Over the past few years, Comic-Con has become dominated more by television than movies, with several huge TV shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead moving into Hall H. This year is no different, with several major movie studios skipping SDCC. But there are still plenty of big movies to get excited about. Earlier today, the Con got off to a rousing start with the Hall H panel for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, with fans so impressed by the footage they saw that they gave director Luc Besson and stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne a standing ovation.
Entertainment Weekly reports that over seven minutes of footage was shown to the crowd, even though this sci-fi thriller only wrapped production just five weeks ago. There were four scenes in total that were shown, and even though the visual effects were largely unfinished, the crowd still went wild for this footage. The first scene features Valerian (Dane DeHaan) running through the corridors of a spaceship, being guided by Laureline (Cara Delevingne), through a communicator. When Valerian gets to a dead end, he activates his suit, plowing through walls in one seamless shot, which Luc Besson revealed would be an even longer shot in the finished movie, at nearly 45 seconds. Here's what Dane DeHaan had to say about the footage.
"It's unbelievable. That's the second time I've seen that [footage] and it looks so cool. I described [Valerian] earlier as a space bro. He thinks of himself as the most capable soldier in the universe, there's a lot of luck on his side, and he'd be nothing without Laureline."
The audience was also shown another scene where Cara Delevingne's Laureline is being lead down a hallway by two large men, when she tells them, "Don't you think you should cuff me?" She then proceeds to take out her captors and escape before running into a number of unique duck characters. The story is set in a futuristic world where there are thousands of different alien species from all over the universe, but Luc Besson mentioned at the panel that we'll only see roughly 200 of these species. Here's what the director had to say about why he chose his lead actors.
"I want actors passionate. My fear was someone taking a job. I just need to be sure that they want to be part of it and give everything. I give everything. I need to be sure that they would be there. Then, I need to be sure that they're talented. We made a lot of tests. I pushed them, pushed them pushed them. They're so good."
The footage also included a scene at a nightclub, which features supporting cast members such as Ethan Hawke and singer/actress Rhianna playing a mystery character in this sci-fi thriller. Dane DeHaan revealed during the panel that fans often ask who Rhianna plays in the movie, but even he doesn't know. Here's what he had to say below.
"People keep asking who she plays in the movie. Really, guys, you don't even know. Rihanna's part is so crazy. It's so awesome. I worked with her for two weeks of the shoot, when I told people what I was going to do for the shoot their jaws were on the floor and so jealous."
The story centers on pecial operatives Valerian and Laureline who embark on a mission to the breathtaking intergalactic city of Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis made up of thousands of species from all corners of the universe. Alpha's 17 million inhabitants have converged over time, uniting their talents, technology, and resources for the betterment of all. But not everyone on Alpha shares in these same objectives; unseen forces are at work, placing their race in great danger. 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.
Luc Besson directs from his own script, which is adapted from the comic series by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres. The original comics are considered an 'ancestor' of the Star Wars and Avatar franchises, offering inspiration to both of those popular genre series. Unfortunately, the footage shown during the panel hasn't been released yet. However, after the panel, director Luc Besson even held a Twitter Q&A for the fans, and you can take a look at all of his responses below.