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There are so many comic book movies coming to theaters that it can be seriously difficult to keep up with them. But it’s not just huge names like Batman, Superman, and most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe getting the big screen treatment, as more obscure titles are also being adapted. You may not know Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, but the film version, Valerian, is putting together a highly recognizable cast, and the latest addition is pop star turned actress Rihanna.
Noted French action auteur Luc Besson, who is directing Valerian, took to Twitter to announce that the singer of such hits as "Umbrella," "Disturbia," and "Love the Way You Lie" has joined the cast.
Aside from the fact that Rihanna is going to appear in the science fiction film, and that Besson certainly seems to be rather stoked on this turn of events, we don’t know anything else about what role she’ll play or what she’ll be up to, but expect it to be substantial. Though given the director’s track record with deep space movies—he helmed the bonkers genre offering The Fifth Element—and her own outfit choices, it’s easy to imagine she’ll be decked out in some crazy ass getups.
Though she’s a hugely successful singer, Rihanna only has a handful of acting credits on her resume. She played a version of herself in the star-studded This is the End, showed up in the recent Annie remake, and shot at aliens with a giant gun in Battleship. So she has some experience in that realm.
She joins what has already turned into a fantastic cast. Dan DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Chronicle) and Cara Delevingne (Suicide Squad) are set to lead the picture, and Clive Owen (The Knick, Children of Men) is also on the call sheet.
Created by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres, Valerian first appeared in 1967 and ran all the way until 2010. The story focuses on Valerian, a "temporal agent," and his partner, Laureline, who, in the 28th century, travel through time and space keeping a utopian Earth and the expansive Terran Galactic Empire safe from rogue time travelling threats. Though it’s not hugely well known globally, its influence can be seen in the likes of Star War, Avatar, and especially Besson’s own Fifth Element.
Coming off of a huge worldwide success with Lucy, Besson plans to film in English, and with a sizeable budget to play with, he has enlisted big time visual effects talent. Industrial Light & Magic, Rodeo FX, and Weta Digital will all work on the film, so if nothing else, Valerian promises to look incredible and be totally bonkers. Can’t wait.
Filming is scheduled to kick off next January and will primarily take place at Besson’s massive studio located just outside Paris. Valerian is scheduled to hit theaters on July 21, 2017, so we’ve got a while to wait until we can check out the mayhem.