Luc Besson's The Fifth Element is a seriously weird movie. There's no other way to look at it, and I'm not disparaging the film at all. In fact, I think that's what makes the movie so iconic. The 1997 sci-fi adventure has become a bona fide genre classic, but the world has changed quite a bit since Besson first brought it to theaters. It's a change that has not gone unnoticed by the French filmmaking legend as he prepares to finally bring the endlessly bizarre Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets to the silver screen.
Luc Besson took to Hall H stage this weekend at San Diego Comic-Con and compared the world of today to the world of twenty years ago when he released The Fifth Element. He said:
The funny thing is twenty years ago I was weird. Some people followed [The Fifth Element] at the time and it was a good success, but not huge. And twenty years later the world got as weird as me so now we match. I think this one will be easier to catch.
In his own opinion, Luc Besson thinks that The Fifth Element was incredibly ahead of its time when it landed on the scene in 1997. The sci-fi tale of a futuristic cab driver protecting a lethal yet innocent alien woman proved itself as a modest success and subsequently became a cult classic as the years wore on. Science fiction has evolved since then with the increasing popularity of comic books and nerd culture, so Besson seems to think that Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets has a chance to immediately make an impression on audiences who have come to expect that sort of weirdness from the genre.
We've actually seen exclusive Comic-Con footage of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and we have to say that we think it definitely captures the same weird sprit of The Fifth Element. It's got the hallmarks of a Luc Besson sci-fi classic: snappy dialogue, vibrant colors, exotic creatures, and even Rihanna as an alien stripper. In true Besson fashion, the project is based upon a relatively obscure (but equally beloved) science fiction graphic novel that likely wouldn't even have had a chance at getting a green light twenty years ago.
If Luc Besson is right about this, then we can likely expected Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets to be one of the movies to watch next summer. We will bring you more information concerning the sci-fi epic as more details become available to us. Valerian will hit theaters on July 21, 2017.