French filmmaker Luc Besson is set to embark on his newest sci-fi adventure film and plans to take Clive Owen with him.
Owen will be joining Cara Delavingne (Paper Towns) and Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) for Besson’s Valerian, based on the French comic book series from Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières. The actor will be playing Commander Arün Filitt, who will be one of only five major human characters in the film. The director made an announcement on Twitter, which included an image from the French comic of Commander Filitt, which you can see below.
— Luc Besson (@lucbesson) August 19, 2015
According to Deadline, Besson’s new film will be a large undertaking, as the storyboards for Valerian contain new and imaginative worlds filled with alien species that look like “Star Wars meets Blade Runner meets Besson’s The Fifth Element.” The director revealed his storyboards to a handful of reporters during Comic-Con, but withheld information about the film's plot. What is known is that to create all the visual worlds of Valerian, Besson is clearing out his Paris studio to use all of his soundstages for the film.
Besson’s storyboards follow along with the visual element of the Valerian and Laureline comic books, a series that has ran from 1967 until its final installment in 2010. The series follows the titular duo as they travel through time and space. Noted for their humor and political ideas, the series has been majorily influential in the world of science fiction and its influence can be seen in movies like Star Wars and Avatar.
Besson himself was influenced by the French comic in one of his most notable films, The Fifth Element. The director even went so far to hire Mézières for help with the film’s production design. As seen in the film, Besson’s vision for the futuristic New York City is directly inspired from the world of Valerian and Laureline.
Based on the director’s previous works and what has been reported about the Valerian storyboards, the world building alone for the film should be a sight to see in theaters. However, the world building for Valerian is looking to be pretty costly with the film’s budget currently around $180 million. Compared to the budget of Besson’s previous film, Lucy, at $40 million, the film will be a new adventure for the filmmaker and could prove whether he can manage a big-budget film. The director will begin shooting Valerian early next year.
Valerian opens in theaters in 2017.