This weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, Luc Besson talked up his new $180 million movie, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Based on a ground-breaking comic that helped inspire Besson’s The Fifth Element, Valerian didn’t make much of a dent in the Comic-Con noise.

According to the New York Times, Besson spoke about Valerian to an audience of just a dozen “invited guests,” and it was somewhat perplexing.

“Valerian” reflects a jaw-dropping risk. Aside from the budget, Mr. Besson has cast two stars (Cara Delevingne and Dane DeHaan) without much marquee value. The source material is not well known outside of Europe, and the story lines can be confusing. To be honest, this reporter at times lost Mr. Besson as he spoke about a princess who “expresses herself like an octopus” and went on about something called “ambassador of the shadows.”

But a lot of the mainstream studio directors paraded through the Comic-Con convention halls could have taken a lesson from Mr. Besson. His against-all-odds passion for the material came through loud and clear, and that is what this convention used to be about.

Read more about his plans to make a Valerian movie in the New York Times.


Contact the author at charliejane@io9.com.