Besson first publicly announced the project in 2012 after decades of development hell. Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne were announced in May 2015 to the titular roles. Besson deliberately chose to shoot the film in English with English-speaking actors in order to raise its chances of a wider audience. The film was given a budget of EUR €197.47 million (US $210 million), making the film is officially the most expensive ever made in France. It significantly exceeded the budget of the previous record holder, Asterix at the Olympic Games (2008), which cost EUR102 million (US $113 million). Twenty years earlier, The Fifth Element was the most expensive French movie of its time with a budget of EUR90 million ($100 million). Principal photography on the film began in January 2016, it was shot at Cité du cinéma, in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. For the visual effects, Weta Digital and ILM provided the film's visual effects. The film had 2734 effect shots, compared to The Fifth Element's 188 effect shots.
The film stars Dane DeHaan as Valerian and Cara Delevingne as Laureline, with Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Herbie Hancock, Kris Wu and Rutger Hauer in supporting roles. Despite the other cast members being perfectly cast and turning out great performances, sadly, the same thing can not be said for the film's two leads. DeHaan and Delevingne were unfortunately miscast. DeHaan came off too brooding, whilst Delevingne just came off wooden.
Simon says Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets receives: