Nikki Finke has confirmed Robert Rodriguez’ story with her Universal sources, and it APPEARS that McGowan wasn’t the sore point in the Barbarella project after all. Apparently the Universal execs fell in love with Rose, who appeared in an early screen test back in July.
“a rather spectacular screen test of Rose playing the role of Barbarella that also demonstrated Robert’s vision and visual style for the movie. We all saw that it would work and signed on.”
“And all of us got our arms around the real movie Robert wanted to make. It had grown in its ambition. Robert’s visualization of a sci-fi universe flushed out in set pieces and sequences started to become apparent. It was a much larger film than we had originally discussed.”
The proposed $60 million budget turned into $80+ million, and Universal got nervous. Heck, it doesn’t matter how good Rose was if she isn’t a name that will put buts in seats. Rodriguez shaved the budget down to $72 million, but that was still way more than the studio was interested in investing. That is when Universal boss Marc Schmuger told Rodriguez to try and set it up elsewhere, but to get back to them if he could get the budget down to around $60.
I’m still not interested in seeing a Barbarella remake, and most, if not everyone I’ve talked to seem to be in agreement. Young people see movies, and a movie with the Barbarella name calls back to an older generation. And Young people don’t want an idea rehashed from their parent’s childhood. However, the fact that Finke says that Universal were sold on Robert’s vision of the film. To tell the El Mariachi director that they have $60 million for a $80 million movie, puts Rodriguez in an interesting corner. Rodriguez is best when he is forced to be creative.