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.

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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.

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On March 25th, we had the opportunity to talk with most of the stars and directors of Grindhouse. We sat down with Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, From Dusk Till Dawn) to talk about his horror/zombie feature Planet Terror.

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On March 25th, we had the opportunity to talk with most of the stars and directors of Grindhouse. We will be posting the interviews leading up until the film’s release on April 6th 2007.

We sat down with Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill) and Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, From Dusk Till Dawn) to talk about their upcoming double feature.

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grindhouserollingstone.jpgJust thought I would point out that Rosario Dawson and Rose McGowan are on the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone wearing nothing but bullets. Now that’s hot. The issue is on newsstands until April 19th 2007.

Grindhouse hits theaters this Friday.

Interview: Grindhouse star Rose McGowan

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On March 25th, we had the opportunity to talk with most of the stars of Grindhouse. We will be posting the interviews leading up until the film’s release on April 6th 2007.

We sat down with Rose McGowan (Scream, Jawbreaker) to talk about her role as the gun legged stripper in Robert Rodriguez’ Planet Terror. McGowan’s character was also featured in Tarantino’s Death Proof.

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Rose McGowan talks Black Oasis

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A couple weeks back it was announced that Rose McGowan would star in a biopic of B-movie actress Susan Cabot. We spoke to McGowan about that film, and she revealed a lot about the woman, the story, and what we can expect from Black Oasis:

It’s great, I’m really excited. I’m attached to Black Oasis, which is coming up. It’s the story of Susan Cabot and it’s very strange that she is this B-movie star in these Roger Corman films like Wasp Woman and she had an insane life. Kind of really tragic in many ways. She was really short, probably about four foot ten, I’m definitely taller than that. She would go around in eight inch platforms. She was obsessed and thought that her career wasn’t reaching a certain level because of her height. She actually went out with King Hussein, and they were going to get married until he found out her real name was Harriet Shapiro and that she was born Jewish. So he could marry her. And then she had a kid and she became really obsessed with him being strong and tall and he was going to be all the things she could never be but he was born of dwarfism. And she put him through all these experimental treatments that would make him grow tall. And the guy who wrote it and is directing it is Stephan Elliott, who wrote and directed The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.  And the woman producing it is awesome. The production company is great. Hilary Shor just produced Children of Men, so they have really great people attached. Also she starts going crazier, and her life, as she gets crazier and crazier she starts thinking that she’s in all the movies she was in. All these insane movies are happening. So I get to go back to all these sets and be in all these crazy movies. That’s going to be fantastic, I’m very excited.

Black Oasis will shoot this fall, and is tentatively scheduled for a 2009 release. See Rose in Grindhouse, which hits theaters on April 6th 2007.

New Photos from Grindhouse’s Planet Terror

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Some new photos from Planet Terror, Robert Rodriguez’ zombie horror segment of the much hyped double feature have turned up online. Check out the images below (after the jump). As always, left click for higher res.

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