Remember a few days ago when movies seemed way more important than they do right now? Those were good times. (For the record, I still believe film and books and music and art are vitally important—we will need them desperately in the coming days—I’m just being hyperbolic, so go watch movies like Moonlight and maybe give THIS ARTICLE a read.) The world has apparently decided to remain turning, and Hollywood keeps kicking out movies. And that includes Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and we’ve got the first trailer for your perusal. It’s straight up bananas.
The easiest comparison point for this Valerian andthe City of a Thousand Planets trailer is Besson’s The Fifth Element, and there are definitely visual parallels as well as a similarly wingnut tone and overall sensibility. I’ve already seen people calling it a pseudo-sequel to the French action auteur’s 1997 sci-fi opus.
There’s also a laundry list of other obvious inspirations, like Blade Runner (I know, I know, a sci-fi movie showing a heavy Blade Runner influence, shocking), Avatar, and more. I also can’t help but think of Jupiter Ascending, and I certainly hope Valerian is as bonkers as that film should have been (for a movie that’s super crazy on the surface, Jupiter Ascending was boring as shit).
Based on a French comic and set in a single 24-hour period, the story follows time travelling special agents Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne), who keep peace in the universe. And whoever thought is was a good idea to give Luc Besson $180 million dollars and the freedom to run wild, god bless you. We’ve got insane creature, set, and costume design; the action looks massive and sweeping; and Cara Delevingne wrecks a bunch of dudes.
Here’s the official synopsis:
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.