You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

CinemaCon: STX Touts Luc Besson’s Sci-Fier ‘Valerian’ as a Blockbuster

Two-year-old STX Entertainment is stepping up to the big league as it touts Luc Besson’s sci-fi epic “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” as a blockbuster.

“Valerian” was the centerpiece of STX’s second-ever presentation Tuesday at CinemaCon with footage from a new trailer and in-person appearances by Besson and star Cara Delevingne, who portrays Laureline, with STX Motion Picture Group Chairman Adam Fogelson. The movie opens July 21 against Warner Bros. “Dunkirk,” directed by Christopher Nolan, and Universal’s comedy “Girls Trip.”

STX agreed in January to market and distribute “Valerian” for EuropaCorp Films USA as part of a new, three-year agreement between the two studios — essentially taking the film over from Relativity Media’s bankruptcy and troubled attempts to regain its financial footing.

The trailer, which will be released Wednesday, launched with a desert chase scene with Dane DeHaan’s Valerian and Laureline fending off a monster before being transported into the massively detailed City of a Thousand Planets — which is about to come under attack.

Besson has been developing the project — which carries a $180 million price tag — for decades. It’s based on the Valérian and Laureline comics published by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières in 1967. “I would have to wait each week to reach two more pages,” he recalled.

Besson also credited James Cameron with providing the advances in visual effects in “Avatar” that enabled him to use that technology for “Valerian.”

Fogelson opened the hour-long presentation by noting that staffing  has gone from five to 90 in two years with 10 films released in 19 months. The first title was social-network drama “The Circle,” starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, which opens April 28. “Emma Watson could not be a more perfect representation of her generation,” Fogelson said.

The trailer featured a heart-tugging moment with the late Bill Paxton playing her the terminally ill father. Watson said via a video that her promotion duties for “Beauty and the Beast” prevented her from attending CinemaCon.

Jessica Chastain and Aaron Sorkin later joined Fogelson on stage to promo STX’s legal thriller “Molly’s Game,” based on the Molly Bloom memoir about running a high-stakes poker game. Chastain gushed about the project’s themes  of female empowerment.

“It’s not often when you find a story that’s cool and has a lot of heart,” said Sorkin, who is making his feature directorial debut.  “It’s a lot of fun to tell people a story that they think they know.

Fogelson also announced an untitled Eddie Murphy animated project about Bo the Bull, who decides to his father’s chagrin that he wants to be a rodeo clown.

Mila Kunis appeared to promote the sequel “Bad Moms Christmas,” starting production next month in Atlanta for a  Nov. 3 opening. She evoked major laughs when she responded to Fogelson’s question about the holiday by saying,  “It’s interesting that you ask a Russian refugee what Christmas is like.”

More Film

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame' Reaps $83 Million in China by Early Afternoon of Opening Day

    “Avengers: Endgame” is already breaking records in China, raking in $83 million (RMB558 million) as of 2 p.m. on opening day Wednesday – two days ahead of the U.S. – and putting itself firmly on track to become the biggest Hollywood title ever in the Middle Kingdom. The Marvel finale has already set a new [...]

  • Film Review: ‘The Gift: The Journey

    ‘The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash’

    Very much in the manner of an “unplugged” acoustic album that showcases the musicianship of a major artist without distracting flash and filigree, “The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash” is a tightly focused yet impressively multifaceted documentary that attempts nothing less than to delve past familiar myths and illuminate the soul of its fabled [...]

  • Emily Morgan Cormac Fox Gregoire Debailly

    European Film Promotion Reveals 2019's Producers on the Move

    Twenty of Europe’s up-and-coming producers are going to Cannes with European Film Promotion. The organization unveiled its latest roster of Producers on the Move on Wednesday, a lineup that features France’s Gregoire Debailly, who produced Jean-Bernard Marlin’s “Sheherazade,” which premiered in Critics’ Week in Cannes last year, and Ireland’s Cormac Fox, who produced Sophie Hyde’s [...]

  • Avengers EndGame Trailer

    ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Marvel claims the top spot in spending with “Avengers: Endgame.” Ads placed for the superhero film had an estimated media value of $6.28 million through Sunday for 927 national ad airings on 39 networks. (Spend figures [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Netflix Can Chill: Academy Rules No Change in Streaming Oscar Eligibility

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will not change eligibility rules for the Oscars, despite speculation that streaming companies might see a crackdown on their release practices when pursuing golden trophies. A board of governors meeting on Tuesday voted to maintain the status quo, that any feature-length film can be considered for the [...]

  • Aniara review

    Film Review: 'Aniara'

    Each year brings an example or three of purported “thinking person’s science-fiction” films, a category that pretty much embraces anything not centered on monsters or lightsaber battles. These efforts are often more admirable in theory than result, but “Aniara” — the first film drawn from Nobel Prize-winning Swedish poet Harry Martinson’s 1956 cycle of 103 [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame' Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

    It’s been a long year for Marvel fans since the release of “Avengers: Infinity War,” but the wait is nearly over. The finale to the Infinity Saga is here, and while most diehard fans will know to avoid them for fear of spoilers, early reviews are mostly positive. Last year’s “Infinity War” took home an [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content