The proposed relaunch of the 1968 science-fiction farce Barbarella as a TV series is gaining traction again. Deadline reports that Amazon Studios has now taken over the project that still has Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn on board as an executive producer. (Refn had been attached to direct, which likely would have added a dark nuance to Barbarella’s zany sexscapades). Screenwriters Nick Purvis and Robert Wade—no strangers to reinterpreting 1960s pop culture, as they've written the last five James Bond films—have penned a pilot script. Barbarella would join other streaming Amazon series such as Alpha House and Betas, as well as the myriad other comedy and drama pilots in the works.
The original Barbarella starred Jane Fonda in the title role, directed by her then-husband Roger Vadim as she searched a futuristic world in a series of go-go outfits for evil weapons inventor Durand-Durand, aided by blind angel Pygar, and while stopping to have various sexpot adventures along the way. The film didn’t make much of a splash on its initial release, but has since attained a cult following, including being listed in the 100 Most Amusingly Bad Movies Ever Made.
Plans for a remake have been discussed before, including an attempt from director Robert Rodriguez a few years ago that would have starred Rose McGowan. Doing it as a regular series will require expanding on Barbarella’s 41st-century adventures with the Great Tyrant, “exaltation transference pills,” and the Excessive Machine (in which one can “die of pleasure”). It might even call for adding a linear, cohesive plot.