The Most Expensive French Film in History: Unveiling the Surprising Answer

In your opinion, what is the most expensive French film in history?

Have you ever wondered which French film holds the title for being the most expensive? One might guess Asterix, considering the large budget required to bring together a stellar cast and create period costumes. Alternatively, Babylon AD, a science fiction movie directed by Mathieu Kassovitz and released in 2008, could come to mind. But here’s a hint: it’s a project by Luc Besson. Would you guess it to be Fifth Element, Arthur and the Minimoys, or Joan of Arc? Well, surprisingly, the answer is Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

When a comic strip becomes the most expensive French film

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, a science fiction film released in 2017, was created by Luc Besson, known for his works such as Monsieur Le Grand Bleu and Nikita. The story follows the adventures of Valerian and Laureline, two members of the Space-Time Service who must unravel a dark force threatening the balance of the Alpha city, a pivotal location in the galaxy. Interestingly, the film is an adaptation of the French comic strip Valérian et Laureline, which was published from 1970 to 2010. Surprisingly, this project cost over 200 million euros!

The influence of Luc Besson

Luc Besson is no stranger to big-budget productions. Throughout his career, he has been involved in numerous high-cost films that have pushed the boundaries of French cinema. From visually stunning science fiction movies to action-packed thrillers, Besson has consistently delivered films that captivate audiences and push the limits of what can be achieved on screen.

The legacy of Valérian et Laureline

Valérian et Laureline, the comic strip that inspired Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, holds a special place in French popular culture. Created by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières, the series introduced readers to a vast universe filled with imaginative creatures, intricate storylines, and thought-provoking themes. Its impact on the science fiction genre cannot be overstated, making it a perfect choice for a big-budget film adaptation.

The production challenges

Creating a film of such magnitude is no easy task. The production team behind Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets faced numerous challenges, from designing intricate sets to bringing the comic strip’s iconic characters to life. The film required extensive visual effects, elaborate costumes, and a large ensemble cast, all of which contributed to its hefty budget.

A visual spectacle

Despite its high cost, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets received mixed reviews from critics and audiences. However, one thing that cannot be denied is its visual splendor. The film’s stunning visuals and imaginative world-building transport viewers to a universe unlike anything seen before.

The future of French cinema

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets may hold the title for the most expensive French film, but it also represents the ambition and creativity of the country’s film industry. With talented directors like Luc Besson pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved on screen, French cinema continues to captivate audiences around the world.

Bushra Morse
Storytelling is a big part of Bushra Morse's life, so she became a journalist. She graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Journalism and from the University of California, Los Angeles, with an MA in Visual Storytelling. Bushra has a diverse media background, having previously held positions at top media platforms before joining WS News Publishers. She writes for WS News Publishers and discusses everything from politics and social issues to pop culture and celebrity.

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