Another Comic Book Series Goes To The Big Screen: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

A spectacular 3D event set in a universe beyond imagination, the main events of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets begin in the year 2740. Classic and familiar, yet wildly exotic and exciting, this epic adventure follows Major Valerian (Dane DeHaan), a roguish government operative and a rising star in the human army. He is an extraordinary warrior with a sixth sense for tactics, and is widely known for his bravery.

Accompanying Valerian on his journeys through space is his intrepid partner, Sergeant Laureline (Cara Delevingne), whose innate intelligence is matched only by her steely determination, fierce independence and impressive displays of strength. As driven and focused as she is in her career, Laureline is more old fashioned and simplistic in her personal life — she wants to fall in love, get married and have a family. In addition to being an excellent space agent, of course.

As their adventure begins, Valerian and Laureline head to the desert planet Kirian, where they are tasked to infiltrate the seedy underbelly of the bustling intra-dimensional Big Market. Under orders from the Minister of Defense (Herbie Hancock), they have been directed to retrieve the last surviving Mül Converter — a tiny creature with miraculous powers that could help them save a peaceful civilization presumed to be lost to history.

With the Converter as precious cargo aboard their spacecraft, “The Intruder”, Valerian and Laureline next travel to Alpha, the massive space station known throughout the galaxy as The City of a Thousand Planets. Their primary mission is to insure the safety of Commander Arun Filitt (Clive Owen), but the mystery at the center of Alpha soon takes on a more disturbing urgency, and Valerian and Laureline must decide whether to trust their instincts over the information they’ve been given on their mission

When Laureline is abducted by the twisted Emperor Boulan Bathor III, Valerian must venture into the red-light district known as Pleasure Alley in search of information and uneasy allies. There, he encounters Jolly the Pimp (Ethan Hawke) and Bubble (Rihanna), a shape-shifting performer whose unique talents come in handy as she assists Valerian in a daring rescue of Laureline.

Enduring wild skirmish after epic battle, Valerian and Laureline finally enter the radioactive Red Zone at the center of Alpha, where they discover the dark secret behind their mission and attempt to save The City of a Thousand Planets before time runs out…and a civilization is destroyed forever.

As Valerian and Laureline plot their course through this visually stunning, intergalactic space adventure, they must navigate landmines of flying car chases, shootouts with criminals of the alien underworld, narrow escapes from deadly creatures, and space battles unlike anything ever seen on the big screen.

The story for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is based on the “Valerian and Laureline” graphic-novel series by Pierre Crhistin adn Jean-Claude Mezier first published in 1967

Long before writer and director Luc Besson became one of the world’s foremost action auteurs — writing, producing and directing a string of iconic hits — he was a young boy transfixed by “Valerian and Laureline,” which debuted the decade before he happened upon it. Recalls the filmmaker:

“When I was 10 years old, I’d go to the kiosk every Wednesday. One time, I found this magazine called ‘Pilote.’ Inside, I discovered ‘Valerian and Laureline.’ I thought, ‘Oh my God, what is this thing?’ That day, I fell in love with Laureline, and I wanted to be Valerian.”

Besson quickly became addicted to the engrossing graphic serials devouring all 22 volumes.

“It was the 1970s, and it was the first time we saw this modern girl kicking ass,” he shares. “It was not about the superhero with the cape. This was much more light and free and enjoyable because Laureline and Valerian were like two normal cops today — except it’s the 28th century, and everything is weird and amazing.”

It wasn’t until he started filming his cult-classic, retro-futuristic dystopian epic The Fifth Element, that he considered taking his childhood fantasy hero off the shelf and began toying with the idea of adapting the graphic novels into a movie.

Watch Laureline kick ass along with the others when Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets opens July 21st.