Universal’s BARBARELLA Remake Still Possible – Even Without Robert Rodriguez?

     May 27, 2009

barbarella_movie_image_jane_fonda__8_.jpgA few weeks back, “Sin City” director Robert Rodriguez told MTV that he was abandoning his long-cherished dream of rebooting the 1960’s camp-classic “Barbarella”.  The plans for a “Barbarella” redux go back to 2007 when producers Dino and Martha De Laurentiis acquired the rights and brought on “Casino Royale” writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade to update the film’s concept – that of a scantily clad warrior-woman on a mission to save the scientist Durand Durand through the power of the female orgasm.  And no, I am not making this up.

Robert Rodriguez was brought on as director, Rose McGowan was cast in the role that made Jane Fonda a star and the whole thing was set for a tentative 2008 release.  In fact, the date was so tentative that 2008 came and went with little more than a few storyboards to prove that a “Barbarella” remake was even in the works.  In the meantime, McGowan and Rodriguez got busy with other projects – and busy with each other – and a new generation of film fans continued to be deprived of the pleasure of seeing a hot woman pleasure herself for the benefit of humanity.

But not so fast!  Looks like Universal and Dino De Laurentiis have not abandoned their dream of a “Barbarella” remake – even if Robert Rodriguez has.  A source quoted by Moviehole says that the producer is “meeting with writers as we speak” and that the project is “far from dead.”

Pursuing “Barbarella” without the benefit of Robert Rodriguez may seem ill-advised – but hey!  It’s Universal’s film to ruin!  A movie like “Barbarella” is not your run-of-the-mill remake.  It will take a writer and a director of rare ability to avoid the pitfalls of overt-cheesiness that made the original such an underground sensation.  I’m sure there are a few people besides Robert Rodriguez who could get the job done – either as a comedy or as an ironic, futuristic-fable – but if Universal balked at Rodriguez’s $80 million budget, then it doesn’t look like they’re going to be aiming for quality the second time around…

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