On Wednesday morning, Luc Besson tweeted that he had some “big news” to announce. As it turns out, it was Rihanna’s return to the big screen. The director wrote on social media that the singer will star in his upcoming sci-fi film Valerian opposite Clive Owen, Cara Delevigne, and Dane DeHaan.
According to Besson, Rihanna won’t be a minor player either. “She has a big part,” he stated on Instagram. Check out the announcement photo below.
Aside from continuing her fruitful music career, Rihanna has had a handful of roles in various films, most of which have been misses. She made her acting debut opposite Taylor Kitsch in 2012’s Battleship, had a brief cameo appearance in This Is the End alongside just about every other popular mainstream celeb, she popped up in the remake of Annie, and voiced a character in the animated feature Home.
It’s unclear what role Rihanna will play in Valerian, which is based on a series of French graphic novels from the 1960s. DeHaan will play the title character while Suicide Squad’s Enchantress Delevigne takes the role of his “sharp-tonged and sharp-witted” partner Laureline. Together, the two time-traveling agents protect Earth and its surrounding planets from bad guys in the 28th century. Owen, meanwhile, is said to take the role of Commander Arün Filitt.
Besson has been keeping his fans as up to date on the project as possible. He posted a selfie from his work desk to Instagram about a week ago, and just four days ago he stated production will start on the film in 70 days. (So, 66 and counting.)
In announcing Valerian on Facebook, the director described the project as “the biggest challenge of my career.” Based on what we know so far, it seems to be a return to that Fifth Element vibe — which, by the way, is one of my favorite movies of all time, so there’s already a high expectation in my book. His last return to the sci-fi space, Lucy, hit a few bumps along the way, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.
Here’s the official synopsis for Valerian #1 from Amazon:
VALERIAN is a saga that every fan of Star Wars and Star Trek will identify with and love. Valerian and his beautiful, sharp-witted and sharp-tongued partner, Laureline, live adventures set against visually stunning backgrounds: complex architectural inventions, futuristic machines, otherworldly landscapes, and odd-looking aliens that are staples of artist Mezieres’s seemingly boundless visual inventiveness. The stories are gripping and of epic proportion, sweeping along in trilling, hyper-space speed.