After steadily working in the industry and finally getting a breakout hit with Drive, director Nicolas Winding Refn is making an unusual move. Deadline reports that the acclaimed director will head to the small screen to direct and executive produce a television series based on the 1968 Jane Fonda sci-fi classic Barbarella. More below.
Longtime readers of this site may recall that a feature film remake of Barbarella was in the works with Robert Rodriguez directing and Rose McGowan in talks to star, but when they split back in ’08, the project fell by the wayside. Mega-producer Dino De Laurentiis and his wife Martha acquired the film rights back in 2007 and hoped to usher the property to a new audience, but when Dino passed away in 2010, development stalled further. Now Martha is teaming with Winding Refn to bring Barbarella, whom Refn referred to as “one of the ultimate counter-cultural characters,” to television.
I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the ’68 film, but I remember the production design being pretty mind-blowing and the sexual themes and plotlines were definitely not subtle. It will be really interesting to see how a visceral filmmaker like Nicolas Winding Refn comes to terms with the restrictions of television to tell stories about this character, so I think the best thing we can hope for is that it gets picked up by HBO or Showtime so those restrictions are as small as possible.