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Less than a month after Robert Rodriguez announced his relationship with space siren Barbarella was over, EW are reporting that she’s already found her new man. According to them, Legally Blonde and 21 director Robert Luketic is the lucky fella up for the job. The original big screen Barbarella was Jane Fonda, who Luketic directed in the execrable Monster in Law. Is there some kind of six degrees of Dino de Laurentiis at work here?

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Some will be sad, some will rejoice, others still will shrug but Robert Rodriguez and Rose McGowan‘s proposed Barbarella is, according to the man himself, dead. Talking to MTV, the director has revealed that he turned down $70 million in finance because of a tricky little clause in the small print.

The money would have come from a German company and they were requesting he shoot and carry out post in Germany too. He says:

Nothing against Germany, but I have five kids and I was like, ‘God, I don’t know if we can do that. I don’t know if I can be away that long.’

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Robert Rodriguez, Rose McGowan, and director Douglas Aarniokoski sat down to answer a bunch of questions from fans about Red Sonja at Comic Con today, and also took the liberty of showing off some of the teaser poster artwork they had come up with. Putting aside the bizarre coincidence that one of the teasers was the third poster this week to play up the hot-girl-licks-dripping-blood theme (complete with the contrast of the pale white skin against the harsh red hues), the artwork on display amounted to some damn fine looking imagery. I particularly like the shot of McGowan sitting on a mountain of skulls with her glowing red hair blowing in the wind. Morbid, yet also kind of hot.

There were also some rather cool tidbits that seeped through the cracks in regards to the visual style of the film and what kind of prep they’ve been doing to prepare for filming in the months ahead.

But first, for those wondering why Robert Rodriguez isn’t directing the film, it’s not by choice. He has a contract still going that requires his next film to be with the Weinsteins, and thus he is unable to work on this at the same time. This lead to his decision to have Douglas Aarnioko (Rodriguez’s first assistant director on everything from From Dusk Till Dawn to Spy Kids) helm the film. At the same time, I got the impression this was just a clever ruse for Rodriguez to direct the film while avoiding any legal trouble. It wouldn’t be the first time he decided to try something so unconventional, what with him dropping out of the DGA due to issues with his invention of the “special guest director” credit with Quentin Tarantino on Sin City. Compared to Aarniokoski, Rodriguez was clearly the more enthusiastic of the two, harboring a deep love of the source material and professing that his stamp on the material would definitely be noticeable.

As far as where the current stage the film is at right now, it was announced that Rodriguez and Aarniokoski had been scouting locations across the country for the past three weeks, while Rose McGowan would start her sword training this following week. The big note of interest though came from one of the Q&A participants, who asked if they were going to be incorporating green screen effects like they did on Sin City (or how it was later done with 300). The filmmaking duo explained that they were going to be using both, enhancing the practical locations in a way that differentiates it from other recent sword-and-sandal movies and gives it a unique look that we’ve never seen before. It sounded like they already had something particular in mind, so it will be interesting to see what eventually ends up on screen.

Rodriguez also went on to explain that the film would be very dark, following more along the lines of the novels than the comics. The most important difference between this incarnation and the original, however, came courtesy of Rose McGowan, who noted, “I wont have a mullet.” Bless you for that, Rose. Bless you. McGowan’s contributions didn’t end there either. When going into detail about why she wanted to do the project upon receiving the script, she explained that it’s important to “do what you want to do” instead of focusing simply on being a role model. “And I wanted to take a giant sword and kill a lot of people.”

Another interesting tidbit she offered up was a hint at what kind of action we could expect, referencing that it would be similar in ways to the free-running chase sequence that kicked off Casino Royale but with swords. As soon as I heard that I immediately had this mental image of the PS3 game Heavenly Sword, with the red-haired gal sliding across vines and launching in between enemies and various obstacles with stunning visual flair. If the Red Sonja film can capture even a smidgen of that gorgeous style, it’s sure to be an interesting ride.

