Starting with last week’s Life and continuing on with films like Alien: Covenant, Blade Runner 2049, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and more, the sci-fi genre is shaping up to have a very big and exciting year in 2017. It’s no coincidence either that a number of those previously mentioned titles are either long-awaited sequels or reboots. But one of this year’s most promising dark horse tentpole films, without a doubt, is writer and director Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
Set for a prime mid-summer release date, Valerian has already managed to make a name for itself amongst the fan community. Just a year ago, the film managed to be one of the most talked about titles at San Diego Comic-Con, after showing a large block of footage that revealed its colorful, beautiful, genre-bending aesthetic and story. It’s no surprise that Valerian has managed to maintain a fairly consistent level of hype and attention from moviegoers ever since then either.
In just a few short days, the newest trailer for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets will be released online. Luc Besson has already teased some of the footage and story pieces fans can expect to see from the latest teaser, in what’s one of the most anticipated trailers out of the many set to be released over the next couple of days. During a press event for the film in NYC today, Besson expressed his interest in making a sequel to the film, should it perform well enough critically and financially at the box office later this year:
“I’m writing already. I like to be ready in case it’s working. If it doesn’t work, you’re always ready, there’s nothing to prep. But if we’re lucky and people like the film, I would love to do a second one for sure because I love the characters they’re fun together.”
This isn’t really surprising since Valerian is based on a French graphic novel series, which means that Besson has more than enough material to mine from to create a sequel should he be able to actually make one. But his desire to continue on with the franchise is unique since it would be the first live-action sequel Besson has directed in his career and should just further prove how passionate the filmmaker feels towards this property and these particular characters.
Valerian also stands out from other sci-fi films being released this year because it’s based on a graphic novel that’s not nearly as well known as something like the comic books that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is based on, even though Valerian shares the most visual similarities with that Marvel title. How that affects the film’s box office will be one of the more interesting events to witness this year, depending on what the critical word-of-mouth for the film is like leading up to its release. But even with that being said, it’s not unfair to say that Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets could very easily wind up being one of this year’s biggest surprise hits. Only time will tell.