French director and screenwriter Luc Besson knows his ways through science fiction and action thrillers perfectly, with movies such as Nikita, The Fifth Element, and Lucy, among many others. Aside from being packed with action, his movies stand-out due to their visual richness, making Besson a pivotal figure in the Cinéma du look movement.
Besson’s next project as director, screenwriter, and producer is the adaptation of the French science fiction comic series Valérian and Laureline. Set for a 2017 release and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, the project is starting to take shape with a cast comprised of Dane DeHaan (Kill Your Darlings), Cara Delevingne (Suicide Squad), Clive Owen (Children of Men), and Rihanna (Battleship). To make this project even more exciting and interesting, Besson has now added Ethan Hawke to this new adventure.
Through his Instagram account, Luc Besson shared Ethan Hawke has officially joined the cast of Valerian. While DeHaan and Delevingne are set to play the lead roles of Valerian and Laureline respectively, with Owen playing their boss, Commander Arün Filitt, Hawke’s role is yet to be announced.
Back in July, Besson showed the storyboards and concepts to a small group of journalists at Comic-Con, who described the art as “Star Wars meets Blade Runner meets Besson’s The Fifth Element”. It was also reported that there are only five major human characters and various “crazy-looking” creatures.
Valérian and Laureline is a French comic series from the 1960s, which focus on a spatio-temporal agent (Valerian) and his colleague (Laureline) as they travel the universe through time and space. Together they defend the planets of the Terran Empire in a utopian vision of the 28th century. The cult comic series is a mix of space opera and time travel plots, making it perfect material for a Besson movie.
Hawke’s latest work was Alejandro Amenábar’s psychological thriller Regression, which wasn’t as well received by critics as some of his previous work, most notably Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. Hawke is currently filming the remake of the 1960 western The Magnificent Seven, alongside Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt.
With a rich story like Valérian and Laureline, which ran for over four decades, Hawke’s character could be anything – a human, a hero, a villain, or an alien. Truth is, Ethan Hawke knows what science fiction is about, having starred in movies like Gattaca and James DeMonaco sci-fi horror movie The Purge. We’re certainly looking forward to seeing the first footage from Besson’s next sci-fi adventure.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets will begin filming next year for a July 21, 2017 release.