Few modern action directors have proven so prolific and keen as Luc Besson, especially when you count the man’s producing ventures. Though I can’t count myself as a big fan of La Femme Nikita, The Family, or The Big Blue, I would say that The Fifth Element, Lucy, and, especially, Leon the Professional would be amongst a list of my favorite action films. So, anticipation for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, his next major project, is gaining major momentum, even more so after the announcement that Clive Owen, John Goodman, Ethan Hawke, Rutger Hauer, and, weirdest of all, jazz legend Herbie Hancock would be joining cast leads Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne.
The anticipation ticked up today when Besson tweeted out a photo of his two leads in their costumes, as well as himself with a picture of the characters of Valerian and Laurelei (DeHaan and Delevingne, respectively) on his jacket. The source material is obviously very close to Besson’s heart – he produced a seven-part animated adaptation of the same graphic novel in 2007. Time will tell if his next take on the material is as fun or more effective than the cartoon, though I imagine it will be similarly animated via VFX.
Here’s the first image of DeHaan and Delevingne in costume:
— Luc Besson (@lucbesson) March 24, 2016
Here’s the official synopsis for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets:
Rooted in the classic graphic novel series, Valerian and Laureline- visionary writer/director Luc Besson advances this iconic source material into a contemporary, unique and epic science fiction saga. Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are special operatives for the government of the human territories charged with maintaining order throughout the universe. Valerian has more in mind than a professional relationship with his partner- blatantly chasing after her with propositions of romance. But his extensive history with women, and her traditional values, drive Laureline to continuously rebuff him. Under directive from their Commander (Clive Owen), Valerian and Laureline embark on a mission to the breathtaking intergalactic city of Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis comprised of thousands of different species from all four corners of the universe. Alpha’s seventeen million inhabitants have converged over time- uniting their talents, technology and resources for the betterment of all. Unfortunately, not everyone on Alpha shares in these same objectives; in fact, unseen forces are at work, placing our race in great danger.