By Nick Romano
January 17, 2016 at 12:00 PM EST
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Rihanna has returned to acting in Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and her director is blown away by her performance. 

“She is a natural born actress,” Besson wrote on Twitter as the film continues production. “Thank you RiRi for this wonderful week.” 

 

The singer, who last year lent her voice to the animated movie Home, joins a cast that includes Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Ethan Hawke, Herbie Hancock, John Goodman, Clive Owen, and Rutger Hauer. Many of them can be seen in new set videos posted to Delevingne and Besson’s Instagram pages. 

 

 

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is based on the French graphic novel series and sees DeHaan and Delevingne as a pair of time-traveling agents. Besson called the project “the biggest challenge” of his career. “I have around 800 days of work ahead of me, plenty of time to be discouraged or feel lonely, so I’m counting on your support.”

The film is scheduled for release on Jul. 17, 2017. 

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