Next summer an epic sci-fi film based on the classic French comic series Valérian and Laureline is set to be released, and there’s been a lot of illustration and design work relating to the film emerging already.
Luc Besson is both the director and screenwriter of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. He directed cult classic The Fifth Element - which has a similar visual tone to Valerian - and last year's hit Lucy. Valerian claims to have the largest budget of any European-produced film, and is expected to be released next July. Check out the trailer above or here.
It’s based on the comics written by Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mezieres, first published in 1967 and the final instalment published in 2010.
The narrative follows adventures of Valerian (played by Dane deHaan), a spatio-temporal agent aka classical hero, and his intelligent and beautiful colleague Laureline (played by Cara Delevingne) as they travel the universe through the intergalactic citadel of Alpha (the universe). Rihanna even makes an appearance in the film version.
The comic series is considered a landmark in European comics and pop culture. Here’s a selection of some of the emerging illustration and hype around the film, including a blog on life in 2740, concept art from the film itself and even a spaceship designed by Lexus.
BNP Paribas: Intergalactic
French bank BNP Paribas, in partnership with the new film, has set up an entire website delving into the concept of the film, including a future-gazing teaser blog namely Life in 2740.
The blog features illustrations by French artists Léonard Dupond, Johanna Giunta and Bruno Mangyoku to accompany a series of sci-fi articles on societal and cultural topics, including housing and the holographic lens.
Image: From sketch to final artwork, by Léonard Dupond
Léonard Dupond: Life in 2740
Here are first images of the commissioned work for BNP Paribas by Leonard Dupond. With the article subject on telepathy, Léonard wanted to show people whom appeared to be deep in thought, ignoring each other but still having a normal life.
To do this Léonard chose a composition similar to Edward Hopper’s 1942 Nighthawks oil on canvas, depicting three characters in a downtown diner late at night.
“His art embodies this atmosphere I was going for and because it seems timeless, even in 2740 I believe you would find this kind of bar in Space-stations,” says Léonard.
Image: Léonard Dupond (top) and Edward Hopper (bottom).
Léonard Dupond: Life in 2740
Léonard's work for blog posts Interstellar tourism: From short hops to light years (top) and How we filled the void of outer space with music (bottom).
Johanna Giunta: Life in 2740
Johanna’s work was also commissioned by BNP Paribas to illustrate a number of blog entries, including one based around smart houses of 2740. Robots and Artificial Intelligence organise household chores, fuel supplies or the weekly shop, picking up on human habits, taste, behaviours and moods of the house.
Other lifestyle blog topics illustrated by Johanna include advertising, gaming, private cars, shopping and fashion in 2740. Check them out in her portfolio.
Bruno Mangyoku: Life in 2740
Bruno’s illustration depicts a world where other stellar civilisations provide images of their societies, teaching humans many ways to entertain, practise sport or make films.
The blog post describes a world where powerful laser projectors broadcast onto nature itself – clouds, mountains, seas, and where movies do not need a scenario, just images.
Toyoto's Lexus brand designed one of the vehicles for the film, in collaboration with the film's art department. The Skyjet is a single-seat pursuit craft.
The production team wanted the Skyjet to be grounded in the real world, but appropriate 700 years in the future.
The final design incorporates a Lexus-influenced spindle grille and headlight design similar to that of the Lexuc LC coupe, which is set to launch for 2017.
Marc Simonetti: Concept Art
Marc Simonetti is currently working on Valerian as a concept artist. So far he's designed environments, vehicles, characters and props for the film.
Having produced cover art for well known fantasy novels such as Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, Marc’s also worked with video game companies and has just released an art book Coverama.