Image Source: Getty / Alberto E. Rodriguez / CinemaCon
Rihanna is lending her voice to a new project, but it's not the ninth album fans have been hoping for since 2016. On April 27, the "Lift Me Up" singer made a surprise appearance at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, where she announced that she will be playing Smurfette in the upcoming Smurfs musical movie.
In addition to voicing the animated character, Rihanna joins the project - directed by Chris Miller and Matt Landon - as a writer and producer, according to Entertainment Weekly. Notably, the Paramount adaptation will follow a separate storyline from Sony's three-part series, which starred Neil Patrick Harris, Katy Perry, Sofía Vergara, and Hank Azaria. The upcoming musical will also feature original songs by Rihanna. It's not the album we've long been waiting for, but new music is new music.
"I got to play a part and just imagine. I got to just be myself."
Rihanna has showcased her acting skills in high-profile movies like "Ocean's 8" (2018) and "Battleship" (2012) in the past, but the live-action/animation hybrid film marks the star's first venture into voice acting since "Home" in 2015. "I got to play a part and just imagine. I got to just be myself," Rihanna, who is expecting her second child with A$AP Rocky, said of playing the classic blue character. "I got to show up in my pajamas in my third trimester and play a little blue badass."
In addition to giving Smurfette's character her signature moxy, Rihanna added that she hopes the new role will give her "a little bit of cool points" with her kids, including her nearly 1-year-old son. Jokingly, Rihanna added that she initially auditioned to play Papa Smurf, "but it didn't work out."
"On behalf of our studio and our creative partners, we couldn't be more excited to have found our Smurfette in one of the most beloved stars in the world," Paramount said. "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."
"The Smurfs Musical" is slated for release on Feb. 14, 2025, and no one seems more excited than Rihanna. During her time onstage, the star added that reimagining Smurfette was a "fun journey" and that she can't wait to see the project realized onscreen. "The entire movie is going to be so fun," she said. "It's so thrilling."