While Luc Besson had an international hit just two years ago with the Scarlett Johansson-led actioner Lucy, it’s been a while since the director knocked it out of the park with the action-packed panache we’ve come to expect from his best films. Perhaps that’s why I initially dismissed Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets until I was completely gobsmacked by the ingenious show of creativity Besson unveiled at Comic-Con. That footage, which showcased the full potential of the delightfully “paperback sci-fi” sounding title with a breathless tour through a few of those thousand planets, still hasn’t hit the web so it’s hard to share my newfound enthusiasm for the project. You can read my full footage recap here, but suffice it to say, Besson looks on course to match the joy of his pop-colored sci-fi great The Fifth Element while exceeding its scope in spades.
Today brings a new trio of images from Valerian, and while they certainly don’t showcase the wild invention of Besson’s vision for the French sci-fi classic (one he’s been hungry to adapt for decades), they do offer a tiny taste with a glimpse at one of the countless alien breeds that occupy the film’s world. The other two images show off stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne, but look like your boilerplate sci-fi shots. Which is unfortunate, because if the footage I saw is accurate, this film is definitely not banking on your standard sci-fi imagery.
Unfortunately, we’ve got rather a wait until we get to see all the wonders Besson has in store, as Valerian doesn’t land in theaters until July 21, 2017, but I take comfort in the fact that leaves plenty of time for the massive post-production this film will require. For now, check out the new images and poster below.
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.