Not everyone knows Luc Besson by name, but it’s safe to say that most people have seen at least one of his many films. La Femme NikitaLeon: The Professional, The Transporter, Taken, The Fifth Element and most recently, last year’s Lucy, all hail from the French writer-director-producer. And for his next film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Besson will once again return to his science fiction roots.

Based on the award-winning 1967 French graphic novel Valérian and Laureline, Besson’s next project follows Valerian and his red-haired companion Laureline as they travel the universe through space and time. Dane DeHaan (Chronicle, The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and Cara Delevingne (Paper Towns, Suicide Squad) are already attached to star in the movie, and Besson recently released a first look at the official logo. But now there’s finally a release date.

According to THR, production on Valerian is scheduled to begin this December, with Besson writing as well as directing, and the film will premiere in IMAX theaters worldwide on July 21, 2017. The French independent film studio EuropaCorp (which has funded many of Besson’s projects to date) is financing, producing and distributing the film.

EuropaCorp got its start in 1999 by producing mostly French and European films, but has grown a lot over the last 14 years thanks to titles like Taken and The Transporter. They recently added film distribution to their deals and have quickly become a major independent film studio abroad, with 2014’s Lucy box office of $458 million worldwide taking them to yet another level.

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So it makes sense that Besson and EuropaCorp would be eager to follow up last year’s success with another film. But thankfully they seem to be taking their time adapting Valerian, since the release date for the film is still over a year away. Filming isn’t due to begin for another six months, leaving almost a year and half until the special effects-heavy film is due in theaters.

Oftentimes, films that rely a lot on visuals can lack in story, but with Besson being primarily a screenwriter versus a director, the film is in very good hands. Besides, with Valerian adapted from a French graphic novel (and one that influenced Star Wars and even Besson’s own film The Fifth Element), there’s probably no better director right now to bring this story to the big screen.

What do you think, Screen Rant readers? Are you excited to see Besson’s next film Valerian? Let us know in the comments.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets premieres in theaters on July 21, 2017.

Source: THR