Why Paul McCartney Let Valerian Use A Beatles Song In The Trailer

Valerian and the city of a thousands planets

In addition to featuring some insanely cool sci-fi visuals, one of the best things about the brand new trailer for Luc Besson's Valerian and the City Of A Thousand Planets is the music. Believe it or not, the preview's use of "Because" by The Beatles is the first time that a master recording from the band has been featured in a film advertisement. Because of this, you'd think that it would have been a particularly tricky process to acquire the rights to the music -- but the simple reason it worked out was because Paul McCartney apparently digs the writer/director's work and wanted to contribute to a fresh artistic venture.

I learned the story behind the song choice in the trailer when I had the pleasure of sitting down with Luc Besson during a recent visit to the edit bay for Valerian and the City Of A Thousand Planets. After having the chance to screen the teaser, I asked Besson about the process of getting the rights to The Beatles track -- and he noted that it actually wasn't ultimately very hard. The director explained,

I just asked! We reached out to Paul McCartney, and he asked, 'What is the film?' and then he said yes! I never met him -- I wish I could, to thank him. From what I heard, he's seen a couple of my films -- and because he's from U.K. and I'm from France, we're both from Europe, so maybe a little closer. And Cara [Delevingne] is U.K. also. So there is a vibe that I think, from what I heard, made him say, 'For this one, because it's at least new and fresh.' So I think that he likes that. He likes to be part of something new.

Not only does the use of "Because" by The Beatles lend the trailer for Valerian and the City Of A Thousand Planets a distinct Guardians of the Galaxy, it's also just perfect background for the footage being presented. Not only are the lyrics quite fitting (the line "it blows my mind" being incredibly relevant), but just its soft tone helps accentuate the weirdness and epic-ness of everything that's going on in the teaser. Please do yourself a favor and give it another watch below:

Luc Besson didn't mention if we can expect the Beatles song to actually play in the movie -- which follows a pair it spatio-temporal agents (Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne) as they investigate the fishy goings-on behind the scenes in the city of Alpha, a location where more than a hundred species from around the universe cohabitate and work together. Given how well the track works in the preview, we hope that it does play at some point in the film, working alongside the score from composer Alexandre Desplat.

Valerian and the City Of A Thousand Planets is still quite a ways away from release -- set to hit theaters on July 21, 2017 -- but be sure to stay tuned here on Cinema Blend for more updates about the movie!

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.