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Luc Besson Plays Art Critic While Surprising Valerian Fan Artists

Imagine if you created fan art based on an upcoming film created by one of your favorite filmmakers…only to have that filmmaker you idolize walk into the room to talk to you about it. That’s what happened to these lucky artists and Luc Besson fans when they created work based on the upcoming Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

SyFy Wire brought together six super-talented artists, all of whom love director Luc Besson’s films, to create work inspired by Valerian, and the work they produced was stunning. As they each share and explain their pieces to each other while talking about their favorite Luc Besson movies, the director himself sneaks in behind them to surprise them by joining the conversation.

Their reactions are adorable, and Besson kindly talks about their work while also revealing stuff about his own process. For example, Valerian took seven years to hit the big screen, and based on what he says in the above video, art alone on the film took three.

The reason why everything looks so beautiful in Valerian is that he hired six artists for a year to create in isolation, save for their weekly Skype call with him. After that year, Besson hired six different artists to do the same thing for a year. After that, he put all twelve artists in a room to create together for another year. It’s that luxurious, but painstaking process that leads to the breathtaking and eye-popping imagery that we’ve caught glimpses of in the various Valerian trailers.

One thing had me a bit concerned. Besson says that after an early draft of Valerian, he was feeling really confident…until he saw Avatar, which inspired him to tear up his script and start over in order to make it better. I mean, I don’t know if he saw the same version of Avatar that I did, but the script wasn’t exactly the thing that made that movie. Let’s just hope Valerian‘s script is as worthwhile as its phenomenal visuals.

Are you looking forward to Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets?

(image: screencap)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.