opens his cloak: inside is a bunch of a dozen grenades. One missing ring.
Stansfield means everything.
Powerful, comprehensive, absolute blast.
The shock wave overturns all standing on the street. Still in slow motion thousands of fragments fall to the ground. Rain seems even more sad than usual.
We can only rejoice that later Besson decided to change the ending. "Leon" - it certainly is a sad story, but this ending was too bloodthirsty, and would shift the emphasis - in fact in the first place, it is still a film about relationships and love of the two protagonists, and not about revenge.

Missed sequel
The "Leon" could be a sequel titled "Matilda." Luc Besson had long planned a sequel to his best paintings, and it is rumored, even wrote the script. However, over the past few years after the release of the tape, a lot has changed. Besson has created his own company, EuropaCorp, while the right to "Leon" were for the issuing studio Gaumont, which was not too happy with the departure of Besson.
In addition, after the failure of "Joan of Arc" Besson for several years moved away from directing and producing planned to confine and instruct shooting his protege Olivier Megaton. Natalie Portman also was ready to act on the condition that it will be directed by Besson.
As a result, the sum of all these factors did not allow sequel place. All the developments Besson later formed the basis for the story "Colombiana", which took all the same Megaton. And remembering this film, perhaps, can only rejoice that "Matilda" and remained at the level of ideas. Let since Besson returned to directing - but in the new century, he did not have any history, capable by the degree of emotion a little compared with "Leon". And although mediocre sequel does worse original, but still it always leaves a residue on the soul of these moviegoers. So good that "Leon" We will remember the way he was - a sad, touching, soulful and unique.

Source: 14.09.2014 |


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