Paramount Pictures has announced that the multi-talented singer and fashion icon, Rihanna, has signed on to star as Smurfette in a new The Smurfs reboot. The film, which is currently untitled, will be a musical which, in part, explains Rihanna’s inclusion.
The media behemoth made this announcement during its special panel at the recently concluded CinemaCon 2023, where the popstar made a surprise appearance alongside Paramount Animation head honcho Ramsey Naito.
During the announcement, Naito revealed that the film will focus on themes of identity with its characters attempting to discover and answer the question "What is a Smurf?"
Brian Robbins, the president of Paramount and Nickelodeon, expressed his excitement at Rihanna's casting. He stated, "On behalf of our studio and our creative partners at LAFIG, we couldn't be more excited to have found our Smurfette in one of the most beloved stars in the world. With Rihanna's singular creative appeal and musical talents, there is an enormous opportunity to elevate the cultural touchstone of The Smurfs universe in a way that's never been done before."
Besides her role as Smurfette, Rihanna will write and record original songs for the film, as well as serve as one of the film’s producers. Pam Brady, best known for her work on South Park, penned its script, while Chris Miller, whose portfolio includes Shrek the Third and Puss in Boots, will direct.
While Rihanna achieved stardom as a pop icon, the upcoming Smurfs project is not her first venture into acting. In 2015, she starred in the science fiction comedy animated film Home which grossed $380 million at the box office. She has also featured in a handful of popular and successful live-action films, including Ocean 8, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and Battleship.
Created by the Belgian comic artist Pierre Culliford, The Smurfs are a tribe of little, blue, furry creatures that live in a forest. While they live on their terms, they are often subjected to attacks by the villainous character Gargamel. The characters originally appeared as supporting characters in a 1950s comic. However, they were well received by audiences, which led to them getting their own comic series. They have since inspired a movie franchise and the untitled project is only the latest installment of that franchise.
The untitled Smurfs movie is slated to arrive in theaters on February 14, 2025.