For his film “Taxi 5”, Franck Gastambide revealed that he wanted Samy Naceri to appear in this new opus of the saga, but that the producer Luc Besson blocked it.
In 2016, Franck Gastambide (Pattaya, Validé) was entrusted with the writing of a fifth episode of the Taxi saga, in which he intends to add new faces and create new heroes. Today, the one who will also ensure the staging of the project has returned to this experience to Booska-P.
At their microphone, he returned to a disagreement between his vision of the return of the franchise and that of its historic producer: Luc Besson. He says it himself, Gastambide wants to shoot this new Taxi opus “with the toys of Taxi: I want the taxi, I want Marseille, the bad guys with the cars that go fast and Samy Naceri.” Except it’s not going to be that easy.
After writing a first version of the story, the director receives a phone call from his producer:
Luc calls me back and says: “It’s great, we’re going to do it, well done. But there can’t be Samy Naceri. And I answer” yeah but Luc, the idea is to do the new generation Taxi and to do a handover with the elders. “
Luc Besson does not seem convinced then. Gastambide tries to work things out:
“Can we at least do the end scene where he’s there and wink? People are going to applaud in the room when they see him!” And there, the idea seems possible, since Naceri and Gastambide meet at the French Café in Bastille, where the future director of Taxi 5 offers a “big wink ‘ to the actor, former main performer of the franchise.
Samy Naceri is a legend, a great actor. What we are offering him is small … I think it would have been good for him, that the public would have liked, he decides not to do it and the proposal ends up making him angry, but the proposal, I made him. He knows it, and I still have the messages (…).
Except that everything is not possible for this saga, Luc Besson has the last word. As Gastambide puts it: “It’s not the ‘taxi à ma reum’, it’s Luc Besson’s Taxi, so I do what I can, but I can’t do whatever I want”.
Asked about his absence in this 5th film, Samy Naceri had posted in March 2018 on Twitter:
“It was only after the fans of the Taxi saga made known their dissatisfaction and their astonishment at (my) absence that I received a phone call. […] During this phone call, the new director of Taxi 5 actually made me a proposal: a twinkling appearance.eye to give oneself a clear conscience “.
And, continuing his message: “With all due respect to my fans, I couldn’t accept so little just to sell their movie when I would have liked to give so much more […] Don’t think my absence in this movie is the result of an ego problem […] I was just expecting a minimum of respect after thirty years of cinema under my belt. “
The two sides seem irreconcilable. Taxi 5 was finally released in theaters without Samy Naceri and the film totaled 3.65 million admissions in France. Since then, Gastambide has produced two seasons of Validé, a series set in the world of French rap. Season 2 arrives October 11 on Canal +.