Yes, MTV News learned exclusively during a conversation with the director to promote the Blu-ray version of “Sin City” that his “Barbarella” is officially dead.
The film had been in development for years. Back in 2007, Universal Pictures was set to make the picture with Rose McGowan taking over the lead role from original star Jane Fonda. But the budget was said to have swelled past $80 million dollars and Universal balked. Rodriguez went in search of alternate financing.
“It came to the point where [a company from] Germany offered us a $70 million budget, which would have been by far the biggest budget I ever would have had for a movie,” Rodriguez told MTV News. “But I had to shoot it in Germany and post it in Germany. 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.’”
Rodriguez reluctantly said no and moved on to other projects. “It was a real bummer,” he admitted. “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.”
The director hopes to one day release the artwork just so fans can see what he was planning—and so those who questioned his decision to revisit the original will see the error of their ways. “People said, ‘Why are you doing ‘Barbarella?’” he told us. “And I showed them the artwork and explained it. They would go, ‘Ooooh, okay!’”
The decision to make Barbarella stemmed from his work with Frank Miller on “Sin City” in 2005. “After ‘Sin City,’ I was looking through all my comic collection to see, ‘Well, what else might I make?’ The only other thing that I had tons of were Heavy Metal magazines. I said, ’I wanna make a Heavy Metal movie!’ And ‘Barbarella’ fit the bill because you could have everything in that movie.”
At least, that was the plan…
Are you as sad as we are to see a new “Barbarella” not happen? What comics would you like to see Rodriguez adapt?