Rapper Snoop Dogg has joinedthe cast of Luc Besson's Euros 65m animated film Arthur and will voicethe role of Max.

In an interview with Frenchdaily Le Parisien, Besson said the film, which will be his first directorialeffort since 1999's The Messenger: The Story Of Joan Of Arc, had beenshooting for the past six months and would be finished in mid-2006.

Snoop Dogg will lend hisvoice to the English-language version in which Madonna also has a role asPrincess Selenia. In the article, Besson said that he was hoping David Bowiewould sign on to play the role of the villain.

Arthur is based on the best-selling children's book seriescreated by Besson.

Besson explained that hisdecision to head back behind the camera was based on two things: Patrice Garcia,who illustrated the books, was originally meant to direct but was apparentlyoverwhelmed by the amount of work entailed and experience needed and askedBesson to direct in his stead. Besson told Le Parisien, "When you've done eightfilms you've already said quite a bit. I really needed to have something tosay. A film for kids, that inspired me."

Eric Serra who hascollaborated with Besson on several films, will handle the music for the film.Former Gaumont executive Emmanuel Prevost will co-produce with Buf Compagniehandling 3D effects.