After creating a long list of successful, and surprisingly varied films for multiple decades now, his newest film, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, feels like a bit of a homecoming for writer and director Luc Besson. With its cosmic setting, in addition to the similar look and tones between the two films, fans of Besson have been quick to compare Valerian with one of his more beloved and successful outings, 1997’s The Fifth Element. But to his credit, Valerian already looks much bigger, fully-realized and ambitious than The Fifth Element even was, which is saying a lot considering just how much work Besson put into creating his world with that beloved, campy ’90s sci-fi hit.
The new film is a passion project for Besson as well, which is based on the beloved French graphic novel and follows a duo of time-traveling agents named Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) as they go on various adventures throughout the galaxy together. Set on a planet with an infinite amount of locals and possibilities, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets picks up with Valerian and Laureline when they are hired to investigate a galactic empire.
As promotion for Valerian continues to likely pick up in the next coming weeks and months, leading up to its late July release date, EW has unveiled a brand new poster for the highly-anticipated sci-fi film. It’s described as Besson himself as the “blue ice” poster for the film, which gives some new insight into the heavy, beautiful turquoise color palette of Valerian. Besson says that all of his films have a predominant color in them, with The Fifth Element‘s being orange and The Professional‘s being brown, and now Valerian‘s being this eye-catching ice blue. Check it out for yourself down below:
For those who don’t already know too, this poster comes as just yet another piece of new promotional materials for the film, leading up to the release of the second, full trailer for Valerian, which will be released online next week. Besson has previously teased several of the shots and story details set to be revealed in the new trailer, which will hopefully offer an even more in-depth, tantalizing look at the visually awe-inspiring world the veteran filmmaker has created with Valerian. But even that might not be enough to hype up the incredibly detailed lengths to which Besson is going to make sure Valerian looks as authentic and memorable as possible.
It’ll have to do just that and even more if Valerian really wants to stand out this year also, which is shaping up already to be one of the most packed and impressive years for blockbuster films in recent memory. In just three months alone, notable hits like Logan, John Wick: Chapter 2, The LEGO Batman Movie, and Beauty and the Beast have all been welcomed with glowing critical praise and high box office numbers, and that’s not even a tiny bit of the competition that Valerian will be facing when it hits theaters this July. But so far, the hype and reactions to Valerian have been almost entirely positive, giving it the potential to be one of this year’s dark horse surprises.