Last week, amongst several new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailers that suddenly appeared on YouTube, there was another trailer that caught my eye: the teaser trailer for an upcoming French sci-fi film titled (rather verbosely) Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. This film is an adaptation of a long-running French comic book/graphic novel series by the duo of Jean-Claude Mezieres and Pierre Christin and is directed by Luc Besson. You can check out the teaser trailer below, which interestingly features a version of the song Because, by The Beatles.
My first encounter with Valerian was when I bought a couple of Valerian comics from a department store, quite a number of years ago. Part of the reason I got them was they were slightly discounted, but the main reason was that they were obviously European and I’ve always been of a fan of European comic books such as Tintin, Asterix and the Smurfs.
Valerian is a space adventure series set in the 28th century, kind of in the vein of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, but with slightly more thoughtful stories. The hero, Valerian, is a “spatiotemporal” agent meaning he is tasked with hunting down criminals through both space and time. His partner on these missions is a girl named Laureline, who is pretty much his equal in skills and ability, but who is a lot more hot-headed than he is. She is actually not from the 28th century; she met Valerian in the very first Valerian story, when he was on a mission in her time.
Without a doubt, Laureline is a big part of why I find Valerian interesting. She looks sexy in her skintight spacesuit and she provides a fair bit of fan service, which I always enjoy. In fact, now that I think about it, the paraphrased quote by Harry Harrison that I keep at the top of my blog fits Laureline quite nicely, almost as if it was written with her in mind. She’s definitely a classic-looking space heroine, albeit one who can really kick butt when necessary.😋
There are over twenty books in the Valerian series, although apparently not all of them have appeared in English yet. There has also been a French/Japanese animated series based on the Valerian books, titled Time Jam: Valerian & Laureline, but Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is the first time Valerian will be on the big screen. I definitely want to check it out when it comes out, but I honestly don’t know what to expect. I’m not familiar with Luc Besson’s work, but I do know that some of his previous sci-fi efforts (The Fifth Element and Lucy) haven’t exactly set the world alight.
And then there is the actress who is portraying Laureline: Cara Delevingne. Again, I’m not familiar with her work, but Delevingne, who is a professional model, doesn’t appear to have a very good reputation when it comes to acting. On top of that, she does not quite match the Laureline you see in the comics. But being a model, she is of course very beautiful, so based on this and the other gorgeous visuals shown in the trailer, I can be sure that at the very least Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets will be an aesthetically pleasing action film. And that alone may be enough to make it entertaining.😊