Universal Pictures has backed out of the big-budget remake of the 1968 psychedlic sci-fi classic “Barbarella” due to casting and/or budget conflicts reports The New York Observer.
Director Robert Rodriguez (“Sin City,” “Desperado”) apparently insisted on casting his new fiancé, Rose McGowan, in the lead role of the nearly $100 million remake. An interesting parallel, the original starred Jane Fonda and was helmed by her then husband Roger Vadim.
A source tells the paper “It’s sort of embarrassing for everyone involved. No one thinks Rose can carry the movie, but Robert won’t listen.” They add that producer Dino De Laurentiis “wants to back Robert and his vision. But Robert’s vision is blurred by Rose.”
Universal was apparently keen on rushing the project through pre-strike, but with upon discovering Rodriguez refusing to budge on that particular piece of casting, came back with a budget estimate that was significantly less.
Rodriguez himself says that the issue has nothing to do with casting, merely budget – “Universal had initially signed on for $60 million but then when we were done with the script it wound up at closer to $82 million, and they had just financed a Will Ferrell movie [Land of the Lost] that was a $130 million and they even cut that down to $100 [million].”
Rodriguez adds that Universal would still be happy to fund the picture for $60 million but that he was shopping it around to other studios in the hopes of getting more money.
The movie depicts a futuristic astronaut who travels the galaxy, seductively conquering everything in her path. Other famous names floated for the part in the past have included Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry and Jessica Alba.