It is one of the year’s most eagerly-awaited movies. Touted as a visually outrageous return to sci-fi for Fifth Element director Luc Besson, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a feast for the senses.

Bringing to life the astounding world created by Pierre Christin and illustrator Jean-Claude Mézières in their comic book series Valérian and Laureline is no easy feat. The sheer number of CG shots and the variety of aliens proved to be a draw for Besson, and we’re proud to present an extended interview with the director below.

Interviewer Hayley Donaghy also sat down with co-stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne, (joined in the film by the likes of Rihanna, John Goodman and Ethan Hawke) to talk about their time on the production, and what it was like working on set with Besson.

Let’s begin with that interview,

Luc Besson has always wanted to make this film. In this ten-minute interview he tells us about the process of realising his dream, the demanding casting process and how the worlds of The Fifth Element and Valerian inspired one another.

Here’s the interview,

In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha—an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures with each other. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.