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Novo Pictures’ first production to hit UAE theatres this week

Novo Pictures’ first venture, Valerian & the City of a Thousand Planets, will hit theatres in the UAE on 20th July.

Written and directed by French director Luc Besson, responsible for some of film’s most celebrated features such as Leon: The Professional (1994), The Fifth Element (1997) and Lucy (2014), the USD 180m film is partly financed by Novo Pictures. Luc Besson will personally attend the Middle East premiere of the film on 20th July at Novo Cinemas, Dubai Festival City.

The film is based on the graphic novel series Valerian & Laureline by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières.

Commenting on discovering the graphic novel for the first time a decade after its debut, Luc Besson said: “When I was 10 years old, I’d go to the kiosk every Wednesday. One time, I found this magazine called ‘Pilote.’ Inside, I discovered ‘Valerian and Laureline.’ I thought, ‘Oh my God, what is this thing?’ That day, I fell in love with Laureline and I wanted to be Valerian”.

Besson wanted to bring Valerian to the screen in the 1990s, however, constrained by the relatively primitive visual effects technology that was available, he knew it would be some time before he was able to create the wondrous “Valerian and Laureline” universe he knew the source material deserved. Instead, he created the seminal sci-fi movie, The Fifth Element.

Involving three companies and over 80 VFX designers on-set, together they produced 2,734 special effects shots for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and accomplished the ambitious mission set forth by Besson with a production budget of over $200 million.

The intergalactic adventure stars two of the movie industry’s most up-and-coming actors in the lead roles including Dane DeHaan playing Valerian. DeHaan has made a formidable impression on film, television and theatre audiences from the early stages of his career. Having been involved in indie films since the age of 25, in 2012 DeHaan starred in the breakout film, Chronicle which put him on the map in the film world. Following the success of Chronicle, DaHaan starred in Devil’s Knot, Lawless and as Spiderman’s nemesis in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

The movie also features appearances from seasoned actors Ethan Hawke (Gattaca, Before Sunset), Clive Owen (Children of Men, The Bourne Identity) and international pop star Rhianna.