Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets director Luc Besson has elaborated on why he struggles to see the appeal of most superhero movies. With a career in the film industry that spans multiple decades, Besson is one of the more well-respected filmmakers working today, with iconic titles like Leon: The Professional and The Fifth Element under his belt. But few of Besson’s notoriously ambitious projects have ever quite matched the ambition behind his latest film, this summer’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, starring Cara Delevingne and Dane DeHaan in the lead roles.
Based on the French comic book series of the same name, Valerian follows space operatives Valerian (DeHaan) and Laureline (Delevingne) when they are called to Alpha – a metropolitan planet that has brought over a thousand different planets and cultures together. But the fragile peace between all of Alpha’s different species is tested when an unknown source begins wreaking havoc on the planet, with Laureline and Valerian assigned to stop whatever is causing the chaos, before things are too late.
Valerian is hitting theaters during an extremely interesting time in the film industry as well, when the market is consistently dominated by comic book movies and franchise films, usually released by Marvel Studios, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Bros/DC Films. And while recently speaking with Bleeding Cool about making his latest, Beeson opened up about why he doesn’t see the appeal of a majority of the superhero films that are being released nowadays:
“It’s very hard for me to identify with a superhero because he has a superpower, and I don’t have a superpower, all I can see is his power and say ‘oh, thank you so much for saving my life, me, poor little human being.’ I don’t like this relationship. I can’t identify with the guy, I’m not like him.”
Besson’s issues with superhero movies are understandable, although some may find them a little antiquated; as comic book film adaptations have gotten increasingly better over the years, so has their ability at tapping into the inherent appeal of each of the characters. Marvel Studios in particular has done an excellent job of exploring the inner humanity and emotions of each of their heroes – often at the expense of their onscreen villains – while Warner Bros. managed to cement Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince as one of the most compassionate and relatable superheroes ever brought to the big screen in this year’s Wonder Woman.
The filmmaker is far from the only one to raise issues with superhero films, and as Hollywood studios dive further and further into the post-MCU and DCEU era of the industry, the possibility of an eventual superhero movie fatigue becomes an increasingly important point of conversation amongst both industry insiders and fans alike. Unfortunately for Besson, however, his latest attempt at bringing a none-superhero-driven blockbuster film to the big screen this year has not gone over especially well, with Valerian performing poorly at the box office and only receiving lukewarm to mildly positive critical reviews.
Source: Bleeding Cool
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