Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets releases first teaser

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, the wordily titled and eagerly awaited new film from director Luc Besson, released its first teaser. The trailer contains little dialogue and focuses on imaginative visual effects. The film is similar appearance-wise to 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which in turn was visually similar to Besson’s own The Fifth Element. Alpha, the titular City of A Thousand Planets central to the film’s story, looks like a cross between a futuristic space station, the seedy side of Blade Runner and a contemporary beach town, all blown up astronomically in scale. 

The film stars British actor Dane Dehaan as Valerian, best known stateside for The Amazing Spiderman and the forthcoming A Cure for Wellness, and supermodel/emerging actress Cara Delevingne as Laureline. The film features other well-known faces, including Ethan Hawke, Clive Owen and Rihannawho plays a shape-shifting performer. 

Valerian, though it hasn’t even been released, is already breaking new ground. The trailer is the first to be scored with original Beatles record and the film, put out by Europacorp with a budget over $241 million, will be the most expensive French production ever. The investment in Besson feels well placed after the international success of his last film, Lucy. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets may mark a rare moment when a director’s passion project coincides with commercial viability and a massive budgethopefully resulting in an epic story.

Read about the plot and watch the trailer below.

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.

Simone is a contributor to The Young Folks.