“Taxi 5” relaunched the motor franchise thanks to Franck Gastambide. The film, however, had to be made with a notable absentee: Samy Naceri, yet the hero of the first four episodes.
Taxi : a phenomenal victory
In 1998, many French people celebrated the victory of the national football team at the World Cup, after a monstrous final against Brazil. In the cinema, a French film caused a sensation a few weeks before this coronation, imposing itself as the fourth biggest hit of the year behind TitanicThe dinner of idiots and The Visitors 2: The Corridors of Time. This feature film is none other than Taxiborn from the imagination of the prolific Luc Besson.
We were following Daniel Morales (Samy Naceri), a completely crazy Marseille taxi driver who had upgraded his Peugeot 406 to make it a racing car without limits. This crazy driver agreed to help Émilien Coutant-Kerbalec (Frédéric Diefenthal) to dismantle a gang of German bank robbers.
In the supporting roles, we found Emma Sjöberg, Edouard Montoute and Bernard Farcy. We forget it a little but Marion Cotillardlong before receiving an Oscar for The kidalso starred in the franchise Taxi. She played Lili, Daniel’s girlfriend.
This first film directed by Gérard Pirès therefore made a hit at the box office with more than 6 million admissions. The second by Gérard Krawczyk did even better, two years later, with more than 10 million spectators in theaters. From the same director, episodes 3 (6.1 million viewers) and 4 (4.5 million) also achieved good scores. The latter, released in 2007, will wait more than 10 years to be assigned a sequel, Taxi 5. Franck Gastambide’s feature film almost resets the counters to zero. Early-day fans were even surprised to see that Samy Naceri had been left by the side of the road.
A notable absentee
If Franck Gastambide wanted to bring the saga back to life Taxi, it is above all because he is a fan of it. Revitalizing the franchise didn’t mean wiping out previous films, though. Edouard Montoute and Bernard Farcy also resume their respective roles in the new episode.
It is then inconceivable that this Taxi 5 can’t be done without Samy Naceri, the true engine of the franchise. At the time of production, Gastambide and Malik Bentalha cast doubt in interviews about his participation in the film. However, Naceri confides on his Twitter account that he has never been approached, and that he will therefore not participate in this Taxi 5.
However, a few months later, in the magazine First, Gastambide confides that he wanted to make Naceri the savior at the end of the film, but Besson talked him out of it. He wanted viewers to be aware that the series was starting on a new footing. So Naceri was offered a cameo.
Again, Samy Naceri takes over his Twitter account to establish his truth. He was well approached, it’s true, but this was done when filming was already well underway. Moreover, this gesture towards him was only the consequence of the discontent of the fans who did not understand that the actor, inseparable from the success of the first 4 films, was absent from the fifth.
For these two reasons in particular, Samy Naceri preferred to say “no” to this anecdotal return. He judged that the manner in which he was offered was disrespectful. If he was only going to be there for a marketing argument and to avoid the displeasure of potential spectators, it wasn’t worth it. In the process, his friend Frédéric Diefenthal also refused, justifying that “Émilien without Daniel, it made no sense.“.
Despite a rather cold reception from spectators and critics, the film will still bring together 3.6 million spectators.