Luc Besson unveiled on his Instagram account today that pop superstar Rihanna has joined Dane DeHaan and Cara Delavingne in Valerian, his sci-fi epic based on the 1960s graphic novels. The singer has been dipping her toes in acting, voicing a lead role in DreamWorks Animation’s Home last year and co-starring in Peter Berg’s Battleship.
Besson did not tip off what character Rihanna would play, but DeHaan and Delavingne are playing Valerian and Laureline in the adaptation of the original story, which centered on a pair of spatio-temporal agents who help defend a utopian 28th century Earth and its neighboring planets from bad guys, with the pair’s adventures rooted in space opera and time travel themes. Clive Owen is also in the cast playing Commander Arün Filitt.
Valerian is Besson’s biggest career gamble: an $180 million-budget 3D interplanetary sci-fi epic that already is slotted for July 21, 2017 release through EuropaCorp’s RED. It is based on the iconic French sci-fi graphic novel series from writers Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières that first appeared in 1967.