Taglines: A universe without limits needs heroes without boundaries.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is an adventure film from Luc Besson, the director of The Professional, The Fifth Element and Lucy, based on the comic book series which inspired a generation of artists, writers and filmmakers. In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories.
Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, 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 each other. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which 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.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (French: Valérian et la Cité des mille planètes) is a 2017 English-language 3D space opera film written and directed by Luc Besson, and co-produced by Besson and his wife, Virginie Besson-Silla. The film is based on the French science fiction comics series Valérian and Laureline, written by Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mézières. It stars Dane DeHaan as Valerian and Cara Delevingne as Laureline, with Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Herbie Hancock, Kris Wu and Rutger Hauer in supporting roles. Besson independently crowd-sourced and personally funded Valerian. With a production budget of around $180 million, it is both the most expensive non-American and independent film ever made.
Valerian was released by STXfilms on 21 July 2017 in the United States, and in France on 26 July, by EuropaCorp. It received mixed reviews from critics, who criticized the plot and some of the casting, but praised the visuals. It grossed $225 million worldwide, but due to its high production and advertising costs, was considered a commercial failure.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets grossed $40.5 million in the United States and Canada and $184.7 million internationally (including $36.8 million in France), for a worldwide total of $225.2 million. With a production budget around $180 million, the film would have needed to gross $400 million worldwide in order to break even and justify a sequel.
Principal photography on the film began on 5 January 2016 in seven sound stages dedicated to the film at the Cité du cinéma, in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. In total, there are 2,734 visual effect shots.
About the Story
In the 28th century, the former International Space Station has reached critical mass, making it too dangerous to keep in Low Earth Orbit. Relocated to deep space, it became Alpha, a space-traveling city inhabited by millions of creatures from thousands of planets. A special police division is created to preserve peace through the galaxy, including happy-go-lucky Major Valerian and his partner, no-nonsense Sergeant Laureline.
En route to a mission, Valerian dreams of a planet where a low-tech humanoid race lives peacefully. They fish for pearls containing enormous amounts of energy, and use small animals to replicate them. Wreckage begins plummeting from the sky, followed by an apocalyptic explosion. Moments before her death a young princess manages to send out a telepathic signal.
Shaken, Valerian awakes. After an analysis reveals he might have received a signal from across time and space, he learns that his mission is to retrieve a “Mül converter”, so-called for being able to replicate anything it eats. It is the last of its kind, and currently in the hands of black market dealer Igon Siruss. Before setting out, Valerian asks Laureline to marry him, but she brushes him off, due to his many affairs with female colleagues and his aversion to commitment.
Travelling to a massive extra-dimensional bazaar called Big Market, Valerian disrupts a meeting between Igon and two hooded figures who look like the humanoids from his vision. They also seek the converter, which is revealed to be one of the small animals he saw in his vision. Valerian and Laureline recover the converter, and he surreptitiously steals one of the pearls. Aboard their ship, he learns that Mül was destroyed 30 years earlier, and all information about it is classified.
They return to Alpha, where their superior, frosty Commander Arün Filitt, informs them the center of the station has been infected by an unknown force, rendering it highly toxic. Troops sent into the area have not returned, and the infection is growing. Laureline and Valerian are assigned to protect the commander during an interstation summit to discuss the crisis. Against the Commander’s wishes, Laureline maintains possession of the converter.
During the summit, the humanoids suddenly attack, incapacitating everyone before kidnapping Filitt. Valerian chases the kidnappers to the infected area and crashes his vehicle. Evading arrest for insubordination, Laureline enlists the help of some aliens to track Valerian, and finds him unconscious at the edge of the infected zone. She wakes him, but is kidnapped by a primitive imperial tribe emigrated from planet Goara called “Boulan Bathors” that lives nearby. Valerian infiltrates the tribe’s territory with the help of a shape-shifting dancer, Bubble. They save Laureline and escape, but Bubble is mortally wounded. As she dies, she convinces Valerian to never give up on his feelings for Laureline.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand (2017)
Directed by: Luc Besson
Starring: Cara Delevingne, John Goodman, Ethan Hawke, Dane DeHaan, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Rutger Hauer, Mathieu Kassovitz, Emilie Livingston, Kris Wu, Alain Chabat, Xavier Giannoli, Louis Leterrier
Screenplay by: Luc Besson
Production Design by: Hugues Tissandier
Cinematography by: Thierry Arbogast
Film Editing by: Julien Rey
Costume Design by: Olivier Bériot
Set Decoration by: Evelyne Tissandier
Art Direction by: Gilles Boillot, Ben Mauro, Dominique Moisan, Stéphane Robuchon, Etienne Rohde, Christian Vallat, Thierry Zemmour
Music by: Alexandre Desplat
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action, suggestive material and brief language.
Distributed by: STX Entertainment, EuropaCorp
Release Date: July 21, 2017 (United States), July 26, 2017 (France)