Space Epic 'Valerian' Visits Colorful Worlds in New Trailer

Big Market from Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Big Market, the largest commerce center on Alpha and in the universe, in "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" (Image credit: EuropaCorp)

NEW YORK — As humanity hurtles through space and time toward the July 2017 release date of the film "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets," a new teaser trailer has arrived to build anticipation for the science fiction blockbuster.

The film, based on an iconic French series of French comics, puts special agents Valerian and Laureline on a mission to defend Alpha, a megacity where species from across space converge. In the new trailer, the duo explores and fights its way through many of the movie universe's vivid locales.

At a trailer event Monday (March 27), Dane DeHaan, who plays Valerian, said he was excited to finally see the new teaser in 3D. He had seen it only on his iPad before the big-screen event.

"I don't think I've ever really done a movie quite like this," he told afterward. "This is definitely my first space opera."

Actor Dane DeHaan, who plays Valerian in the upcoming "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets," helped introduce a new trailer in New York City on March 27. (Image credit: Patrick Lewis/Starpix)

Many of the trailer's colorful scenes — fleeing a beast in a colorful desert, flying through the bridge-crossed stretches of an elaborate city and fleeing more beasts underwater, among others — were recorded using a green screen, so the film's director, Luc Besson, was on hand to talk the actor through the shots. Besson also directed "The Fifth Element," a film that shares the strange-sci-fi aesthetic on view in the trailer for the upcoming film.

"This is the movie Luc's wanted to make his whole life, and I think he hasn't been able to because he didn't have the technology available," DeHaan said. "I think Luc's done an amazing job taking those comics and following the story to the point where he's honoring them, but also bringing them to life with his own vision." 

DeHaan hadn't read the comics prior to being cast in the film, but they were a constant companion during filming, the actor said.

And as for DeHaan's favorite high-tech invention of the film?

"I really love the skyjet — I like to call it the Jet Ski of the sky," he said. "It's the little ship that I get in in the trailer, and we use it to go into small spaces that we couldn't otherwise get into. I just think that would be a really fun thing to have."

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Sarah Lewin
Associate Editor

Sarah Lewin started writing for in June of 2015 as a Staff Writer and became Associate Editor in 2019 . Her work has been featured by Scientific American, IEEE Spectrum, Quanta Magazine, Wired, The Scientist, Science Friday and WGBH's Inside NOVA. Sarah has an MA from NYU's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program and an AB in mathematics from Brown University. When not writing, reading or thinking about space, Sarah enjoys musical theatre and mathematical papercraft. She is currently Assistant News Editor at Scientific American. You can follow her on Twitter @SarahExplains.