SEP 8, 2017
Renowned director Luc Besson has created the greatest sci-fi adventure of 2017, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – and worked with Lexus in the process. Here’s how
When it came to choosing a partnership for the SKYJET on his sci-fi action movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, it is understandable why visionary filmmaker Luc Besson put Lexus at the top of the list.
From the futuristic Lexus vehicle in Minority Report to the ongoing Lexus Short Films (LSF) program that celebrates and nurtures a rising generation of filmmakers, Lexus straddles the intersection between smart design, visionary ideas and groundbreaking entertainment.
For this latest project, Lexus joined forces with the Valerian creative team at EuropaCorp, the movie studio co-founded by Besson – writer and director of box office hits including Léon: The Professional and The Fifth Element.
With a mutual dedication to their respective crafts and fastidious attention to detail, the Valerian creative team’s SKYJET – a single-seat pursuit craft – became a vehicle grounded in reality, but befitting of the Valerian world, set 700 years in the future. This was achieved through a collaboration with Lexus designers to incorporate imaginative technologies and contemporary design cues.
Released in summer 2017, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a sci-fi action movie produced, written and directed by the multi award-winning Luc Besson, that features an all-star cast including Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne and Clive Owen. Based on the French sci-fi comic series Valérian and Laureline, the epic saga sees Valerian, played by Dane DeHaan, and Laureline (Delevingne) as special operatives for the government of the human territories, charged with maintaining order throughout the universe. With plenty of action, approximately 2,500 VFX shots, close to 2,000 alien species and just a hint of romance, the movie was one of the most highly anticipated of the year.
Defined by an athletic curve, SKYJET is both of the future and firmly rooted in the present: a super-sleek, futuristic single-seater craft that incorporates details such as an adapted interpretation of Lexus’ signature “spindle” grille and a similar headlight design to that of the eagerly awaited 2017 Lexus LC coupe.
Following meetings between Lexus’ Chief Engineer Takeaki Kato and the Lexus design team to discuss incorporating believable, imaginative technologies and contemporary design cues into the final iteration of the vehicle, Besson’s bold vision for the SKYJET was finally completed.
Dane DeHaan at the SKYJET reveal.
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Cars have a rich movie history, playing star roles in iconic cinematic moments across genres and decades, making it a natural medium for Lexus to become involved in. However, the significance of this project is much wider. Having launched its annual creative prize in 2013, the LSF program, Lexus has established an ongoing commitment to its growing space within the movie industry and the proliferation of new, groundbreaking ideas and technologies across the board. While the LSF supports emerging filmmakers from around the world, for Lexus this is part of a much bigger picture that involves incubating new talent across the design and creative industries.