Film News

New "Barbarella" in works

Producer Dino De Laurentiis accepts the David O. Selznick Achievement Award at the 15th annual Producers Guild Awards for Motion Pictures and Television in Los Angeles, California January 17, 2004. REUTERS/Jim Ruymen

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - “Barbarella” is getting a new lease on life courtesy of producer Dino De Laurentiis.

The veteran Italian filmmaker, who turns 90 on Saturday, is developing a remake of his original 1968 sci-fi movie, which immortalized Jane Fonda as a sex symbol.

Australian filmmaker Robert Luketic (“The Ugly Truth”) is attached to direct from a screenplay to be written by Joe Gazzam.

Robert Rodriguez was previously involved with the project, when it was set up at Universal in May 2007, with an eye to making it a vehicle for his girlfriend Rose McGowan. But the studio and director reportedly could not agree on where to shoot. After the parting of ways, a new direction for “Barbarella” was sought.

“Barbarella” centers on a female mercenary who roams the universe of a distant future, undertaking missions that require fearlessness, ingenuity and sensuality. The character debuted in 1962 in a French graphic magazine written and illustrated by Jean-Claude Forest and was known for her sexual escapades. There also was a musical produced in 2004.

The new take on the iconic character will not be campy, though it will keep the sexuality; there will be seductions, but the focus will be on the adventure.

The project is not set up at any studio, though De Laurentiis and his wife Martha plan on shopping it when the script is in shape. Gazzam wrote a movie version of “21 Jump Street.”