At the heels of global epic adventure hits “Avatar” and “Star Wars” comes Luc Besson’s spectacular high-speed adventure film “Valerian” based on the acclaimed bestselling graphic-novel series “Valerian and Laureline” by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières, first published in 1967. Powered by the imagination of Besson, “Valerian” takes audiences on an unforgettable intergalactic adventure.
Taking on the title role as “Valerian” is talented and acclaimed actor Dane Dehaan starring alongside model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne as Laureline. “Valerian” is set in the not-so-distant future, 28th century where we see the lead characters Valerian and Laureline working together with a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense (Oscar and Grammy-award winning composer Herbie Hancock), the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha — an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures with one another.
There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force that threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.
Starring alongside DeHaan (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, “Chronicle”) and Delevingne (“Suicide Squad”, “Paper Towns”) is an accomplished troupe of performers and newcomers to the big screen led by Clive Owen, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Kris Wu, and Rutger Hauer. In a stunning performance, global pop icon Rihanna (who’s also in the upcoming “Ocean’s Eight”) makes her debut in the fantasy film genre.
As Valerian and Laureline plot their course through this visually stunning, intergalactic space adventure, they must navigate landmines of flying car chases, shootouts with criminals of the alien underworld, narrow escapes from deadly creatures, and space battles unlike anything ever seen on the big screen.
Long before Luc Besson became one of the world’s foremost action auteurs — writing, producing and directing a string of iconic hits such as “Taken”, “Transporter”, “La Femme Nikita”and “Taxi”— he was a young boy transfixed by a comic-book series called “Valerian and Laureline.” Constrained by the relatively primitive visual effects technology available in the 1990s, Besson knew it would be some time before he was able to create the wondrous “Valerian and Laureline” universe he knew the source material deserved. It would take a seismic jolt and a huge evolutionary leap forward in visual effects to enable the filmmaker to bring “Valerian and Laureline” to life.
After James Cameron invited Besson to the set of his space epic, Avatar, the French director made up his mind. “When Avatar arrived, it made everything seem possible. I remember thinking, ‘One day I will come back to sci-fi with these new tools, where the only limit is your imagination. That’s when I decided to make Valerian.”
With more than $ 200 million in production cost, “Valerian” poises to be “Avatar-esque” in terms of the visually stunning effects and vistas as entertainment news site The Wrap considers Valerian as the greatest visual experience seen since Avatar.
“Valerian” opens July 21 in cinemas from Pioneer Films.