As the vibrant sci-fi adventure Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets prepares to open in theaters this Friday, visionary director Luc Besson confirms that he's finished writing a potential sequel for the film and is already working on the third film in the trilogy.
With Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk headlining this weekend's new summer releases, there's a possibility that Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets could be left by the wayside by domestic audiences. Box office projections have Luc Besson's return to sci-fi opening to under $20 million on a massive $180 million dollar budget. Early reviews for the film have leaned positive, but it may qualify as a bomb in the United States. That said, the film's bizarre premise and its colorful, effects-heavy visuals could lead it to big success with international audiences, making the possibility for a sequel to the sci-fi blockbuster still possible.
Months ago, Valerian star Dane DeHaan confirmed that Besson had ideas for at least two more films in the potential franchise. It appears that Besson is further along in the process than DeHaan was aware of back in March. The Fifth Element director confirmed in an interview with Nerdist that not only had he been thinking about potential premises for the sequel, but had already written the first and is in development on the second:
“I finished the number two already and I’m writing the number three. I don’t know if we will do it, because it’s not up to me. It’s up to the audience if they like it.”
The willingness to continue to write for the Valerian character speaks to the confidence and passion that Besson has in his film. He acknowledges that the movie may be too weird for audiences to embrace, but the hope is high that he will be able to return to this crazy world of adventure based on the Valerian and Laureline series. Besson's eagerness to jump back into the universe was cautioned by people around him, but the writer/director couldn't resist:
“I don’t care, I’m just happy to write it. I’m enjoying writing it. So I don’t even wait. I’m just writing for myself. I finished the [sequel] already, then I [got] bored a month ago, so I said ‘let’s write the third.'”
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a true passion project for Besson, whose influence in the world of international production has grown throughout his career. Responsible for The Fifth Element, Leon, and La Femme Nikita, Besson's 21 century ventures have mainly been focused on producing action franchises like Taken and The Transporter. His last film, 2014's Lucy, brought him slightly back to sci-fi territory, but Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a full-blown entry in the genre and any potential sequels are sure to be as well.
- Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) release date: Jul 21, 2017