Luc Besson to adapt classic French sci-fi comic Valerian starring Dane DeHaan

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May 12, 2015, 4:56 PM EDT (Updated)

Filmmaker Luc Besson is venturing back into outer space for his next cinematic project, bringing the imaginative realms of Valerian to the big screen. Valerian is a series of popular French comics by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres, first introduced in the science fiction magazine Pilote in 1967 These classic space-opera stories, set in the year 2770, have been compiled in a series of future-Earth graphic novels that have sold more than 10 million copies in 21 languages. 

The plot revolves around the main character of Valerian, an operative for the space-time police of Galaxity, capital of the imperialist Terran Empire. This intrepid agent and his scarlet-haired traveling companion from medieval France, Laureline, embark on a series of daring adventures patroling the past to thwart the evil deeds of a renegade Galaxity scientist named Xiombul, clone armies, rogue planetoids, doomsday weapons, time-manipulating aliens and more. 

Dane DeHaan (Chronicle, The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and Cara Delevingne (Suicide Squad) have both signed on to star in the ambitious production which hopes to begin filming later this year with a tentative release scheduled for summer of 2017.

Besson re-honed his sci-fi skills on last year's impressive A.I. thriller Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson, which pulled in more than $450 million worldwide, and the director will also serve as the film's screenwriter and producer.  Though mostly unfamiliar to American readers, the Valerian series of comics seems destined for an easy translation with its familiar time-tripping themes and otherworldly destinations often explored in the Star Trek and Doctor Who universes.

Can you see this wild French import as a new blockbuster film franchise, or should it remain forever implanted on the page?

(Via Hollywood Reporter)