Photos and posters above courtesy of Yahoo, MoviesOnline, and Filmz.ru. Head on over to those sites for high resolution versions.

Awesome.

Don’t worry, /Film isn’t dyeing its hair purple and designing a line of Hot Topic apparel. According to various gossip sites, Rose McGowan and Robert Rodriguez have split, thus throwing McGowan’s roles in Barbarella aka “my space ship is nearly finished, seriously,” the newly announced Red Sonja revamp, and Girls in Chains! into question. If true, this is like the end of an era in GeekLand, and we’re pretty happy about it.

Discuss: Who should play Barbarella? Some sites have tipped Jessica Alba. Erm.

We bring you this post live from the vacant, fully constructed sets of Robert Rodriguez‘s Barbarella remake. It’s really damp and dark in here. Is that a thong? Anyhow, genre movie auteur Rodiguez and his fiancee, Rose McGowan, are pitching a new hands-on television series entitled Women in Chains! to various networks, among them NBC (?) and FX according to the Hollywood Reporter. As previously dished and heavily punctuated by AICN, the planned series is an ode to female prison exploitation fare (re: grindhousey) featuring “sadistic guards, cafeteria hosedowns, mud wrestling and violent vendettas.” Settle down everyone Joe Bob Briggs.

McGowan, the future Barbarella and leg-gunning Planet Terror muse, will reportedly star as one of the five heavily restrained female leads, and Rodriguez is expected to direct. The show is co-created and scribed by writer/actor Josh Miller (actor, Near Dark) and Mark Fortin. HBO would seem a fitting destination, yes, but it’s out of the question, as their redo of the British female prison show Bad Girls is currently moving forward. Showtime and AMC also seem like fine candidates. NBC, not so much (at all).

I’m thinking uber-crude, cleverly concealed weapons the size of grapefruits and Burt Reynolds as a warden highly susceptible to bribes, moonshine and cocaine. What about you? More on Women in Chains! as it develops. And by the way, didn’t Black Snake Moan already drop such throwback imagery into the pop culture sphere only to receive a not-shocking-big-whatever welcome?

Discuss: Women in Chains! The new Sex and the City? Or the next (pop an Ambien) Swingtown?

 

“You could have used a scantily pic.”

Actress Rose McGowan tells MTV that “I’ve got part of a spaceship built for me!” In other words, she’s the pale, titular character in Robert Rodriguez‘s big budget remake of Barbarella and the doubters can eat cake. We’ve known about her attachment to the role made famous by a pin-up era Jane Fonda for eons now, but last year rumors persisted that Universal wasn’t copacetic with her casting. Not so, she says. The only obstacle blocking her kitschy spaceship from flight is the looming possibility of a SAG strike…

“Half of the sets have been built. The costumes are done,” McGowan confessed. …[‘Barbarella’] wouldn’t be able to be finished before June which is when the next strike might happen,” McGowan said of delays in the face of a possible SAG strike. “It’s a longer shoot.”

She calls the rumors (and tabloid gossip) about a beef with Universal bollocks…

“[The news that I was out] was really irritating because I know all the people over there and obviously it wasn’t true. It was very malicious and there was no proof,” McGowan said of the rumors. “Oftentimes these things have basis in truth but this didn’t. I have contracts to prove it.”

Will her and her mate’s remake surpass the original, a movie that teenagers are probably as familiar with as the identity of Spinderella? She gives a big “very.”

“The original doesn’t have a lot to go on plot-wise. It’s one thing to do a remake of something that could have been much better storywise even if it was fantastic visually. It’s another thing to remake something flawless,” McGowan said. “That way if yours isn’t that good at least yours is better than that one.”

So what do you think? Can this flick work? Execs have to be haunted by the dreadful performance and reception to female-lead genre movies like Elektra and Catwoman, both of which had bigger stars. And camp is really hard to sell. This could easily be Perm: The Movie to a lot guys if it doesn’t connect in terms of special effects and sex appeal. Overall: bad vibes.

