French filmmaker Luc Besson has been known for his unique style from movies like The Fifth Element and Lucy. Now, the director will be taking another larger step into the sci-fi world with his upcoming film, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Additional photos from the project have now been released, after Besson unveiled the first official look at the film's leads through his Twitter account.
Based on the Valerian and Laureline comic book series that began in the 1960s, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets takes inspiration from the comics while exploring new stories and worlds for the movie. The French science fiction comic has been a notable influence on a variety of major films, like Star Wars, Avatar, and even Besson’s The Fifth Element. In fact, Valerian and Laureline co-creator/artist Jean-Claude Mézieres worked on The Fifth Element's visual design for about a year, according to Besson in a new interview.
Besson mentioned that bit of information during an interview with Entertainment Weekly. The site has also released new exclusive photos for Valerian featuring the movie’s two leads: Valerian himself (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne). In addition to the image that Besson unveiled of the pair, these new photos show off more of the style and look of the film - as further illustrated by one of the robotic military police officers in the movie, K-Tron.
For his part, Besson told EW that his intent with Valerian is to create a film that appeals to both fans of science fiction and non-fans:
“I centered the story to make it more real, more human. If you don’t like sci-fi, I want you to still like Valerian. And the other part was: Let’s try to do everything, before someone tells me its impossible. Let’s have the imagination go to the limit. And let’s be so super complicated, with aliens and robots and all this, but to make it look easy like a dance. You watch the thing, and it’s fluid and funny and wild. It’s not deep and complicated. It’s ultra sophisticated to do, but it looks easy. Like a cocktail where you don’t even taste the alcohol [laughs].”
You can check out those additional images from Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, below:
Besson also told EW that he has been involved with crafting the aesthetic for the costumes in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (including those glimpsed above) "since the beginning," adding:
When I started a couple of years ago, we had a selection of 6,000 designers from all around the world. We finished with 10. Basically five of them worked for a year. And many of the costumes come from them. Half come from them, and half come from Olivier Bériot, who is the costume designer. And then we had this big contest where we received a lot of drawings, and we picked the best 20, and they’re also in the film. It’s a long long process. We started three years ago.
With 2,400 F/X shots, Besson will be relying on his own imagination to bring the world of Valerian to life on the big screen. Still, despite the heavy reliance on special effects, Besson has proven a storyteller capable that can handle both story and style in the past. For anyone to bring Valerian to life in cinematic form, Besson seems like the right choice - as the director’s love for the comics started when he was 10 years old, by his own admission. As the director’s passion project, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is sure to at least bring a film that should be unlike anything that we will see in 2017.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets opens in U.S. theaters on July 21st, 2017.
Source: Entertainment Weekly