This year's San Diego Comic-Con has predictably been chock full of great news, particularly when it comes to Luc Besson's upcoming sci-fi adventure, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. An adaptation of a beloved graphic novel, the movie seemingly pulls out all the stops to ensure it provides a wholly unique and amazing experience. One of the more interesting tidbits we learned during our time at Hall H was when the filmmakers revealed that pop star Rihanna has a major role in the movie as an alien stripper. Yeah, you read that correctly. Her participation in the film came as a shock to many, and according to Dane DeHaan, it's a highlight of the film.
During the Valerian panel at Hall H this weekend at Comic-Con International, Dane DeHaan talked about Rihanna's part in the upcoming sci-fi epic and teased just how cool it is. He said:
There's been some image of her in that same outfit and someone asked me today "oh she's dressed... what does that say about whom Rihanna plays in this movie?" And really like, you guys don't even know. Rihanna's part is so crazy, it's so awesome.
With a palpable sense of urgency and excitement in his voice, Dan DeHann sat on stage and raved about the experience of working with Rihanna on the set of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. They collaborated for two weeks during the shoot and, without giving anything away, he explained to the audience just how much he enjoyed himself As he spoke he seemed to stifle himself regarding the details, because Luc Besson has endeavored to keep as much of the film a secret. That being said, DeHaan's not alone in his enthusiasm, as the crowd went absolutely insane when her character showed up in the revealed footage.
Much of what we saw from Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets seemed jumbled and unfinished, so it's somewhat difficult to definitively figure out the context of the clips. The sequence involving Rihanna followed Valerian (Dane DeHaan) as he treks through a grimy, seedy downtown red light district. He comes upon a low-life brothel owner (a scenery chewing Ethan Hawke) who offers him a chance for a good time. They negotiate briefly, and the scene smash cuts to Valerian sitting in a chair as music begins and a scantily clad Rihanna is revealed. Whatever happens next remains unclear, but DeHaan assures us that it's equal parts unexpected and amazing.
Although Rihanna's involvement in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets came as a complete shock to us, it's not necessarily out of the blue. The pop star has made numerous film appearances over the years in movies such as Battleship and This Is The End, so it's clear that she has no qualms with appearing on the silver screen. She's proven herself increasingly reliable in these sorts of roles, so it remains entirely plausible that she could embark on a Justin Timberlake-esque transition to film within the next few years. If any role will solidify that change, it's a role as an alien stripper.
We will bring you more details related to Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets as they become available. The upcoming sci-fi epic will hit theaters on July 21, 2017.