After 40 Years, Valerian And the City of a Thousand Planets Becomes a Reality

Many people have their passion projects, the ones that they pour their heart and soul into, and that is precisely what Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is for director Luc Besson. Forty years after falling in love with the “Valerian and Laureline” comics when he was 10 years old, Besson has been waiting to bring the story to the big screen, but for myriad reasons, many of them technological, he was never able to fully execute his vision…until a certain film became a phenomenon eight years ago.

We're talking about James Cameron’s 2009 Avatarwhich paved the way for what was possible and gave Besson a blueprint for seeing his dream through. The CGI-heavy film, using bespoke technology that changed the way the industry uses special effects, showed Besson that the technology had finally caught up (at least in part) to his imagination. While he’s previously made gonzo, visually lush sci-films like The Fifth Element, which has similar themes to Valerian, it wasn’t until now that the technology was advanced enough to fully capture what the auteur saw in his mind’s eye.

Valerian is centers around a pair of time-travelling special operatives, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne), who, despite their young age, are burdened with the job of keeping peace in the universe in the 28th centuryWhat makes this film even more special, is that illustrator of the comics, Jean-Claude Mezieres, is the designer on the upcoming film, having previously worked with Besson on Fifth Element. Mezieres’ comic ran from 1967-2010.

Check out what Besson had to say about the upcoming film in a new featurette, and mark your calendars for July 21 for the film’s premiere.

Featured image: VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS. Photo courtesy of STX Films and Europacorp