For those who caught the footage from Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets at San Diego Comic-Con this past summer, that film was easily one of the big stories of this year’s SDCC. Perhaps best compared to Besson’s The Fifth Element if it were re-made in a post-Avatar world, Valerian is based on the 1960s French comic book series Valerian and Laureline – as co-created by the uncredited Fifth Element conceptual designer Jean-Claude Mézières, as it were – and stars Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and Cara Delevingne (Suicide Squad) as, respectively, Valerian and Laureline: special government operatives who are tasked with maintaining order throughout the universe in the film’s cosmic setting.
Valerian, as written and directed by Besson, will also have a major presence at the 2016 New York Comic-Con that’s now underway, for those hoping to get an extra-early look at the film ahead of its release in Summer 2017. Additional details on the matter have now been made available too, along with an official poster and more screenshots from the movie, showing DeHaan and Delevingne’s time/space-traversing agents on the job.
EuropaCorp will be hosting a Valerian interactive booth on the NYCC show floor that features video footage displays, images and props from the film, along with a comic book store showcasing issues from the original Valerian and Laureline comic books. Both Besson and Mézières will be at NYCC on Thursday, in order to take place in a fan meet-and-greet/autograph signing session (from 11am-12pm and then 2 pm-3pm EST). Below, you can check out the Valerian poster and three new screenshots from the film to boot.
The alien trio featured above as known as the Doghan Daguis and will be one of approximately 200 alien species that appear in Valerian; brought to life by either digital effects and/or practical means, depending on the extraterrestrials in question. As for the humans in the movie, their ranks also include Clive Owen (Children of Men), Ethan Hawke (The Magnificent Seven ), Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner) and Rihanna as a mysterious characters whose identity was teased in the seven minutes of Valerian footage shown at SDCC back in July.
All things considered, Valerian is shaping up to be another impressively-stylized, colorful and energetic offering from Besson; whether it will also have the same charm and inspired quirk that made The Fifth Element a cult success, that is another matter. Besson has long entertained audiences with his previous genre movies, be it action/thriller (see the Taken and Transporter movie series, which Besson co-wrote) or mind-bending sci-fi (Lucy), and by the look of things Valerian will succeed in entertaining, even if the overall film winds up feeling a bit hollow. Of course, Valerian may yet impress in both respects and offer a complete geek-moviegoing experience.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets opens in U.S. theaters on July 21st, 2017.