Luc Besson Talks Valerian

Posted by August 25, 2015 Comment

valerian-movie-luc-besson-2017-castingWhile discussing the nature of his distribution company, director Luc Besson, of The Professional and Lucy fame, told Deadline a little bit about his ambitious project, Valerian. “This is such an adventure for me, and I know it’s really a turning point. This is a huge film. It’s expensive. It’s in 3D. It’s on IMAX,” he said of the sci-fi epic starring Cara Delevingne, Dane DeHaan and Clive Owen.

Based on a French comic by Pierre Christin and artist Jean-Claude Mézières, DeHaan and Delevingne play time-travelling agents investigating a galactic empire in a time after humanity has expanded far beyond the confines of Earth.

Which may remind you of The Fifth Element, Besson’s last attempt at a big sci-fi film. Mézières worked for Besson on the project and his concept art — and a Valerian volume released during that time — influenced the look of The Fifth Element‘s New York and the occupation of the main character, Korben Dallas. Originally meant to work in a rocket factory, the Bruce Willis character became a cab driver after Besson saw Mézières‘s design for a floating cab in the Valerian story.

“I realized very late that the film was very European,” he said of the 1997 film, which also starred Gary Oldman and featured an early film appearance by Chris Tucker. “In the U.S. now [the film] is kind of classical; everybody still talks about it. But at the time, the film didn’t work so well here.” He believes the twenty years between the two projects closed a lot of the cultural gaps across the globe, even if it’s still “France and European in a way.”

One other major difference between the two is the technology. According to Besson, the film will have 2,370 effects shots versus the 180 shots in The Fifth Element. “On Valerian, I feel so free because the only limit is my imagination. That’s all. You can do whatever you want today, and one of the things I do have is an imagination,” he said. The director is encouraged by the ability to do something unseen on film before and is energized by the project, adding “It’s just the ambition of having fun, trying something insane, and then sharing it.”

Valerian goes into production in January.

(Last Updated August 25, 2015 5:39 pm )