The director behind 'The Fifth Element' has waited over a decade to make his latest sci-fi epic

Valerian and the city of a thousand planets STXSTX Entertainment‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.’

Director Luc Besson has been responsible for some of the most memorable movies ever made, including “La Femme Nikita,” “Léon: The Professional,” and “The Fifth Element,” but this summer he’s out with a movie that’s been on his mind most of his life.

“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” is based on the French sci-fi comic series “Valérian and Laureline” that was first published in 1967 and has gone on to become legendary. It follows the adventures of Valérian and his female companion Laureline as they go on adventures across the galaxy.

Besson, 58, was a kid when the comic came out and remembers the excitement of getting a new chapter to the “album” weekly.

“I read it starting at 10 years old,” Besson told Business Insider along with other reporters on Monday in New York City after showing the latest trailer of the movie in 3D. “I would get two pages of the story on a Tuesday and wait a whole week for another two pages. At the end of the year I had the entire album. That was the Christmas present. It was the first time we saw a couple in space, it was very new. And [Laureline’s] kicking arse. She was my first love.”

Wikipedia‘Valérian and Laureline’ comic.

As Besson began to build clout in the filmmaking world he never forgot about “Valérian and Laureline” but also didn’t think it could ever be adapted into a movie. That’s why he made “The Fifth Element” instead in 1997.

“When I did ‘The Fifth Element’ I hired the designer from ‘Valerian’ and I worked with him for six months and he said, ‘Why are you doing this stupid “Fifth Element” movie? When are you going to do “Valerian”?’ And I said I like it but you can’t do it, it’s impossible,” Besson said.

But 10 years ago he started writing a “Valerian” script, just in case the technology caught up.

“Then ‘Avatar’ was made and then everything is possible,” Besson said.

Opening on July 21 through STX Entertainment, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” follows Valerian (played by Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) as they go in search of the evil forces that are trying to destroy Alpha, the peaceful home of species from a thousand planets.

The film also stars Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, and Clive Owen.

Watch the trailer below:


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