Valerian - Luc Besson, The Enchantress, and a Dane

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, John Goodman, Rihanna, and Ethan Hawke.

Directed by Luc Besson

Based on the French graphic novel series Valerian and Laureline.

This looks amazing.

This looks weird.


“From Luc Besson: The Visionary Director of The Fifth Element … and Lucy”

Confused the heck out of me. I was wondering if Lucy was some pretentious first-name-only co-Director.

The Googles told me otherwise.

(also told me that maybe they shouldn’t have made “… and Lucy” one of the most prominent things in the trailer).

Apart from that, looked cool!

Yeah, I’d think that almost any one of his other movies (The Professional, Le Femme Nikita, The Messenger) would have been a better choice. But I guess Lucy actually did pretty well, box-office-wise.

The visuals look a LOT like Jupiter Ascending. I hope the story and writing are better.

Or did Jupiter Ascending’s visuals look a lot like The Fifth Element? Because this looks a hell of a lot like The Fifth Element.

It’s visually stunning, that’s for sure!

Looks like a Star Wars prequel.

I’m a huge fan of the graphic novels, and am looking forward to this movie with about equal amounts of anticipation and trepidation.

It does give off the visual vibes of a Star Wars prequel, but it could be just right for a graphic novel adaptation.

Here’s hoping!

Has Dane DeHaan always looked this much like John Barrowman?

I have to question whether the people comparing this to the pallid Star Wars prequels (and Jupiter Ascending, blargh) are even old enough to remember The Fifth Element (which came out two years before Phantom Menace). The visual design and cinematography of Valerian look so strikingly similar to Fifth Element that it could easily be taken as a direct sequel to it… which is entirely unsurprising given it’s the same director. If there’s another movie it visually borrows from I’d say John Carter more than anything else.

Of course Fifth Element itself lifted freely from the original Star Wars films, and Blade Runner, and other classic scifi. So defaulting to “looks like Star Wars!” for Valerian just smacks of a shallow reference pool.

It is also unsurprising considering Luc Besson was heavily inspired by the Valerian graphic novels, in particular The Circles of Power when he made the Fifth Element.

However, the CGI aliens, perhaps not so much in their design as in their execution, did give me a definite Phantom Menace vibe.

Turns out there’s a bit of a circular relationship between the two:

[The Circles of Power] was a major influence on the 1997 Luc Besson film The Fifth Element. Jean-Claude Mézières was contracted in 1991 to provide concept art for the film. He produced concepts for the futuristic New York, with its flying cars, as well as the Fhloston Paradise space-liner. When the production on the film was suspended in 1993, Besson turned to making the film Léon and Mézières returned to Valérian where he reworked several of the concepts he had been working on into The Circles of Power – most notably the flying taxi cabs. When the album was finished in 1994, Mézières sent a copy to Besson who was so taken with the cab-driving character of S’Traks that he rewrote the script of The Fifth Element, changing the occupation of protagonist Korben Dallas from a worker in a rocketship factory to cab driver.  

That movie had a lot of Jeans.

You’re talking to me … and the answer is yes, I’m more than old enough to remember the Fifth Element (and I love it). I know the history and influences. I also saw all those other films you mention. And I was gently trolling. ;)

But still, a bunch of stuff stood out in the trailer beyond busy neon cities and sleek 50s/comic book aesthetic - poorly CGIed creatures, underwater ‘there’s always a bigger fish’, Boss Nass and Gungans, video game platforming sections, long fall through flying traffic… :)

There is very little sci-fi these days that doesn’t have too much action/violence. I hope this film tones things down, because it looks pretty stylish otherwise.

And to me, and yes, I am well old enough at 56 to have seen Fifth Element in the theatre. I guess I wasn’t talking so much about the ideas/design as the CG. The quality of the graphics is miles beyond what was available to Fifth Element, though admittedly the visual style is clearly Besson.

yeah, exactly, Star Wars comparisons, pah! The Valerian comic has been around forever. I’ve seen them in bookstores growing up in Montreal where they import plenty of French comics, but I only got around to picking some up a decade ago, when I was perhaps less impressed than I might have as a teen… but it’s a fun sort of James Bond in space vibe, where the Bond girl remains more coy.

New trailer:

This movie looks awesome. (coming from a huge fan of The Fifth Element) Which, I think this movie looks exceedingly similar to.