‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ Director Luc Besson on Bringing His Passion Project to Life. Latest images hit and first Trailer Coming Soon
Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) is currently in post-production on his new science-fiction epic, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Even though the film isn’t hitting theaters until next summer, the elation from fans and those involved is already through the roof. And that’s especially true for Besson, who first came across the Valérian and Laurelin comic series back when he was a ten-year-old kid in 1969. His deep love for the series incited his dream of adapting it for the big screen, which has finally become a reality.
The downpour of enticing stills and set videos that have been released over the last few months have made the film’s July 2017 release date feel excruciatingly long. So far, we have seen glimpses of Valerian’s two lead stars—Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne—as well as the film’s beautiful production and costume design. This one really has the potential to be one of the best science-fiction films in recent memory, but we can probably make a better judgement about that after the first trailer drops on November 10th.
Just as he did with the The Fifth Element, Besson’s approach to Valerian stems from having passion and a true appreciation for the material. Besson recently spoke to Collider about Valerian, discussing his inspirations for doing the adaptation. And as you can probably guess, childhood nostalgia was a major part of where everything started to come together for him.
“The first woman I fell in love with was probably Laureline. She was totally free and badass, and it was a very modern heroine at the time, and I was totally in love with her. The guy was also very cool. He’s a little bit pretentious. He always thinks he’s the best in all this. She’s here to say, ‘Eh, chill.’ So I love the relationship since the beginning, and that’s what drives me more than spaceship monsters and all this. It was the relationship of the two. It’s really Mr. and Mrs. Smith in space, you know they’re joking, fighting. So that’s what drive me since I’m young is that I love this team. Because they’re cops, super cops, they travel in the space and time, but they’re fighting all the time, they’re so human.”
Strong concept design is an essential part of the science-fiction genre. While cutting-edge visual effects technology has become commonplace in moviemaking, the underrated art of concept design still reigns supreme in forming how the final film will actually look. Ergo, filmmakers have also expanded their scope in order to find the best people and — in Besson’s case — approach to creating those designs.
“The process was a little different from other films because we sent like 2,000 letters to all the schools around the world, the graphic schools, drawing schools, artist schools, and we basically said if you’re interested, they didn’t know it was me, we’re gonna do a sci-fi film. If you’re interested, send one spaceship, one alien, one world. We received like 600, and we selected ten and then I worked with five for a year. They were not allowed to talk to anyone else than me, they didn’t know each other at all, they don’t know their names at all. It’s like a in the Tarantino films Mr. Red, Mr. Blue, and the only contact was once a week through Skype. So the guys see me I see him, and that’s it.”
A very ambitious film like Valerian has a lot of challenges to overcome. The massive increase in science-fiction and comic book movies over the last decade has caused most of them to look as dull as dishwater. What makes matters even tougher for filmmakers working in the genre is that simply by having strong visuals in your film won’t always make up for weak storytelling. Therefore, you also need strong characters. And Besson clearly seems to be aware of that, so he actually may be able to pull this one off.
Some images from the film have dropped which you can check out below.
If you’re looking for more information about Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, check out the film’s official synopsis below:
Rooted in the classic graphic novel series, Valerian and Laureline- visionary writer/director Luc Besson advances this iconic source material into a contemporary, unique and epic science fiction saga. Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are special operatives for the government of the human territories charged with maintaining order throughout the universe. Valerian has more in mind than a professional relationship with his partner- blatantly chasing after her with propositions of romance. But his extensive history with women, and her traditional values drive Laureline to continuously rebuff him. Under a directive from their Commander (Clive Owen), Valerian and Laureline embark on a mission to the breathtaking intergalactic city of Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis comprised of thousands of different species from all four corners of the universe. Alpha’s seventeen million inhabitants have converged over time- uniting their talents, technology and resources for the betterment of all. Unfortunately, not everyone on Alpha shares in these same objectives; in fact, unseen forces are at work, placing our race in great danger.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets opens in U.S. theaters on July 21, 2017.