Then he was back suddenly and in a huge way with action sci-fi Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson and it seems he's keeping up the pace with another huge film getting close to release.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is adapted from the French comic book series Valérian and Laureline and is the biggest film Besson has made by far, with a budget close to $200 million.
Looking at the first teaser, it's not hard to see where that cash was spent.
That's a heck of a lot of CG. Honestly there's so much it's looking a little like a video game, but we're going to go ahead and hope that the final film is a little less plastic and weightless.
The cast is interesting, with Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne front and centre, while there's a cameo for none other than Rihanna. Clive Owen, John Goodman, Ethan Hawke and Rutger Hauer also feature, though some might be playing effects driven aliens.
The plot is about time and space travelling superagents working for the human race in the titular city in the stars, trying to foil some evil plot. It's looking pretty light hearted about it at the moment.
Initial thoughts, this might be too expensive and a tad too odd to really make a huge profit but it's nice to see people still trying the space opera, even if it rarely works.
Valerian is out in summer 2017.