Ahead of Valerian and the City of 1000 Planets’ opening on July 21st, Director Luc Besson released a promotional video called ‘See You in Space.’ This short, behind-the-scenes video shows Mr Besson’s passion for Valerian, for filmmaking and the source material.
Valerian is the largest indie film ever produced, boasting financing of over $180 million and about 2000 effects shots. In the source material and Mr Besson’s film, Valerian and Laureline are essentially far future cops, traveling through space and time to protect civilization. In the film, Valerian and Laureline must prevent sinister forces from destroying Alpha, a space city made up of thousands of environments and home to thousands of intelligent, star-traveling species. Alpha is like Paris, London, New York City, Washington, DC and Beijing all rolled up into one. Thus, blow to Alpha would shock all the cultures that contribute to it.
Luc Besson is one of the best filmmakers in Europe and in the world. He understands storytelling, characters, action, stunts and effects. Mr Besson made The Fifth Element, Leon Le Professional, La Femme Nikkita, Lucy, the Taken franchise, and the Transporter franchise.
Mr Besson has loved the Valerian and Laureline source material since his childhood. If ever there was a passion project, this is it. He discovered the characters Valerian and Laureline when he was ten years old reading comics from France’s legendary comic creator Mezieres. (Mezieres is basically Europe’s Stan Lee.) About two decades ago, when Mr Besson was making arguably his biggest hit, The Fifth Element, he brought Mezieres into the project as his production artist. “Why not make Valerian and Laureline?” Mezieres asked. “Why make this Fifth Element?” What held them back 20 years ago was the technology and how much it would have cost to put hundreds of alien species and alien environments into a single film. After James Cameron’s Avatar, Mr Besson became convinced it was possible.
Since then, Mr Besson has diligently prepared for Valerian. He knows how to make films with fight scenes (Taken) and driving stunts (Transporter). And he knows how to make successful, gigantic tentpole films like The Fifth Element. He knows how to make not only superb adventure films but also outstanding sci-fi stories on limited budgets (Lockout and Lucy). For Valerian, Mr Besson spent years developing his script, storyboarding, pre-visualizing, planning all the stunts, and pre-constructing all the shots. Considering Mr Besson’s resume and his genuine affection for the source material, fans can rest assured that they will not only see an amazing visual spectacle, but one that also remains true to the essence of the characters and the stories. This film will be amazing and it will make over $700 million worldwide.