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Robert Rodriguez to Direct Clash of the Titans?

In the story of big budget remake of Barbarella, Universal and Robert Rodriguez split over budget issues or his refusal to cast anyone other than his girlfriend Rose McGowan in the lead role (depending on what story you read). The director’s attempts to lower the budget from $80 million to $60 million have thus far been unsuccessful. And with a writers strike now in effect, the project is probably on hold indefinitely. So what is Rodriguez to do?

LatinoReview has heard that Warner Bros is interested in having the Sin City director tackle the Clash of the Titans remake. A while back it was reported that Raiders and Empire screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, with Travis Beacham (Killing on Carnival Row) drafting a script. Last month it was rumored that Sam Raimi was offered the gig, but nothing was officially announced. So it appears that the studio is on a hunt for a new director, and Rodrgiuez would be perfect for the job. It should also be noted that Rodriguez was in talks at Warner to helm either a live-action Jetsons movie or a big screen version of Land of the Lost before he latched onto Barbarella. So it’s very likely that Warner would go to Rodriguez with this project since his schedule has suddenly cleared up. But for now this is all rumor. Rodriguez could turn down the offer. One thing is for sure, if Rodriguez does decide to sign on for the project, I’m pretty sure we all know who will be playing Medusa.

The original Desmond Davis film was an adaptation of the myth of Perseus which told his quest to battle both Medusa and the Kraken monster in order to save the Princess Andromeda. The movie is famous for its use of Ray Harryhausen’s stop motion animated creatures.

Last week The New York Observer broke the news that Universal Studios had backed out of Robert Rodriguez’s big screen big-budget remake of Barbarella because Robert was unable to budge on the casting choice of his new fiance, Rose McGowan. Of course, McGowan isn’t a big enough star to carry a “$100 million film.”

“It’s sort of embarrassing for everyone involved,” Observer’s source said. “No one thinks Rose can carry the movie, but Robert won’t listen.”

Our friends at IESB talked to Robert, who of course denies that the production trouble had anything to do with casting. Rodriguez claims that it had to do with the skyrocketing budget, which is currently around 82 million. According to the Sin City director, Universal wanted to do the film for around $60 million.

Reporting on Hollywood has made me learn how to read between the lines of Hollywood speak lies. I’m guessing that Universal was more than willing to do Barbarella for $80+ million if there were a big name star attached, and Rodriguez is hoping that the studio may budge if he can bring down the budget. And Rodriguez is great with cutting corners and getting the maximum value out of the littlest money. So I don’t doubt that he wouldn’t be able to bring in the film for much cheaper. But the real question is, will Universal greenlight a McGowan-led Barbarella for $60 million? I’m not too sure, even that price tag is a bit high, and the studio wants a reasonable guarantee that they will make a return on their investment.

Honestly, I hope that Universal does not greenlight this project. Barbarella is a film that doesn’t need to be remade. Rodriguez is a tremendous talent, and his efforts could be better spend elsewhere, on a better project. I also don’t think that this generation with latch on to a Barbarella remake, and that the concept is pretty much failed in marketing conception. And with Rose in the lead, it doesn’t make the marketing department’s job any easier.

Last we heard, Kate Beckinsale was in consideration to play the lead role in Robert Rodriguez’s remake of Barbarella. But to be honest, if Rodriguez’s name wasn’t attached to the project, we wouldn’t have even known that much.  And even then, I was kind of hoping that this was going to be one of those projects that fell into development hell.

Well, it gets even worse. JoBlo is reporting that Rodriguez’s girlfriend and Planet Terror star Rose McGowan is being used for FX test footage of the film. Could this mean McGowan is in? She wasn’t a big enough star to sell tickets for Grindhouse (which I still believe to be one of this year’s best movies). Does anyone actually want to see a Barbarella remake anyways? And do any of those people want to see a Bararella with Rose McGowan? I don’t think so.
The project is scheduled to start principal photography before year’s end, so we’ll find out the cast soon enough.