French filmmaker Luc Besson has had his name linked - either as a writer, producer, or director - to over a hundred feature films in his career, but for our money there's only one we want to see Besson return to. No, not the world of kids and hitmen found in Léon: The Professional, but the world of flying Chinese restaurants, incredible alien opera singers, and multipasses. Sadly, Besson's occasionally teased sequel to The Fifth Element has yet to pass, but his next sci-fi effort looks like it might be a worthy spiritual successor.
Variety tells us it's called Valerian and it's based off a comic book series created back in 1967 by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres, the latter of whom was actually a concept designer on The Fifth Element. And since we're not going to pretend to be experts on obscure French graphic novels from the '60s, we're going straight to Wikipedia for this one:
The series focuses on the adventures of the dark-haired Valérian, a spatio-temporal agent, and his redheaded female companion, Laureline, as they travel the universe through space and time. Valérian is a classical anti-hero, kind-hearted, strong and brave but with a tendency to follow the orders of his superiors even if he feels, deep down, that it is the wrong thing to do. On the other hand, his companion Laureline combines her superior intelligence, determination and independence with sex-appeal, making her one of science fiction's most notable heroines.
Aside from the bit about following orders from superiors, a special agent that travels through space and time on missions with a female side kick sounds an awful lot like a certain scarf-wearing Doctor we know, but we're sure this won't come across as a Dr. Who ripoff on the big screen. Hopefully teaming up with one of the conceptual artists behind The Fifth Element means we can expect a well-realized, memorable sci-fi future. And we're double hoping that Besson actually has the budget to pull that off.
After all, the last time a Besson-involved sci-fi flick took a trip to the future the result was
Space Prison Lockout, and as terribly fun(ny) as that movie is, we'd actually like to see a film that can afford to finish its effects-heavy scenes instead of racing through poorly-CGI'ed backdrops on goofy motorcycles as fast as possible.
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