Luc Besson's 'Valerian' Won't Screen in Cannes

Dane Dehaan Valerian - H 2016
Courtesy of EuropaCorp

The director tells THR that a trip to the Croisette was never on the cards for his big-budget sci-fi epic despite chatter that it could debut there.

Anyone hoping to catch Luc Besson's big-budget Valerian at Cannes this year is going to be left disappointed.

The hotly anticipated sci-fi epic, starring Cara Delevingne and Dane DeHaan, had been among the major titles tipped to make a Croisette appearance, but Besson has revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that it was never on the cards. 

"I'm finishing the film end of May, beginning of June," the director said, speaking on the sidelines of the Empire Awards in London, where he won the inspiration award. "We never even thought about Cannes, because we're releasing in July. I opened Cannes with The Fifth Element, but usually when you do that you open right after, the day after, and May to July is way too far. Even if we were ready we wouldn't go."

Comparing The Fifth Element to Valerian, Besson said that his 1997 hit had 188 special-effects shots, while his latest film has 2,734. 

"I'm so happy that I'm a much better director now. I was a young director then, it was more than 20 years ago. I know my job much better, my relations with actors and everything," he added. "I'm so thrilled that I did Valerian now. I know much more, but I'm not too old."