Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets opens in theaters July 21.
Here’s a deep philosophical question to occupy your mind for awhile. At the front of the fictional, single-seat Lexus Skyjet we see the unmistakable spindle grille that is the current hallmark for the luxury automaker. Lexus says the Skyjet embodies its vision of style, innovation, and performance 700 years into the future. But doesn't the grille technically make this futuristic spacecraft a retro design?
It’s entirely possible we’re thinking far too much about this. After all, this is a completely fictional machine designed to provide some nifty product placement for the manufacturer in the upcoming sci-fi film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which is slated to hit theaters on July 21. Aside from having one of the most sci-fi movie names of all time, the film will feature the Skyjet as a high-performance runabout with stubby wings, presumably giving it the ability to navigate and maneuver both within and outside an atmosphere.
Lexus has launched a month-long ad campaign leading up to the movie’s release, including a short commercial that teases the Skyjet and a longer feature that will be airing soon. The manufacturer also released a few photos of the life-size mock-up to show the Skyjet isn’t just a computer generated spaceship, or a miniature model made big through the wizardry of cinema.
The film is based on the French comic series Valérian and follows the adventures of a couple agents in an intergalactic city called Alpha. Actors Dane DeHann and Cara Delevingne hold the starring roles, with support coming from familiar names such as Ethan Hawke, Clive Owen, and Rihanna. The movie is directed by Luc Besson, a sci-fi veteran who helmed The Fifth Element and Lucy among others, and it’s said to be the highest-budget European film ever produced.
In other words, the ingredients are there for a pretty exciting sci-fi feature, but sometimes product placements don't carry quite the same momentum – especially when it's something you obviously can't buy. In a month we’ll see how Lexus fares with this new film.
And in another 700 years, look for our review on the Skyjet.
Gallery: Lexus spaceship Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
LEXUS REVEALS CLOSER LOOK AT THE SKYJET WITH NEW SPOTS AND FEATURETTE
Exclusive ad for upcoming “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” showcases Lexus-branded spacecraft of the future
The spot provides the most in-depth look yet at the SKYJET, a single-seat pursuit craft created in partnership with film studio EuropaCorp and driven by Valerian, the film’s main character, played by actor Dane DeHaan. Inspired by the film’s futuristic storyline, the custom ad demonstrates how Lexus envisions performance, style and innovation 700 years from now. Fans will get an extended look at the high-tech spacecraft, which incorporates Lexus’ contemporary design cues, such as an adaption of the signature spindle grille, as it navigates through the intergalactic citadel of Alpha.
In addition to the spot, a new featurette will take fans through the process of creating the SKYJET, including behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Valerian lead actor Dane DeHaan, Producer Virginie Besson-Sillas and Valerian and Lexus designers.
“Helping design and build the SKYJET allowed us to imagine mobility 700 years in the future and showcase some amazing Lexus ideas,” said Spiros Fotinos, global head of brand management and marketing at Lexus International. “This new content adds to the excitement surrounding the film’s debut, and we’re pleased to be part of this incredible and ambitious project.”
Beginning on June 22, a 30-second spot will run on cable and a Times Square digital billboard, while an extended version of the spot will run on digital and social channels. View the 30-second spot at https://youtu.be/4qPmsftmfKU and the featurette at https://youtu.be/uoGTmpZ78Qs. Catch “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” an adaptation of the French comic series “Valérian and Laureline,” written by Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mézières, in theatres July 21.