Rumors of a “Barbarella” remake have orbited studios for years, but it seems Sony Pictures may have finally found an actress up to the challenge of filling Jane Fonda’s shiny space boots. On Tuesday, Deadline reported that two-time Emmy nominee Sydney Sweeney, known for HBO’s “The White Lotus” and “Euphoria” among other projects, would star in and executive produce a reimagining of Roger Vadim’s 1968 space adventure.
The news comes on the heels of announcements confirming Sweeney’s involvement in two other Sony films. She’ll play an undisclosed role opposite Dakota Johnson in “Madame Web” and both star in and executive produce an adaptation of Madison Lawson’s thriller novel “The Registration.”
As with the original sci-fi flick, the early-stages “Barbarella” remake would reportedly adapt Jean-Claude Forest’s comic series, which ran as a serialized strip for the French publication V Magazine in early 1962 before getting published as a book in 1964. Although not an immediate critical or box office success, Vadim’s big screen spin has earned a cult following in the decades since it hit theaters.
The film follows the titular Barbarella — an intergalactic explorer from the 41st century and a representative for a United Earth (ha!) — as she hunts down the villainous scientist Durand Durand and the dangerous laser technology that human intelligence suspects he has developed. Along her journey, Barbarella encounters a variety of strange beings who challenge her innocence and pure vision of the galaxy.
The campy film explores themes of sexual liberation and, though its success within that arena is debatable, it remains remarkable for a unique visual style, its highly inventive character and set designs, and a prolific, period-appropriate appreciation for the good ol’ Lynda Carter bodysuit and boots combo audiences would see plenty of in the ’70s. Fonda’s performance as Barbarella is divisive among critics, with some arguing her character’s sexless naivety played more spaced-out than satirical and others saying Fonda was the one who made the rest of the strangely slow film watchable.
Among the numerous remakes rumored over the years, Rose McGowan was previously expected to play “Barbarella” in a project the actor was developing with then-fiancé Robert Rodriguez.