Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke has come aboard Luc Besson's upcoming sci-fi epic Valerian Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez

Ethan Hawke is the latest big name to join the cast of Luc Besson's upcoming sci-fi epic Valérian (And The City Of A Thousand Planets). The visionary French director announced the news on his Instagram account, posting a picture of the newest member alongside the caption: "Ethan Hawke will play in #Valerian! I want to work with for years! We gonna have fun!!!"

The Boyhood star will join already confirmed cast members Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Cara Delevingne, Rihanna and Clive Owen. Besson's wife, Virginie Besson-Silla – best known for her work on films such as Revolver, The Family and Lucy – is set to produce.

Based on the 1967 graphic novel Valérian And Laureline, the plot will follow two time-travelling, human operatives (DeHaan and Delevingne) who are charged by the government with the task of maintaining order throughout the universe. While Laureline is very focussed on the job and wants to have a professional relationship with her partner, Valérian has other ideas. However, his history with women and her more old-fashioned values mean that she constantly rejects him.

Valerian and Laureline
Valerian and Laureline as they appeared in the original graphic novels Satelight

Alongside their non-existent romance (although we sense that may change by the end of the movie), the pair embark on a mission under the direction of Commander Arün Filitt (Owen) to investigate the intergalactic city of Alpha − a place that is home to thousands of other-worldly species. An advanced and diverse civilisation, most Alpha residents believe that uniting their talents, technology and resources can make for a better world for all, but unfortunately for the human agents, there are some rebels who do not share the same views and will stop at nothing to keep peace from happening.

There is no word on when filming will begin, but it has been speculated that the director is eyeing a January start ahead of the film's slated release in July 2017. Said to be his biggest futuristic production since The Fifth Element, Besson reportedly has a $180 million (£119m) budget to work with. Basically, its safe to say, the special effects are going to look darn good...

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