With Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets opening in theaters to general audiences today, director Luc Besson took to Twitter to give his appreciation for the support from his fellow filmmakers, in particular Lord of the Rings mastermind Peter Jackson.
In its trailers and imagery, Valerian looks like the type of colorful and ambitious science fiction film that are certainly not a dime a dozen these days. In a polarizing genre, these films either end up as revolutionary successes and critical darlings like Avatar or box office failures and lambasted goats like Jupiter Ascending. Valerian, Luc Besson’s adaptation of the long-running French comic book series, seems destined to fall somewhere in between those opposite ends, with mixed reviews and mild box office failure expected. Whether the the film is a success or a failure, however, the brotherhood of big budget filmmakers will often come out of the woodworks to praise the ambition of the film in question.
With its melding of CGI special effects and fantastical elements, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is the type of film to be embraced by the film community. In particular, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson praised the film, not only referring to the movie as an “unforgettable big screen experience,” but as one of the best movies he has seen in years. Besson took to Twitter on opening day to express his gratitude to Jackson for the kind words:
Jackson thoroughly enjoying the film doesn’t come as a shock, as he’s been working for decades now in adaptation, particularly CGI-driven spectacle. His revolutionary work with The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and even King Kong probably served as a partial influence to Besson of how to integrate the human characters with the abundance of effects, though his sci-fi work in The Fifth Element predates even those films. More than anything, it’s likely that Jackson appreciates the impressive designs and visual splendor of the film, as Valerian certainly looks like few other films that have ever been made.
While other filmmakers and the peers of Besson are praising the film for its boldness, it remains to be seen whether or not Valerian is rewarded for its originality by audiences going to see the film. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets took home $1.7 million on Thursday preview screenings, which puts it on track for about $20 million this weekend – a respectable total that will nonetheless still lean heavily on foreign grosses to make its heavy price tag back.
Source: Luc Besson
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