September 14, 1994 on French cinema screens released film by Luc Besson, "Leon».
7 surprising facts about the movie "Leon" Besson, Mathilda, Leon
Two months later, the picture has reached and the United States - but in truncated at twenty-five minutes version. For peace of mind of the American public, in particular, out of the picture was cut out line how Matilda 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. By 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 was 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 We even had a meeting with Bruce Willis, which is interested in the idea of ​​the film. But investors still were not confident in the success of a highly ambitious paintings, which at that time threatened to become (and eventually became) is not the most expensive film in Hollywood history. The negotiation process is delayed, and in order not to waste time, Besson has decided something to occupy yourself for a quick removing any film. 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 the relatives of the other characters? Luc Besson once mentioned that Victor cleaner appearing in the end, "Nikita", may be a distant relative of Leon. It is difficult not to notice the similarities: they both hired assassins, dressed in a similar way, wearing a knitted hat and sunglasses identical. True, Victor much more cruel and ruthless than its American cousin, and unlike it does not have a code of honor, prohibiting him to kill women.

Of course, words Besson can be seen 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, set out to explore it in detail. These developments formed the backbone of "Leon».

The last film of Besson 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 today. 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 perhaps the most well-known role of the actor, and the last time they worked together on the set. Then their paths diverged a bit: of course, Reno starred in several films that Besson produced, but never again played in the movies, where he acted as director.

"Leon" - Natalie Portman is the debut on the big screen

I wonder how many people are watching when "Leon" think about the fact that the role of Matilda became the debut of Natalie Hershlag, which has yet to get used to the name Portman in the film? Of course, the future actress had some theater experience, but the cinema was her completely unknown territory.
Also interesting is that initially Portman was cast "Leon" because at that time it was not yet twelve, and, as the character of Matilda scenario was thirteen or fourteen years old. However, Portman, who already did not lack ambition, went on trial again, and played the scene where Mathilde mourns his brother, Besson so impressed that he finally gave her the role.
Of course, Natalie's parents were very concerned about the adult content of the script. For example, they insisted that the film was not more than five scenes with smoking Matilda, and that while they do not tighten it and exhaled cigarette smoke. Besson agreed to this request, and if you carefully review the film, we can see that the Portman really never lasted.

The scene where Gary Oldman shouts "ALL!" - Improvisation

During his career, Gary Oldman has starred in numerous 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 policeman lover of classical music and a drug addict, has obvious mental problems - with each of its appearance on the screen, it is both amused and frightened, now rightfully considered one of the most memorable of all time kinozlodeev. And who cares today that the actor did not get any nomination for this role.
When working on a way Oldman improvised in almost every scene, which sometimes displeases Luc Besson, but did not prevent him to include all of these moments in the film. Get at least the stage where Stansfield admits his love for Beethoven. Or the episode where he sniffs the father of Matilda, which was a complete surprise to the actor who played him. The same applies to one of the most memorable moments of the film, where Stansfield shouts "ALL!».
Initially, Oldman did a few takes where uttered this remark in a normal voice, and then decided to play a joke on a slightly director. He showed familiar sound engineer take off the headphones, and then shouted in a replica of his lungs. Besson appreciated the joke and used in the assembly of this particular double.

The original ending

The original screenplay Leon was even more grim and controversial than the final film. For example, it attended a love scene between Leon and Mathilda. But it's flowers in comparison with how Besson was planning to finish the film. That's how the final look "Leon" in the original script.
Slow motion
Appears Matilda. On her big cloak of Leon, a pistol with a silencer. Her face is hard and still - we've never seen her like this. At the entrance to the building there are two cops who were looking at her in amazement. This last expression in their lives.
She comes into the corridor. In his late Stansfield laughing with his colleagues. Matilda is until you see a white sheet on the floor. She squats and lifts one end. Leon blood everywhere, but his expression relaxed and lovely. 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. Her gun left lying on the floor.
She looks at Stansfield, right into 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. It is a metal 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 debris falling to the ground. Rain seems 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 the emphasis has shifted to - because in the first place, it is still a film about the relationship between love and the two protagonists, and not revenge.

Failed sequel

The "Leon" could be a sequel called "Matilda". Luc Besson had long planned a sequel of his best paintings, and it is rumored, has even written a 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, who was not too happy with the departure of Besson.
In addition, after the failure of "Joan of Arc" Besson for several years she moved away from the planned direction and confine charge shooting and producing his protege Olivier Megaton. Natalie Portman was also ready to act, provided that it is Besson will direct.
As a result, the sum of all these factors allowed sequel place. All the developments Besson later formed the basis of the plot "Colombiana", which took all the same Megaton. And remembering this film, perhaps, we can only rejoice that "Matilda" and remained at the level of ideas. Let since Besson returned to the director - but the new century, he did not have any history, is capable of much emotion a little compared with the "Leon". Although mediocre sequel does not do worse original, but nevertheless it always leaves a residue on the soul of these moviegoers. So it is good that the "Leon" will be remembered for what he was - a sad, touching, soulful, and one of a kind.

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