Barbarella (TBA)

Rose McGowan
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez

U.S. Opening Date: TBA



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 Jetsons”.)

  • Status update (10 August 2009): A Barbarella remake will go ahead without Rodriguez's involvement.


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