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Rihanna has joined the famed director of The Fifth Element, Luc Besson, for his new film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

Ri Ri joins an all-star cast including Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Ethan Hawke and Herbie Hancock.

The alien epic is set on a space station called Alpha that houses over 8,000 different species from across the universe.

The LA Times reported:


And it sounds intense. The picture is somewhat set on a space station that’s 12 miles in diameter but houses millions of beings from across the universe — including a princess alien whose skin changes color depending on her mood. Fingers crossed that’s the role for Rihanna.

Besson announced Sunday [January 17, 2016] via his Twitter account:

“Rihanna blows me away. She is a natural born actress… Thank you RiRi for this wonderful week! #Valerian”

Besson announced the news of the Rihanna casting on his Twitter back in October, 2015.

At Comic Con 2015, the writer/producer/director offered an early glimpse of his space opera, adapted from a French comic-book series about two interstellar secret agents, Valerian and Lorelei.

In an interview with the LA Times, Besson described the film as an interstellar “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” — part espionage adventure, part love story. “We’re going to discover only at the end what’s going on,” he said. “The villain is not the one we think, and the good people are not the ones we think.

“There are 8,000 different species on Alpha,” Besson continued. There are basically five living actors in the film — that’s it,” he said. “All the rest are creatures.”

Besson wanted to adapt Valerian to the screen for decades, but had to wait for CGI technology to develop to the point where it could meet the film’s formidable world-building demands. He was finally ready to make it five years ago, but when he saw James Cameron’s 2009 “Avatar,” he stopped in his tracks.

“I went home and threw the script in the garbage and I started again,” he said. “It was not good enough.”

Besson started shooting Valerian on January 5, 2016. The film is due in theaters July 21, 2017.