Luc Besson says “Valerian” risks reputation more than finances
“Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets” is one of the movies coming out this summer that is not part of a franchise. It is also made by a new company called EuropaCorp under director Luc Besson. This has lead some to believe that the movie is a financially risky endeavor.
According to Screen Daily, the movie cost somewhere around $180 million to make. This is considered as the biggest budgeted European independent production of all time.
However, Besson believes that the movie is not so much a financial risk but more of a risk to the credibility of his film company EuropaCorp, and himself as a director.
Besson said in an interview with Screen Daily, “Like every film company, we will only greenlight a project if at least 80 percent of its budget is covered. With ‘Valerian’, we’ve covered 96 percent of the budget with pre-sales.”
He added, “The risk to EuropaCorp is 4 percent of the budget so there’s no actual financial risk. The risk for the company is more one of notoriety. If the film is a big flop, we’ll lose credibility for making these sorts of films. The risk is not financial, but rather human.”
Even by Besson’s own standards, “Valerian” is an ambitious project. Apart from the budget, the story spans a complex universe filled with thousands of extra-terrestrial beings that Valerian and Laureline will be interacting with.
On the other hand, Besson also sees “Valerian” as his work as an artist.
“I say this without pretension, but I’m an artist. If there is something I fall in love with and think I can do something new with, I just do it, no matter what,” said Besson. “Yes, I’m a bit of a spoiled child but there is one rule, which is that if I’m the only one who wants to do it, it will never happen.”
Luc Besson was the director behind some contemporary cinema classics such as “Leon” (a.k.a. “The Professional”) and “Nikita”. He has also been actively posting updates regarding “Valerian” on his Instagram account.
“Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets” is based on a 1960s French comic called “Valérian et Laureline”. Valerian is a 28th century spatio-temporal agent while his companion, Laureline, is a peasant girl from 11th century France, whom he has trained to be an agent like him.
According to the movie’s official website, “Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets” is set to premiere on July 21 in 3D and RealD 3D. Alfred Bayle/JB
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