Valérian and the City of a Thousand Planets [comics/film]

Luc Besson said he would return to the outer-space science fiction adventure film, and that proposed film is “Valérian and the City of a Thousand Planets” based on a 1967 French comic series from writers Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Luc Besson’s most ambitious project to date is officially happening. Currently in the pre-production phase with the film slated for a July 2017 release, principal cast members have already been chosen (Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Dane DeHaan, and… Rihanna).

Not only that, but, Besson and costume designer Olivier Bériot are asking aspiring artists and creatives around the world to design outfits for one scene in the story. French fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier did a fantastic job on The Fifth Element (1997), so this call out may come as a dream come true for many artists out there — 20 winners whose costumes could be turned from sketch into reality and featured in the final film:

Contest Link: / Like us on Facebook: / Twitter: / Instagram: / Hashtag with: #DesignForValerian.

Designers are asked to create a piece that could be worn by a human, alien, humanoid or any other intergalactic creature you can think of. The scene for which you are designing will take place at a political cocktail party inside a space station called Alpha in the year 2580. For inspiration and details:


For The Fifth Element, there were 954 costumes produced for the final film. Just imagine how many concept drawings were created for each individual garment and accessory, then multiply that by however many hundreds of other designs that didn’t make it past any further development stages. That’s a lot of art.

Some exerts from a Jean Paul Gaultier interview about the fashion of The Fifth Element:

And for anyone preparing to jump on the ‘just another Star Wars inspired rip-off’ bandwagon, understand that French artist Jean-Claude Mézières was one of the most revered artists of future landscapes and characters long before Star Wars was even conceived. The original Valérian and Laurine graphic novel is said to have influenced one of Besson’s earlier features, The Fifth Element — along with the original Star Wars series.

One of the five featurettes on The Fifth Element DVD/Blu-ray Disc — The Visual Element:

For anyone who has seen the original Star Wars trilogy, you’ve also seen the largely uncredited influence of Mézières’ work. Here are a few original pieces for comparison:

Jean-Claude Mézières' influence on Star Wars - 2

Jean-Claude Mézières' influence on Star Wars - 1

Jean-Claude Mézières' influence on Star Wars - 5

And yes, Mézières was well aware of Hollywood’s hypocrisy. In 1983, after having seen all three of the original Star Wars flicks and a fair bit of what he had inspired, Mézières released this single-frame comic in the French magazine Pilote. Sharing a table at a Star-Wars-Cantina-like bar are Princess Leia and Luke opposite Valérian and Laureline:

Valérian and Laureline

Judging from the source material alone and Luc Besson’s passion and pedigree of work, “Valérian and the City of a Thousand Planets” looks like it could be amazing.


Rooted in the classic graphic novel series, Valerian and Laureline- visionary writer/director Luc Besson advances this iconic source material into a contemporary, unique and epic science fiction saga.

Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are special operatives for the government of the human territories charged with maintaining order throughout the universe. Valerian has more in mind than a professional relationship with his partner- blatantly chasing after her with propositions of romance. But his extensive history with women, and her traditional values, drive Laureline to continuously rebuff him.

Under directive from their Commander (Clive Owen), Valerian and Laureline embark on a mission to the breathtaking intergalactic city of Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis comprised of thousands of different species from all four corners of the universe. Alpha’s seventeen million inhabitants have converged over time- uniting their talents, technology and resources for the betterment of all. Unfortunately, not everyone on Alpha shares in these same objectives; in fact, unseen forces are at work, placing our race in great danger.


~ by Fionnlagh on November 22, 2015.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: