Geekery: First Look at ‘Valerian’

valerian movie poster ship

Fifth Element fans, you’ll want to see this – Luc Besson has created another colorful space epic.

There are a lot of familiar things in this trailer – and I’m totally ok with it.

Tis feels like The Fifth Element on steroids… and maybe a little LSD. Just a little

It’s based on the French comic Valérian and Laureline by Pierre Christin and artist Jean-Claude Mézières, which was first released in the late 1960s. The story features a duo interstellar agents – Valerian and Laureline – that are tasked with keeping the peace in the giant city of Alpha. The city is home to 17 million humans and aliens from all over the galaxy. In the course of thier duties they discover that someone is out to destroy the peace that has been built in the giant metropolis.

Cast includes Cara DelevingneDane DeHaanEthan HawkeJohn Goodman, Rihanna, Clive Owen, and mother-fing Rutger Hauer

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets hits theaters on July 21, 2017.

  • Seb

    Quite excited. The Valerian worlds, art and concepts pretty much spawned the Star Wars galaxy – to the point there was nearly legal issues. Besson loved these comics as a boy and has been dreaming of the ability to realise them. In fact he hired the original artist to do concepts for Fifth Element which is why you have a sense of deja’vu (SW +Fifth Element).

    My first frustrations are, the leads are too young compared to the originals. Valerian has been at this game a while and more Han Solo age than Skywalker when they first met. The other, she’s blonde not a blushed redhead. I’d say the latter is a really bizarre choice on Besson’s part. They’re seemingly small, but rather visually breaking elements; as if giving Lucky Luke a blue shirt instead of yellow. Or Obelix red pants rather than blue striped.

    • Orodruin

      I was gonna ask if anyone else thought the characters looked about 12 years old.

      • Seb

        I’ve met some bright sparks in their early twenties, all trained and studied up; but they simply haven’t been out in the wilds enough to have taken a couple of knocks to make better judgement calls. There’s a reason there are more ‘street smart’ business folk in the top 500 over university graudates.

      • Dane DeHann is 30, Cara Delevigne is 24… and yet they both look about 15 in this, for no good reason I can find.

        • Orodruin

          Crazy.

    • Beorthulf Gudmundsoetir

      The sense if deja vu is probably cause he ripped off the exact same shots from the 5th element, SW underwater chase…
      Check the way the aliens walk, this is exactly the same as in the pyramid at the start of the 5th element, the city shots are identical too

      • Horus84cmd

        You realise that Luc Besson directed both films right? In alot of his films follow similar cinematography. In addition, as Seb, points out the Valérian and Laureline french comic is what inspired his story, the look and feel to 5th Element.

      • Arthfael

        The original comics is much older and actually influenced the 5th Element and, before it, SW!

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Dane DeHann looks to vascilate between someone who looks 15 and someone who looks like a drug addled 30 year old. So strange. Cara Delvigne looks young but she’s actually 24.

      If I had to venture a guess, I would say that they want to make multiple films. When you head into a multi-picture project, you always cast younger than perfect because you don’t want the actors to visibly age themselves out of the role at the end of the project (unless you film everything at once, a la LotR). .

      Laureline not being a red head is strange. Maybe they tested the hair color out and found Cara looked awful/bad with it?

      • Seb

        Good point on multiple films, certainly enough material to use. As for testing hair colour, maybe so; just occurred to me – Lee-Loo was a red head also – I wonder if he is afraid of a continued theme of red-headed protagonists? Hah.

        • euansmith

          Well, hair colour is about the only way to tell the difference between Luc Besson’s female protagonists 😉

  • Darth Bumbles

    Why does Cara Delvigne always look like a cardboard cutout?
    She doesn’t emote in front of camera, even Arnold tries to.
    I’ve seen interviews sic of her and she’s all full of life and energy, but stick a film camera in her face and she’s a bored killer robot from the future.

    • Statham

      Part of it being the old modelling instructions, I guess, which is to look as flat and neutral as possible and to let the outfit do the talking. It’s a shame, because she’s clearly as kooky as the rest of the Suicide Squad cast are in interviews and the like.

      • Darth Bumbles

        Exactly, she seems like a hoot, until you try and make her act and suddenly it’s thousand yard stare and slouched shoulders.

        • Statham

          Again, she’s a former model. Sometimes it works out and you get a Famke Janssen, or a Milla Jovovich; Janssen in particular – you’d struggle to find people who recognise her from her modelling days, now. By contrast, sometimes they look stunning, but probably shouldn’t be acting.

  • euansmith

    Hopefully this will be more “Fifth Element” and less “Lucy”.

    • Seb

      Yeah agree.. Lucy wasn’t one I would put on Besson’s Best list.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    so much dodgy CGI, looks like a high end computer game, not a movie. Fifth Element looked real, presumably because of use of prosthetics etc. This looks so wrong, like one of those dreadful cartoonlive action hybrids from the 70s. Sorry to be so negative.

    • So, would you say you’re already infinitely resigned to this one being mediocre?

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      I don’t think it looks that dodgy. Just fantastical, which will always be a bit more cartoony than realism. I do agree the lack of real props/prosthetics is a problem but, to be honest, CGI is simply cheaper.

      Also, the movie is being made by French/European companies. Perhaps they simply have a different ethos than US filmmakers (which often favor style over substance).

  • Mike X

    Boob armor for the win!

  • Arthfael

    The original comics may not be too familiar to English speakers, but it’s influenced, among other things, Star Wars and the 5th Element.
    I hope the movie is good. I don’t like what I’ve seen so far. Clever and witty Laureline (who I can’t see why they cast as Cara Delevingne) is in a relationship with clumsy Valerian, he is not trying to court her. She just happens to be a very strong woman, when he is a caricature of typical space opera male lead.