Luc Besson’s Valerian–Something new in sci-fi to get excited about


Now in post-production, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is based on Valerian and Laureline, the French science fiction comic book series from the 1960s, created by writer Pierre Christin and artist Jean-Claude Mézières.  Get an advance look at the original source material before the movie comes out here.

The 1967 comics and the 2017 movie.

In October 2015 we reported here at that director Luc Besson, best known for his outlandish style in the 1997 Bruce Willis/Milla Jovovich sci-fi classic The Fifth Element, was looking for a few good outfits to feature in a dinner party scene to take place in a city of millions and a myriad of humanoid alien races.  So he hosted a costume design contest.  The diverse and futuristic winning designs from the contest can be found here.  Besson, who also directed La Femme Nikita, The Professional, and Lucy, made a long-lasting statement in sci-fi fashion with his characters from The Fifth Element.  From Milla Jovovich’s body-taped Leeloo, to Bruce Willis’s orange-clad, understated everyman Korben Dallas, to the over-the-top Chris Tucker’s Ruby Rhod, from the striking opera singer Diva Plavalaguna (Maïwenn), to Gary Oldman’s creepy and villainous Zorg–the movie is a visual spectacle.

Besson may be the only director to give Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner a challenge for the best-visualized future cities.

We now have the first trailer for Valerian, and it is everything we hoped it would be:

Besson has his own style, almost steeping his sci-fi with a good dose of fantasy characters.  His voice is unique as well.  Remember his strange robots in Ancient Egypt?  His resolution centered around love?  He also infuses humor into his sci-fi.


The cast for Valerian includes leads Cara Delevingne (Pan, Anna Karenina) as Laureline and Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) as Valerian, plus Clive Owen (Children of Men) as Commander Arün Filitt, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, and Rutger Hauer.  Music is by composer Alexandre Desplat (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Argo, Godzilla, The Imitation Game).  Cinematography is by long-time Besson collaborator Thierry Arbogast.

Look for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets in theaters July 21, 2017.

C.J. Bunce

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