Twenty years ago, Luc Besson brought sci-fi and fantasy fans a film that completely broke the mold. Far from the universes of Star Wars and Star Trek, The Fifth Element gave us a entirely new experience. Now, Besson has brought one his childhood favourites to life. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets hits cinemas in the US on July 21st. The director’s new movie, adapted from an old French comic, brings us another vivid universe and if you haven’t seen it yet, check out the trailer below.
In anticipation for Valerian‘s release, the guys over at Collider sat down to talk to Besson about what we can expect from the movie. As well as details about the up and coming film, Besson also revealed more about how he created one scene in particular. Pushing the boundaries further, Valerian features the first ever interdimensional fight scene. The director explains the interdimensional scene by talking about the layers we see when we put on heat goggles. In the scene, we have two worlds, a massive market world and an empty desert, laid over each other. Here’s Besson to explain, via Collider:
“Basically, the guy has to run through the market, but his arm is stuck in the other world. So his body can go through everything but his arm doesn’t go through anything. So, it’s crazy. It’s so exciting to make it work and to make it understandable.”
According to Besson, his vision was difficult to understand at first. The scene only made sense once all six-hundred shots were edited together.
But the fight scene wasn’t the only thing different about Besson’s movie. As the director says:
“It was interesting because I decided to have the editor on set. So the editor was up like ten metres from me and he has a link straight up to the camera. So every time I do a take, by the time I go to the editing, it was already in the film. So live I can see if it’s working out. So, if the shot was too slow, too close – I can do another take differently.”
As if interdimensional fight scenes and awesome visuals weren’t enough. We also have a synopsis for the new Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets:
Rooted in the classic graphic novel series, Valerian and Laureline- visionary writer/director Luc Besson advances this iconic source material into a contemporary, unique and epic science fiction saga. Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are special operatives for the government of the human territories charged with maintaining order throughout the universe. Valerian has more in mind than a professional relationship with his partner- blatantly chasing after her with propositions of romance. But his extensive history with women, and her traditional values, drive Laureline to continuously rebuff him. Under directive from their Commander (Clive Owen), Valerian and Laureline embark on a mission to the breathtaking intergalactic city of Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis comprised of thousands of different species from all four corners of the universe. Alpha’s seventeen million inhabitants have converged over time- uniting their talents, technology and resources for the betterment of all. Unfortunately, not everyone on Alpha shares in these same objectives; in fact, unseen forces are at work, placing our race in great danger.