French director Luc Besson has always been a visual stylist of the highest order, but with his new movie, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, it looks like he’s outdone himself. The full trailer for this summer’s sci-fi extravaganza is here, and it’s eye-popping and built in the tradition of space operas like Star Wars and, more recently, Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, watch this new trailer, with its abundance of bizarre creatures, strange environments, retro soundtrack, and winking humor, for proof of how much this movie owes to the Marvel hit.
Dane DeHaan plays the title character, a space cowboy type (again, very much in the mold of Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill), who only works with his partner Laureline, played Cara Delevingne. Together, they find themselves at Alpha, which a regal voiceover informs us is the City of a Thousand Planets. “For hundreds of years, every species has shared their knowledge and their intelligence with each other,” the voice tells us. “It’s paradise.” That is until an “unknown” force threatens to destroy everything. Cut to Clive Owen telling our heroes they have less than 10 hours to find the threat and eliminate it, and there’s your movie. But the plot here is beside the point. The point here is the trippy visuals and treats like the Rihanna burlesque show we get a brief glimpse of. Besson has said he’s been wanting to make this movie for his entire life, and it looks like he made the most of it.