Hailed as “the most beautiful creature” of the future, Barbarella is returning to our time. And as we all know, Barbarella is a “five-star double-rated astronavigatrix Earth girl” played by Jane Fonda in the 1968 film, but who should play her today? Why, Sydney Sweeney, of course. Per Deadline, the Euphoria star will lead and executive produce a remake (or reboot or legacy sequel or whatever they’re making these days) of Barbarella for Sony.
Based on the French comic by Jean-Claude Forest, Barbarella follows the aforementioned astronavigatrix on a “wingdinger,” traveling from planet to planet “doing her thing”—ok, we’ll stop quoting the incredible trailer for the ’68 movie. But the plot of the original sees Barbarella go from planet to planet, being groovy while trying to stop the mad scientist Durand Durand from taking over the galaxy with his Positronic Ray.
Of course, what made the original so iconic was Jane Fonda dealing with all these cheap, late 60s science fiction props, costumes, and sets. It’s a ridiculous movie, which could make for a fun Sydney Sweeney project if handled correctly.
There has been no shortage of people trying to make a new Barbarella in the last fifty years. In the 2000s, Robert Rodriguez tried to get a Barbarella movie going with Rose McGowan, but Rodriguez left the project after the budget exceeded $80 million.
“It was a real bummer,” Rodriguez told MTV at the time. “We had all this artwork and screen tests of what it would look like. It was a really cool, R-rated, sexy—almost like that [1981 animated] movie, Heavy Metal—version of a Star Wars movie. Something that no one ever could get to see. It was gonna be really great.”
In 2012, Amazon announced a TV series pilot written by James Bond scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who worked on the Rodriguez project and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. Ultimately, Refn dropped out to make The Neon Demon.
“I don’t own Barbarella, the estate does, but I decided to be more interested in the The Neon Demon,” Refn told The Playlist in 2016. “Plus there are other television things that caught my attention. I actually enjoy designing it from the beginning. […] Certain things are better left untouched. You don’t need to remake everything.”
Who knows. Maybe Sydney Sweeney will prove him wrong.