uropeans already know what’s up with Valérian and the City of a Thousand Planets. (It’s based on a incredibly popular French comic book series.) As for most Americans, well, all we really know is that it’s some sort of huge space epic starring Cara Delevingne and Dane DeHaan, with a cameo from Rihanna and direction from Fifth Element mastermind Luc Besson. The first trailer didn’t do much to expand our understanding of the world, but it gave us requisite shots of all the actors in character and a few hints at the epic world and basic plot.
Today’s new trailer does the opposite. There’s only a little snippet of Delevingne with her helmet off—no Rihanna to be found—but it does give us a look at Besson’s immense world-building and many of the creatures that populate it (they range from makeup tutorial-worthy beautiful to adorable to downright scary).
Oh right, it also debuts what might be the movie’s main orchestral theme: a string version of the riff from Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise.” No, it’s not a coincidence where two songs sound sort of alike. It’s literally “Gangsta’s Paradise” reimagined as an epic space theme.
The story of the comic books’ universe takes place far into the future, and unlike in the Star Wars epics, Earth actually exists. Indeed, humans have given themselves over to the rule of technocrats, but they’re actually pretty chill. Everyone lives a life of relative glamour and leisure, even if we’re technically living it in virtual reality. Oh, and we can also travel instantaneously through space and time and species from all over the galaxy congregate to share knowledge and culture in the great space metropolis of Alpha. It’s basically Silicon Valley’s dream of Utopia, and everything is going pretty great until a mysterious “unknown force” comes to upset the peace.
DeHaan and Delevingne plays Valérian and Laureline, two agents who are supposed to protect the Earth and its allied planets against rogue time travelers. Naturally, it falls to them to protect everyone from this mysterious “unknown force” and only have 10 hours to do so.
While this trailer is heavy on the action, we also get some moments of serene sci-fi beauty, like this particularly chic-looking alien who lives in some sea punk paradise.
We also meet these cute little guys.
Then there’s this ethereal creature sliding up onto DeHaan’s shoulder.