Luc Besson binned Valerian after Avatar came out
Luc Besson binned his script for 'Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets' when 'Avatar' was released.
The 57-year-old French film director has just wrapped up filming for his new sci-fi spectacular - an adaptation of the French comic book series 'Valerian and Laureline' which he personally purchased the rights to.
Besson had worked with Jean-Claude Mézières - who did the artwork on the comic book, written by Pierre Christin - on his 1997 film 'The Fifth Element' and it was during the making of that project that Mézières pitched the idea of him making a movie version of 'Valerian and Laureline'.
Besson was initially sceptical because of the amount of alien characters in the story, but he got to a position where he was happy with his story but then James Cameron brought out 'Avatar' in 2009 and he tosses his script in the trash because of similarity between the projects.
Speaking at San Diego Comic Con, Besson revealed: "I said, 'It's just not possible - it's 10 per cent humans and 90 per cent aliens.' But I bought the rights anyway and wrote a version that was pretty good. Then 'Avatar' came and I threw my script in the garbage."
But it was after receiving advice from none other than Cameron that Besson was given the confidence to try again with the script and the film.
The film - scheduled for release in July 2017 - stars Cara Delevingne and Dane DeHaan and is set in the year 2700 on a planet-sized space station called Alpha.
Besson is confident film fans, and lovers of the original comic, will be blown away because the world now enjoys "weird" stories.
He said: "It's about two space agents who go through time and space ... and they're so cute. I fell in love with Laureline (Delevingne), but I wanted to be Valerian (DeHaan) ... Twenty years ago, I was weird. Twenty years later, the world got as weird as me."