Rihanna is headed for the stars in Luc Besson's new sci-fi epic

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Oct 29, 2015, 10:40 AM EDT

The sultry pop singer is coming to movie screens again with the space opera Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

Director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Lucy) has cast Rihanna in a "big part," according to Besson himself, who issued the news via Instagram. The "Umbrella" vocalist will join Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne and Clive Owen in the picture, which is based on the long-running French comic-book series Valérian and Laureline by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres.

DeHaan will play Valerian, an agent for the space-time police of the Galaxity organization, while Delevingne will appear as his partner Laureline. The two travel through space and time to foil the schemes of alien invaders, renegade scientists, clone armies and more.

There are no details on Rihanna's role yet -- or whether it's even human -- but strangely enough, all her film parts to date have been in the sci-fi genre. She had a supporting turn as a soldier in Battleship, played herself in a cameo in This Is The End and voiced the lead role of a young girl who befriends an alien in the animated film Home that came out earlier this year. None of those gigs really showed either way whether she can act, although it's safe to say she didn't embarrass herself either.

Whoever or whatever she's playing in Valerian, you can bet that she'll look pretty outrageous. After all, Besson's cult classic The Fifth Element featured some of most eye-popping production and costume design of its time, and the combination of his sensibilities with what sounds like a truly cosmic French comic book should produce some amazing visuals here as well.

The Valerian comic books are famous around the world (see more about them here) but are not as well known in the U.S., so Besson's reportedly $170 million film represents somewhat of a risk with American audiences at least. Filming is slated to begin before the end of this year, with a summer 2017 release planned. 

Do you think the addition of Rihanna to the cast of Valerian will bolster its box-office chances?

(via Slashfilm)