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SDCC 2016: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Comic-Con Panel Recap

Posted by Hoob on July 21st, 2016
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The first big panel in Hall H this year is EuropaCorp‘s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. The film, which is an adaptation of the comic was directed by Luc Besson and stars Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Herbie Hancock, Kris Wu, and Rutgar Hauer. In attendance for the panel were Besson, producer Virginie Besson-Silla, Dane DeHaan, and Cara Delevingne.

Here are the bullet points that you should know from today’s panel.
- The film takes place in the year 2700
- It takes place within a 24 hour time period.
- Valerian is a well known comic in Europe that has 29 volumes and has sold over 10 million copies. It’s about a team that goes through time and space.
- Luc Besson fell in love with it at ten years old and has been a fan ever since.
- Besson brought Valerian creator Jean-Claude Mézières in to help work on developing The Fifth Element.
- The first script for the film was trashed after Besson saw and was extremely impressed by Avatar.
- The majority of the movie takes place on Alpha, “The City of a Thousand Planets”.
- The movie begins with real footage of space from 1975 before diverting into the story of all nations uniting for a common space station.
- In this world, alien contact happens in 2100.
- Very few of the aliens in the film have a humanoid design.

There was also about 7 minutes of footage shown, which felt like The Fifth Element, had it been made with a broader scope and the benefit of current FX technology. I would have to bet that a trailer will be released to fans in the next couple of days.

Synopsis:
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.


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