Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets – Teaser Trailer

The trailer for “Luc Besson‘s Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets dropped earlier today, and visually speaking, it’s gorgeous.

Then again, Besson is the guy that directed The Fifth Element–another visually dazzling sci-fi epic–so that’s not really a surprise. 


The only fly in the ointment (or spanner in the works or pig in the trough–I made that last one up) is that Besson isn’t a particularly strong–or original, in some instances–writer. 

And he’s apparently a huge fan of John Carpenter because while Besson was successfully sued for Lockout, his 2004 adventure movie DistrictB13 is disconcertingly similar to another movie by John Carpenter, Escape From New York

Hopefully Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets will follow in the footsteps of the French comic, written by  Pierre Christin and drawn by Jean-Claude Mézières, that inspired it and not any of John Carpenter’s work.  

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Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets – Poster

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Lucy Besson, while a visually sumptuous director, is not a terribly original writer–which may have a little to do with him settling with John Carpenter over his 2012 movie Lockout, which was essentially Escape From New York aboard a space station.

Lucy, directed by Besson in 2014, fared particularly well financially, though many considered the story (about a woman, played by Scarlett Johansson, who though a mysterious drug gains the ability to unlock the unused potential of the human mind and gain god-like powers) as particularly dopey.

He’s back in 2017 with Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets–a title that on its face doesn’t make sense–that’s based on a French comic series by Jean-Claude Méziéres.

I hope it does well mainly because many European comics don’t get nearly the recognition here that they do there, and it would be good for people to expand their knowledge of such things beyond what we see presented by Marvel Studios and DC Films.

The Return Of John Carpenter

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image courtesy of Comixology app

Though truth be told he was never really gone.

John Carpenter, director of influential genre classics like Halloween, Escape From New YorkIn The Mouth Of Madness, They Live, StarMan, Big Trouble In Little China (perhaps his most underappreicated movie), among many others has been absent from theaters since 2010’s The Ward (an interesting movie despite thematic similarities to James Mangold’s superior 2003 film, Identity) may be on the edge of a comeback.

Though not for the reasons I at first thought.

Let me start at the beginning.  Today I was reading some comics on Comixology when I noticed John Carpenter’s Asylum.  I don’t recall ordering it, though they occasionally have ‘Free Comics Days’ so I assumed that I picked it up then.

It’s written by Carpenter, Thomas Ian Griffith (who played in ‘Jan Valek’ in John Carpenter’s Vampires) and Sandy King (Carpenter’s wife and producer) and  drawn by the inestimable Leonardo Manco.

By the way, speaking of Leonardo Manco, if you haven’t read Marvel’s 1994 comic Hellstorm–which lasted 21 issues–you should find a copy because Manco’s art is remarkable.

I was thinking that ‘Asylum’ would be Carpenter’s entry back into features, which is apparently not the case.

That honor would be bestowed upon DarkChylde, which  was an Image comic by Randy Queen in 1996.

King said that they have been working on the project for over two years, and that WETA Digital is creating the monsters.  You may not be aware of WETA, but if you’ve seen any of the movies based upon J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novels (and many others), then you have seen their special effects work.

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Image courtesy of Storm King Productions and Destroy The Cyborg

Though the best thing, according to Sandy King, is that not only is John Carpenter working on DarkChylde, but he’s also preparing a new horror-themed series, John Carpenter’s Hell Gate.

‘Brick Mansions’ Trailer

When I heard that Paul Walker had died earlier this year, I was surprised; I am not quite sure why I was, in hindsight.  People die all the time, and while large amounts of money can prolong life, no one has yet found a way to extend it appreciably.

“Brick Mansions” is, I believe, the last film Walker worked on before the auto accident.

I wish it were something else because as far as I can tell, ‘Mansions’ looks like Luc Besson repeating himself.  If the trailer is at all accurate, it plays like a retread of “District 13” which was itself a Francophile version of John Carpenter’s “Escape From New York,” with parkour.