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Eye-popping 'Valerian' trailer has all the (fifth) elements

With access to jaw-dropping CGI, "Fifth Element" director Luc Besson is finally making the gloriously gorgeous sci-fi epic he's always wanted.

Dane DeHaan stars in Luc Besson's VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS. Photo Credit: Lou Faulon Copyright: © 2016 VALERIAN SAS Ð TF1 FILMS PRODUCTION.
Now playing: Watch this: 'Valerian' trailer is a feast for the eyes

Look at it. Just look at it.

Featuring bioluminescent aliens, coruscating alien cities and space-suited heroes punching through eye-popping vista after eye-popping vista, this is the final trailer for "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets". It's the new sci-fi epic from director Luc Besson. It's out in July. And it looks incredible.

Based on a series of highly influential French comics, the film stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne along with Ethan Hawke, Rutger Hauer and Rihanna. DeHaan and Delevingne are Valerian and Laureline, two space agents who... well, it doesn't really matter, does it?

Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne are French comic heroes Valerian and Laureline.


In one of the trailer's only fragment of dialogue, Clive Owen intones that our heroes "have less than 10 hours to find the threat, and eliminate it". That could be as deep as the story gets -- this is Luc Besson we're talking about, the French stylist known for dazzling visuals that elevate the slightest of stories.

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of interviewing the filmmakers behind Besson's previous sci-fi epic, 1997's "The Fifth Element", for its 20th anniversary. Several of them mentioned "Valerian", including Besson's writing partner Robert Kamen, who did a polish of the dialogue and had a ringside seat to seeing the flick developed. According to Kamen, this is the film Besson has wanted to make all his life -- and "The Fifth Element" was just his first stab. Now that Besson has access to digital effects technology, Kamen says "Valerian" will make the previous film "look like a child did it with a crayon".

This is without a doubt the movie I'm most looking forward to this year. My only concern is that Besson, unfettered by the limitations of special effects technology, will give us too much to look at. But if it's going to be a mess, I want it to be a glorious mess.

"If you like "The Fifth Element', this movie will blow your mind", says Robert Kamen. I do love "The Fifth Element", and if this sumptuous trailer is anything to go by, my mind is ready to be blown.

"Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" is in theatres in the US on 21 July, the UK on 2 August and Australia on 10 August.

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