Lexus at the movies

An iconic science fiction epic turned into a movie blockbuster by a legendary director. Hollywood A-listers playing the leading roles, while an imagined Lexus of the future plays a supporting part.

This is the synopsis of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which has made its star-studded premiere in Hollywood, but it also echoes a sci-fi masterpiece from 15 years ago – Minority Report.

We take a look at both these movies and the roles Lexus vehicles play in them.

Minority Report

Based on a short story by notable American sci-fi author Philip K. Dick, The Minority Report was first published in 1956 and is set in a futuristic judicial system in which killers are arrested and convicted before they commit murder.

Released in 2002 and directed by Steven Spielberg, the film stars Tom Cruise, Samantha Morton and Colin Farrell. The movie is set in 2054 where crime is all but eliminated thanks to an elite law enforcement squad who use three ‘Precogs’ who can see into the future. The head of this squad John Anderton (Cruise) is accused of a murder he is supposed to commit 36 hours in the future.

The vehicle
Designed as a high-performance two-seat personal sports car for the year 2054, the futuristic Lexus flexes a muscular design with the ultimate in cab-forward seating, a low, enclosed wheelbase for sportiness, aggressive lines, and proportions so unexpected that, at first glance, it’s not entirely evident which end is the front and which is the rear.

Spielberg and CALTY (Lexus’ California-based design studio) and a team of futurists met early in the development process to speculate on what the future of automotive travel might hold. The car used in the film was constructed by CTEK, a California-based technology design and development firm.

Did you know?
Steven Spielberg didn’t have to look any further than his own driveway for inspiration for the Lexus vehicle in his movie.

“I’ve been driving a Lexus 4×4,” said Spielberg, “and I thought Lexus might be interested in holding hands with us and going into a speculative future to see what the transportation systems and cars would look like on our highways in 50 years. The result of that exploration is something that elevates and transforms driving into an environmental experience.”

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

The original Valérian and Laureline was a series of science fiction comics written by Pierre Christin and drawn by Jean-Claude Mézières between 1967 and 2010. The series follows the adventures of the pair as they travel through space and time.

The movie
The movie will hit UK cinemas in August. Directed by Luc Besson and starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is set 700 years in the future. Valerian (DeHaan) and Laureline (Delevingne) are a team of special operatives on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis were species from all over the universe live alongside one another. Valerian and Laureline are in a race to not only to save Alpha, but the future of the universe, from a dangerous dark force.

The vehicle
The Skyjet was created by the Valerian team with the ambition of featuring a vehicle grounded in reality, but befitting of the Valerian world.

Powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, the Skyjet is a specialised single-seater military-type vehicle built for highly trained agents to on missions across the galaxy.

Laurent Bouzige, designer at Lexus’s ED2 European design centre, sees it as a hybrid between a “space bike” and a fighter jet. It makes great use of artificial intelligence (AI) in its operation, notably in the interface the pilot uses to control the aircraft.

Did you know?
Luc Besson‘s first ever tweet was to announce that we was going to direct Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

And his second tweet revealed that DeHaan and Delevingne were to play the leading roles.

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