There’s always a lot of excitement amongst the proud nerds in our office when we get our issue of MYM magazine every month – but when it arrived yesterday, it felt extra special. That’s because we’re all experiencing major feels about the now-extremely-imminent Valerian film, and MYM have helped satisfy our cravings with a lush five-page feature on the film. It includes an interview with Luc Besson and some of the cast, as well as a context-providing history of the original series.
Here we share a few of our favourite snippets from the feature. You can read the whole thing by buying a copy from your favourite newsagent or by searching here: www.retailfinder.magcafe.com.
Luc Besson on discovering the series:
“I discovered this comic at 10 years old, and at that age I had one TV channel in black and white, I didn’t have a computer or even a Walkman, and I’m living in the countryside about 30km from Paris … My only way to escape is two pages of Valerian every week.”
On his first love:
“Laureline is probably my first love. Ten years old, you know, you start to get feelings…”
On casting Valerian:
“For the main guy, I didn’t want the lassic superhero type, full of muscle and sure of himself … I wanted the guy who lies, is pretentious, is lucky, who always thinks he will save the day…”
Dane Dehaan (Valerian) on the excitement of filming:
“Even the days we were just lying down in motion capture suits… even those were exciting because I’d never done anything like that.”
Cara Delevingne (Laureline) on on working with Besson:
“It’s an honour even to be in the same room as him…”
And on playing the fierce Laureline:
“…she’s who I want to be as a woman … I love her”
Besson on casting Rihanna as “shape-shifting entertainer Bubbles”:
“She was perfect from day one … she left her entourage outside of the set. I couldn’t believe that she was so generous.”
Dehaan on why Besson is only making this movie now:
“…special effects have only recently caught up to his imagination”
Along with the interview, MYM have put together an excellent primer on the original comics series, which is now published in English by Cinebook and available from Turnaround.
Much has been said already (including by us) about how the Valerian and Laureline comics helped influence the aesthetic of the Star Wars films, but they also inspired the likes of Arnie’s Conan the Barbarian, Independence Day, Avatar and Besson’s seminal The Fifth Element as well.
What we didn’t know was that Laureline was created as “a reaction to objectified space heroine Barbarella”. Nothing against Barbarella from this writer (I frequently drool over my own copy of the lavish collector’s edition, published by Humanoids and available from Turnaround), but it’s always nice to see things from another perspective. According to MYM, the original V&L comics were unique in giving the female hero equal billing as the male one – something we wish had been honoured in the film’s title – and in giving her more interesting character development:
“Where Valerian fulfilled the square-jawed, even dumb, hero role, Laureline had a more interesting development, coming from a simpler past and having to adapt and survive in a complex future time. She is the outsider.. who can question the seemingly perfect world that Valerian inhabits in the series.”
I should just add that it shows. I can echo Cara Delevingne’s sentiment above: “…she’s who I want to be as a woman … I love her”!
We don’t want to give away the entire feature, but it’s well worth a read if you’re interested in the history of what will become one of 2017’s biggest films. We’ll leave it to you to pick up a copy for yourself!
Meanwhile, you can satisfy your craving for all things Valerian and Laureline with our previews of Cinebook’s Complete Collections of the series:
Valerian: The Complete Collection Volume 1:
Valerian: The Complete Collection Volume 2:
Valerian: The Complete Collection Volume 3:
The full series is available from Turnaround.