Luc Besson Will Adapt French Sci-Fi Graphic Novel ‘Valerian’
In the 1990s, Luc Besson looked like the next European director to take Hollywood by storm. Each of his movies made a bigger impact in the U.S. than the one before it; La Femme Nikita, The Professional, and The Fifth Element. But just as he cracked through to the mainstream, Besson pivoted away from directing and became more of a mini-mogul, running his EuropaCorp production company and cranking out action flicks that he would often co-write and produce but not direct like District B13, Lockout, and The Transporter and Taken franchises.
In recent years, though, Besson’s begun to tiptoe back into full-time directing, with the Robert De Niro action comedy The Family, and then Lucy, the Scarlett Johansson sci-fi adventure that became one of the biggest surprise hits of 2014, grossing more than $450 million worldwide. Now Besson will attempt to capitalize on that success and continue his directorial comeback with an adaptation of Valerian, a long-running French comic book series.
Even though I’ve wasted most of my life reading comic books, I’m not familiar with this one (probably because I don’t speak French). So here’s how the press release describes the property:
Valerian, which has influenced generations of Sci-Fi writers and directors, was created by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres in 1967 and has since sold over 10 million copies in 21 languages. Production is set to begin at the end of this year with a global release slated for summer 2017.
The press release also reveals the film’s stars: Dane DeHaan from Chronicle and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Cara Delevingne from the upcoming Paper Towns and Suicide Squad. That’s an intriguing pair, though not as intriguing as the idea of Besson getting back to The Fifth Element territory with another “epic science fiction” adventure. That’s a phrase I’m excited to see in the same sentence as “Luc Besson” again after a long time apart.