Weta Digital to help bring new Rihanna sci-fi flick to life

Singer Rihanna has signed on to join the all-star cast of The Valerian.

Singer Rihanna has signed on to join the all-star cast of The Valerian.

French film director Luc Besson has enlisted the help of Kiwi production company Weta Digital, among others, to help bring his sci-fi world to life in the 2017 mega-film Valerian.

Besson, whose 2014 hit Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson, dominated at the box office, is set to write and direct the film which is based on Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres' 1967 graphic novel Valerian and Laureline.

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According to Variety magazine, Valerian has a budget of $180 million, unlike Lucy which held a modest budget of $40 million.

Joe Letteri, senior VFX supervisor for Weta Digital, explained the French director had big plans in store, telling the magazine: "There's going to be no holding back on this one because everything Luc (Besson) is trying to create has got such scope in every frame. We just have to use any technique available to us."

"Where you can shoot it, great, especially if you can get interaction for your actors. You want the believability, and the grounding, and the realism as much as possible," Letteri said.

Letteri told Variety Weta Digital would be creating many of the film's alien characters. "I just loved the feeling of it and where he was going with it. We just wanted to get in there and do as much as we could."

The Wellington-based digital company have collaborated on big budget films including Fantastic Four, Lord of The Rings, Avatar and King Kong.

The film, which is scheduled for release in 2017, is set amidst a sci-fi world in the 28th century. The film's all-star cast stars the likes of Dane DeHaan (A Place Beyond The Pines) Clive Owen (Inside Man) Cara Delevingne (Suicide Squad) and most recently, pop-star Rihanna (Battleship).

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