Rihanna has been cast in the voice role of Smurfette in a new live-action hybrid feature from Paramount Animation, “The Smurfs Movie.” The superstar made a surprise in-person appearance at CinemaCon, Las Vegas’ annual convention of movie theater owners, to make the announcement on Thursday.
“I tried to get the Papa Smurf role but it didn’t work out,” the singer joked onstage at Caesar’s Palace Hotel and Casino, alongside Paramount Animation head Ramsey Naito. It was revealed that Rihanna will star, write and record original songs, and produce the upcoming project. Clad in a stonewash denim cape, she also confirmed she is in her third trimester of pregnancy with her second child.
The film, according to Naito, will explore themes of identity and ask the central question, “What is a Smurf?”
Rihanna previously lent her voice to the DreamWorks animated feature “Home,” which grossed over $380 million at the worldwide box office. Her live-action screen credits include “Battleship,” “This Is the End,” “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” “Ocean’s 8” and “Guava Island.”
Based on comic books by the Belgian artist Peyo, the tribe of little blue creatures previously enjoyed a modern film franchise at Sony Pictures, which kicked off over a decade ago. Director Raja Gosnell (“Scooby-Doo”) made two live-action hybrid films starring Neil Patrick Harris and voices including Julia Roberts, Katy Perry, Hank Azaria and Joe Manganiello.
The film is set to hit theaters on Feb. 14, 2025. Pam Brady wrote the script, and Chris Miller will direct.
In addition to the “Smurfs” reboot, the upcoming Paramount Animation slate includes Seth Rogen’s take on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” a new adventure for “SpongeBob Squarepants” and another ride for “Paw Patrol.”