Posted on Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 by Ben Pearson
It’s not every day a studio rents out a theater and hosts an event just to debut a trailer, but that’s exactly what STX Entertainment did last night in Hollywood with the new trailer for Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Besson, his wife and producer Virginie Silla, and star Cara Delevingne were in attendance, and I had the chance to speak with them about this jaw-dropping new look at the film.
The new trailer will be online tomorrow, but in the meantime, you can read my reaction to the footage, and learn more about what we can expect from this visually stunning movie.
The trailer begins in the midst of a heist on a barren desert landscape. A small vehicle hovers across the dusty ground under a multi-colored sky and some Vasquez Rocks-style formations in the background. Special operatives Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are inside with a group of aliens, including a big one who gets angry and starts ripping the vehicle apart. In need of a quick escape, the heroes grab what they came for (some sort of mysterious package) and leap from the ground-level vehicle into a hatch on their own Millennium Falcon-style ship, called the Intruder, and it pulls up and out of the planet’s atmosphere into space. When they’re reprimanded by their commanding officer for being late, Valerian smirks, “Well, time flies when you’re having fun!”
The duo flies into Alpha Station, which is the “city of a thousand planets” from the title. It’s described in a voiceover as the one place where all species in the universe come together to share their knowledge with each other. We’re bombarded with images of a bunch of different types of alien creatures, including a group of Wall*E-esque aliens pulling what may be data cartridges out of a place that looked like some kind of massive server farm. In a separate environment, we see a small alien with suction cup fingers touching one of several glowing orbs, which seemed to contain something precious (a food source, or perhaps the station’s information itself?). The voiceover explains how an evil wants to destroy this Utopian society, and we see bipedal aliens that look like a cross between John Carter’s aliens and the Na’vi from Avatar, and Clive Owen (a commander of some kind) informs a suited-up Valerian and Laureline that they have 10 hours to stop this impending threat.
There’s a dazzling beach planet with a frightened looking alien looking at a ship flying through the sky overhead. We get a glimpse of the inside of a club where Rihanna dances and transforms from wearing a black cabaret outfit to a white nurse’s get-up (much to Valerian’s delight), and we see a look at a mean-looking alien who holds a double-barreled handgun at two other aliens standing opposite him, and the gun’s barrels spread apart and one locks on to each of them. There’s a chase with some giant whale creatures, who look angry and hungry. Then the two heroes fight their way through a quick montage, and the trailer ends with Valerian falling through a glass pane into a three-point hero stance and Laureline proudly telling a crowd of onlookers, “I taught him that.”
Read on for my reaction to the footage and comments from Besson, Silla, and Delevingne.