One of the several movies showcased at New York Comic Con this weekend was director Luc Besson's sci-fi adventure Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, with the filmmaker showcasing seven minutes of unfinished footage. This footage wasn't released to the public after the event, but Luc Besson did reveal that the first teaser trailer will arrive next month, while shedding new light on the sci-fi thriller, and how it compares to his beloved 1997 sci-fi adventure The Fifth Element.
The idea to adapt the Valerian comic book first surfaced when Luc Besson was working with Valerian comic co-creator Jean-Claude Mézières on The Fifth Element. Luc Besson added that he was a huge fan of the comics, reading them since he was 10 years old. During a press event at New York Comic Con this weekend, the director told The Hollywood Reporter why he couldn't have made a Valerian movie at the time that The Fifth Element was in production.
"We met on The Fifth Element, when I called him and asked him to participate. He was the one who said to me, 'why don't you do Valerian instead of this f---ing Fifth Element?' At the time, to be honest, you couldn't make it. There's, like, five or six [humans], all the rest were aliens. You really had to get to Avatar, and then think, oh, now imagination is the limit. Now we can do everything. Fifth Element was the last film done with old-fashioned special effects; if I had a green screen, I'd have to lock my camera in one place, and they'd put dots on the screen for hours. It was a nightmare. And then six hours later, digital arrived and basically, you can put your camera on your shoulder and they say, 'Oh, we can do it later.' I was like, 'Are you kidding?' I was really frustrated when The Fifth Element came out. I always said to myself, you will avenge one day, and now I avenge."
The director also spoke about his history with these beloved characters, and how they helped shape him into the filmmaker he became. He also said that Laureline, the character played by Cara Delevingne, was the first woman he fell in love with. Here's what the director had to say below.
"I've read the comic books since I was 10 years old. At the time, it was two pages every Wednesday in a magazine. You basically have to wait six months to read the entire story. In France at the time, there were 2 TV channels, one in black and white, one in color, and the only way to escape were these comics. Probably the first woman I fell in love with was Laureline when I was 10. This kind of comic book built myself. I was living in the countryside, I would open my window and see cows. I wanted to escape, and every Wednesday, it's be Valerian and Laureline and yeah! It's building your imagination, your sense of beauty - it's important, it's almost your main food when you're 10 years old. That and music."
Dane DeHaan stars alongside Cara Delevingne, with a supporting cast that includes Clive Owen, Ethan Hawke, Rihanna, John Goodman, Yifan Wu and Herbie Hancock. Luc Besson's EuropaCorp has set a July 21, 2017 release date for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, putting it up against Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk. Be sure to check back next month for the first Valerian trailer.