LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Introducing a multi-million-dollar intergalactic adventure film based on a French comic book during a summer dominated by superheroes and sequels may be considered a big risk to take by an independent film-maker.
But French director Luc Besson was so confident in his vision for adapting the "Valerian and Laureline" sci-fi comics into a film, he took his ideas to the Cannes Film Festival three years ago to secure funding.
"They all raised their hands because they loved the script so we had almost 90 per cent of the funding in one day," he said.
Set in the 28th century when humans and aliens have found a home on space station Alpha, Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets follows two space agents, the cocky Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and the spirited Laureline (Cara Delevingne) trying to uncover the origins of a mysterious force.
The film comes out on July 21 and the stakes are high for Besson as Valerian enters a box office saturated with superhero films such as Wonder Woman and Spider-Man: Homecoming and sequels such as War For The Planet Of The Apes and Despicable Me 3.
But he said Valerian's theatrical rights had already been bought in nearly 120 countries.