Valerian, the latest ultra-ambitious science-fiction film from director Mr Luc Besson, will be released at the beginning of August (21 July in the US), exactly two decades on from the mad-cap flying taxis and even more mad-cap Mr Jean Paul Gaultier costumes of The Fifth Element. It looks set to be a similarly over-the-top extravaganza, replacing the intensity of Ms Milla Jovovich with that of Ms Cara Delevingne and the striking blue-orange palette of the earlier film with a truly psychedelic selection of visuals.
When visionary filmmakers try their hand at the epic sci-fi branch of cinema, it can often go awry. Quite simply, the hugely complex undertaking of making a film combined with real-world technological limitations rarely matches up to the ideas in their creator’s mind. That’s not always the case, however, as the selection of films below show. Each one is a sci-fi epic in every sense of the word, born from prestige directors pushing their imaginations – and audience’s – into brave new worlds.