Lights, camera, action for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
by Fabien Lemercier
- The €170 million megaproduction by Luc Besson, which is being produced by EuropaCorp, started filming with its all star-cast in Paris on Wednesday
Already holding first and third place in the rankings for most watched French films in the world with Lucy [+see also:
film profile] (53.5 million international admissions in 2014) and The Fifth Element (35.7 million viewers in 1997), Luc Besson and his production company EuropaCorp are thinking even bigger with the director’s 14th fictional feature: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. The director’s new English language sci-fi opus, which filming started on in Paris on Wednesday, brings together a cast featuring American actor Dane DeHaan (Lawless, The Place Beyond the Pines, Chronicle [+see also:
film profile]), British actors Cara Delevingne (The Face of an Angel [+see also:
film profile]) and Clive Owen (acclaimed most notably in Shadow Dancer [+see also:
film profile] and Children of Men, who recently starred in the series The Knick), famous Texan actor Ethan Hawke (who has been nominated for an Oscar four times, among others last year for Boyhood), musical superstar Rihanna, the equally as famous jazzman Herbie Hancock (who already appeared on the big screen in Round Midnight by Bertrand Tavernier, which also won him an Oscar for Best Music in 1987) and Chinese-Canadian actor Kris Wu.
Adapted for the big screen by Luc Besson from the animated comic series Valérian and Laureline by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières (of which there are 23 albums in total dating back to 1970), the story centres around two spatio-temporal agents of the government of human territories charged with maintaining order throughout the universe. Valerian has, for some time, had his heart set on taking his professional relationship with his partner to the next level, but his extensive history with women, combined with Laureline’s ‘traditional’ values, drive her to continuously rebuff him. Under orders from their Commander, Valerian and Laureline set off on a mission to the incredible intergalactic city of Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis made up of thousands of different species from all four corners of the universe. Alpha’s 17 million inhabitants have settled over time – pooling their talents, technology and resources for the good of all. Unfortunately, not everyone in Alpha shares the same objectives; invisible forces are at work, placing our species in great danger…
Produced by Virginie Besson Silla for EuropaCorp (which is also handling international sales and will take care of distribution in France and the United States directly), Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is being supported most notably by TF1 Films Production, Orange, BNP Paribas, Belga Films, Fundamental Films, Universum Film, Gulf Film and River Road Entertainment. Filming is set to wrap up in 115 days and the film is due to be released worldwide on 21 July 2017.
(Translated from French)