Back in 2012, Gaumont International Television announced its intention to bring a reboot of “Barbarella” to TV after failing to get a remake of the classic Barbarella film off of the ground. Nearly two years later, “Barbarella” finally has a new home.
Deadline is reporting that Amazon Studios has picked up the pilot script for “Barbarella” by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (Skyfall) with a potential greenlight for a pilot episode to follow. Amazon is also said to looking for a showrunner to take on “Barbarella" if it becomes a series.
"Barbarella" was originally created by French artist and writer, Jean-Claude Forest in 1962 and published within the pages of V-Magazine. "Barbarella" was later released as a standalone book and it became one of the most famous examples of early "adult comics.” However, it is more widely known for the 1968 Barbarella feature film starring Jane Fonda as the title character.
Although Amazon is pushing into original programming with “Alpha House” and “Betas,” it has yet to emerge as a true competitor to Netflix’s original series. To date, Amazon’s most ambitious pilot was “Zombieland.” However, negative fan reaction to the “Zombieland” pilot “successfully hated it out of existence” according to Zombieland creator Rhett Reese.
Part of the backlash against Amazon’s “Zombieland” pilot may have stemmed from its questionable production values. For a sci-fi fantasy project like “Barbarella,” Amazon is actually going to have to spend some money on it even if it maintains the campy tone of the feature film.
However, Gaumont is also producing “Hannibal” for NBC and “Hemlock Grove” for Netflix, so the company has some recent experience with original series.
Nicolas Refn (Valhalla Rising) will apparently no longer direct the “Barbarella” pilot, but he remains attached to the project as an executive producer alongside Martha De Laurentiis. Amazon will likely make a decision on whether to give “Barbarella” a pilot episode early this year.