UPDATE, 12:25 PM: EuropaCorp has set a July 21, 2017 worldwide release date for Valerian, the adaptation of the iconic French sci-fi series that Luc Besson will write and direct. Production is set to start the end of 2015. The news comes the same day EuropaCorp unveiled it had extended its output deal with China’s Fundamental Films for five more years — a deal that will see Fundamental invest $50 million in Valerian and distribute it in the lucrative territory. The pic, starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne, has been one of the hottest titles selling at the Cannes market this year.
PREVIOUS, MAY 12 AM: Has Luc Besson found his next Fifth Element? The producer-director just revealed that he is set to write and direct Valerian, an adaptation of the iconic French sci-fi graphic novel series from writers Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières that first appeared in 1967. Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider Man 2) and Cara Delevingne (Paper Towns) will star, Besson tweeted today — his first postings on Twitter:
DeHaan and Delevingne will play Valerian and Laureline in the adaptation of the original story, which centered on a pair of spatio-temporal agents who help defend a utopian 28th century Earth and its neighboring planets from bad guys, with the pair’s adventures rooted in space opera and time travel themes not so much unlike Fifth Element, Besson’s seminal 1997 pic.
Virginie Besson Silla will produce Valerian on behalf of EuropaCorp, which will finance, produce and distribute, The film is set to begin production at year’s end with a summer 2017 release planned.