Luc Besson’s Valerian Earns A Standing Ovation At Comic-Con

A fan favourite, thanks to his ’90s output (La Femme Nikita, Léon: The Professional, The Fifth Element), Luc Besson has taken some surprising career detours in recent years. In addition to producing countless generic action movies, he has directed little-seen indies (Angel-A, The Lady) and some international hits you probably haven’t heard of (Arthur and the Invisibles, The Family). While it seemed his career as a Hollywood director was officially over, he made a surprising resurgence with 2014’s Lucy, a massive success that gave San Diego Comic-Con attendees reason to be excited for Besson’s first appearance at the convention.


After unveiling several clips from Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets at Hall H on Thursday, Besson received a standing ovation from the crowd. According to Entertainment Weekly, the film’s source material (a French comic book from the ’60s) provided inspiration for both Star Wars and Avatar, but Besson was dreaming about an adaptation long before either of those films came along.

The film’s space travelling protagonists are played by Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne, who will be joined onscreen by a variety of aliens—and Rihanna. “I want actors passionate,” Besson said of his cast. “My fear was someone taking a job. I just need to be sure that they want to be part of it and give everything. I give everything. I need to be sure that they would be there. Then, I need to be sure that they’re talented. We made a lot of tests. I pushed them, pushed them pushed them. They’re so good.”


With the hype now officially in place, you have a year to wait until you can give Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets a standing ovation of your own—when it arrives in theatres on July 21, 2017.