|Image from Deadline|
As director Luc Besson and his wife, producer Virginie Besson-Silla laid out in meticulous detail a vision for “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” — based on the French comic series “Valerian and Laureline” — their passion for the heavy genre material was certainly palpable. But it was difficult to ignore the specter of other attempted franchise launches from respected filmmakers that crashed on the rocks of “unproven intellectual property.”
“Valerian” stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne as a pair of 28th century agents who guard against temporal paradoxes at a time when humans can travel through space and time. Footage presented at the San Diego Convention Center Thursday revealed a sci-fi mish-mash reminiscent of movies like “Star Wars,” “Stargate” and Besson’s own “The Fifth Element,” as well as video games such as “Mass Effect” and “Portal.” There were “Blade Runner”-like flourishes as well, with imaginatively opulent design elements recalling the dense Rouge City environment of Steven Spielberg’s “A.I: Artificial Intelligence” (in a sequence featuring Ethan Hawke chewing the scenery as a fast-talking pimp of the future).
Many of those properties were no doubt influenced by “Valerian and Laureline,” so the circle is complete. And the Comic-Con crowd was sold. But the film will depend on that energy stretching far beyond walls of Hall H; a hefty $180 million price tag makes it the most expensive European production to date.
Before presenting footage of the film, which is set for release July 21, 2017, Besson was honored with Comic-Con’s Inkpot Award, given to individuals for their contributions to the worlds of comics, science fiction/fantasy, film, television, animation and fandom services. The director held off on accepting right away, however, telling the audience that, if after they saw the footage they still thought he deserved it, then he would take it.
They approved, but the real test for a risky prospect like this will be global appeal. Can “Valerian” succeed where others have failed, or is there just no room for big, ballsy, unfamiliar properties to break through the franchise clutter?
Besson-Silla is producing on behalf of EuropaCorp, which is financing, producing and will distribute.
Frankly, I'm surprised they're so skeptical, I think it's going to do well. FYI, Rihanna is also credited in an (untitled) role in the film. Read the full article at the link below:
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Text from Variety