Luc Besson on Dane DeHaan

2017 looks set to finally be Dane DeHaan’s time to shine.

After starring in Josh Trank’s 2012 sci-fi flick Chronicle as an abused lad driven mad with (super)power, and as a troubled soul in Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond The Pines in the same year, DeHaan became a hot ticket.

He’s been incredibly picky since, with an appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as Harry Osborn and a starring role in the indie rom-com Life After Beth his most prominent roles in the last five years, but cinemas are about to get distinctly DeHaan-flavoured now that both big budget Luc Besson film Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets and Gore Verbiski’s A Cure For Wellness are coming to the big screen rather imminently.

And it seems that when casting Valerian, said to be the most expensive European movie of all time with a $180 million price tag, Besson only ever had eyes for DeHaan.

“With Dane, 30 seconds after I sat down at the bar with him, the restaurant, I knew that it was him, for sure,” he admitted. “After one minute, my problem is, if he says no, I’m in trouble. It was already printed in my head.”

And while it might seem a rather odd choice to cast DeHaan, known for playing characters with either tortured dispositions or just plain villainous ones, as a time-traveling, alien-punching, heroic special agent in the sci-fi epic, Besson isn’t the only one to immediately fall for his pale, fragile charms.

“Movie stars have this charisma to them, this undeniable thing where you can’t stop looking at them,” Place Beyond The Pines director Cianfrance gushed. “I felt that same kind of magic as when I met Ryan [Gosling] or Bradley [Cooper] for the first time.”

As for DeHaan, he’s got his feet firmly on the ground. “I feel like Hollywood can really take people, take a hold of them and make them feel pressure that doesn’t need to be there. I don’t want Hollywood to influence me, I want to influence Hollywood.”

Will 2017 turn Dane DeHaan into the next Ryan Gosling? Watch this space. In the meantime, check out the trailer for Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, if you haven’t already. It’s an absolute belter, especially if you’ve been waiting for Besson to get back into Fifth Element territory…