By Joe McGovern
March 24, 2017 at 09:00 AM EDT

The Big Blue was the name of Luc Besson’s breakout English-language hit in 1988, released when the French director was in his late 20s. La Femme Nikita, The Professional, The Fifth Element, and Lucy, among others, followed in Besson’s career — but now he seems to have returned to that glorious turquoise palate, at least judging by this first poster for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

“There’s always a dominant color in my films,” Besson tells EW. “The Professional was brown, The Fifth Element was orange, Valerian is blue ice.”

The film, a passion project for Besson since he was 13, stars the appropriately ice-blue-eyed Cara Delevingne and Dane DeHaan as intergalactic special operatives who cross the universe solving mysteries. The plot focuses on a mission to the city of Alpha, an astonishing city with a dark force at its center. Besson based the movie on the French series of Valerian comic books, considered ancestors of Star Wars and Avatar, that began publication in 1967.

Besson reveals to EW that the poster’s cool visual imagery isn’t just a zesty surprise to us in the audience: “I didn’t participate in the creation of the poster. I wanted to stay fresh and react as a moviegoer seeing it for the first time. This poster was the most striking to me and the whole team was in agreement.”

Besson and company caught up with EW last summer at Comic Con, where he debuted a scene’s-worth of the film’s more than 2,400 special effects shots to a rapturous audience response.

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And also last year, from the Paris soundstage of the film, Besson hinted a bit at his blue obsession, referring to Valerian‘s complex FX and motion capture shots and telling EW, “When I look at bluescreen I see everything. My imagination is very comfortable with bluescreen.”

The film’s second trailer — check out the first one here — will debut on March 29. Check out the poster (below) and stay tuned to EW for many more details to come.


Valerian will premiere in theaters on July 21.

  • Movie
  • PG-13
release date
  • 07/21/17
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