Buckle up, Besson-ites, because fans of the action-bent French auteur are in for a very big summer. Luc Besson’s newest sci-fi spectacle — the extremely expensive and wildly ambitious “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” — will hit the big screen in July, but before that, his seminal 1997 feature “The Fifth Element” is getting its very own re-release.
EW reports that the film will celebrate its twentieth anniversary with a special two-day theatrical re-release, complete with a 4K restoration and a new sneak preview at “Valerian,” his next big space opera. The film stars Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich and Gary Oldman and is set in the 23rd century, and chronicles no less than the possible destruction of the world. A wild mish-mash of standard sci-fi elements, a whole bunch of stuff about ancient Egypt, questionable future sartorial choices and powerful stones, it’s Besson at his most giddily out there.
But as the filmmaker recently told IndieWire, he felt constrained by the technology he used to craft the feature. “‘The Fifth Element’ was the last film made the dinosaur way,” Besson said last month. “It was the last film before digital, where you have to put dots on the screen for six hours and lock your camera. It was a nightmare.”
He added, while gesturing to a “Valerian” tie-in book, “I always think I will avenge one day, so that’s my vengeance. The Fifth Element’ has 188 shots with special effects. This one has 2,734. That’s the size of the vengeance.” Now is your chance to see all those shots in the space of mere weeks!
Presented by Fathom Events and Sony Pictures, the screenings are set for Sunday, May 14, and Wednesday, May 17, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time. Tickets are available at fathomevents.com.
“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” opens July 21 in theaters nationwide. Check out the film’s teaser trailer below.