Barbarella tells the story of a female
mercenary who roams across the universe in a distant future, undertaking
missions that require her physical fearlessness, ingenuity and sensuality.
In travels that span galaxies known and unknown, Barbarella will
challenge tradition, startle the senses and take audiences on an epic
adventure of discovery and wonder. Barbarella
made her debut in 1962 in a French graphic magazine written and
illustrated by Jean-Claude Forest, and her adventures have been published
around the world. The first film version, starring Jane Fonda produced by
Dino De Laurentiis, was released in 1968.
This remake of the so-shite-it’s-actually-good
‘Sixties movie starring Jane Fonda was to be directed by Sin City /
Planet Terror director
Robert Rodriguez for Universal Studios.
Cinema audiences have been threatened with a remake
since the 1990s when Roger Vadim (who directed the original and was
married to Jane Fonda at the time) was touted direct it again with
possibly Sherilyn Fenn and Drew Barrymore in the title role.
In May 2007, it was announced that actress Erica
Durance (Lois Lane in
Smallville) was a front-runner for the role. However, since then it
seems that McGowan (probably best known to audiences as the chick with
machine-gun for a leg in Planet Terror) has been cast in the title
role, beating out Sienna Miller in the process.
The project seems to be stuck in development hell
though. According to the New York Observer, Universal Studios has backed
out of funding the movie because of Rodriguez's insistence to cast McGowan
in the title role. Executives allegedly do not think that she can carry a
$100 million movie and when they learned of Rodriguez's decision to cast
her they slashed the budget significantly.
Rodriguez however denied this, saying, “Universal had
initially signed on for $60 million, but then when we were done with the
script it wound up at closer to $82 million.”
It appears that the filmmaker is currently shopping
the project around to other studios in the hopes of getting more money. He
has cited the fact that most of the movie takes place in outer space as
the reason for the rise in budget, and that “we don’t want the movie to
look like the original” (i.e., pretty cheesy).
To be honest we never in particular liked the
original movie. The only good thing in it was a zero-G striptease
featuring Fonda over the title credits and while we’ll pay good money to
see McGowan to perform a zero-G striptease we don’t know if that is
actually enough to base a movie on. Then again they built an entire movie
(Barbwire) around Pamela Anderson’s boobs,
so what do we know?
Status update (24 April 2009): When director
Rodriguez recently mentioned his next slew of projects during a recent
press conference there was no mention of Barbarella. One can only
assume the project is dead or has been put on hold. (The director's next
films are a “a sci-fi action film called
Nerverackers, a re-boot of the Predator
series called Predators, and a couple of
smaller movies called Sin City 2 and The
Status update (10 August 2009):
A Barbarella remake will go ahead without Rodriguez's involvement.