Robert Rodriguez, director of Grindhouse and Sin City, has signed on to direct the remake of Barbarella, which according to the Hollywood Reporter is being fast-tracked by Universal for a 2008 release. It is being produced by Dino De Laurentiis (who also produced the 1968 film) and Martha De Laurentiis. The original movie, starring Jane Fonda, was based on a 1962 French comic book by Jean-Claude Forest, and featured Barbarella's many interstellar (sexual) escapades.
I'll be honest: The only time I've seen Barbarella was when it was playing on video screens in the background at a lesbian burlesque show. (That actually seems quite appropriate, come to think of it.) But given Rodriguez's history of making movies with, um, exploitative underpinnings, I'm a little leery of this new development.
Rodriguez said: "Dino De Laurentiis came to me and said, '"Barbarella" is a world where you are completely free to unleash all your fantasies, creativity and imagination — where the possibilities are limitless. I love this iconic character and all that she represents, and I'm truly excited by the challenge of inviting a new audience into her universe."
Rodriguez will be collaborating with Casino Royale writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade on the script for the updated version of Barbarella. Producer Martha De Laurentiis said, "We wanted the film to play as a big, legitimately exciting adventure in space, but we also know that the character of Barbarella is grounded in a very specific reality." What reality is that? 1968 camp sci-fi? All of this makes me think the Barbarella remake is a movie you're either gonna love or hate.
No word yet on who will replace Jane Fonda, but here's Scribe Grrrl's list of favorite possibilities.