Director Luc Besson began working on "The Fifth Element" screenplay while in high school, though the film was not released until he was nearly 40. Besson recruited comic book artists to work on the set design and fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier for the costumes. Besson and actress Milla Jovovich worked together to invent the divine alien language used by Jovovich's character in the film.
Luc Besson started writing "The Fifth Element" script at 16. He directed 10 movies before "The Fifth Element." A lack of financing forced Besson to postpone work on the film, but a deal with the movie studio who released Besson's previous film helped secure the financing for "The Fifth Element".
Besson hired two French comic book designers, Jean Giraud and Jean-Claude Mézières, to create drawings illustrating "The Fifth Element" universe. Mézières in particular had a strong influence over the film, and he inspired Besson to change the main character, Korben Dallas, from a factory worker to a futuristic cab driver.
French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier was nominated for a César Award, the highest film honor in France, for his work on "The Fifth Element" costumes. Gaultier created and monitored unique costumes for more than 500 extras in the Fhloston Paradise hotel scenes. He also took fashion designs intended for musical artist Prince and transformed them into flamboyant designs for Ruby Rhod, a character who was an extravagant radio host.
Milla Jovovich speaks four languages, which helped her to create the divine alien language with Besson. The pair wrote letters to each other and held fluent conversations in the language between takes. However, the divine language only contained about 400 words.