When is a re-make not a re-make?
Well, that's a bit complicated. In this instance, a re-make is not a re-make when the new producers decide to throw out the original movie and instead focus upon its source material. In the case of Barbarella, this situation indicates that the 1968 Jane Fonda classic, a tastefully erotic exercise in how to seduce a (soon to be?) fallen angel, is out the window.
That's right, Duran Duran fans, you still aren't going to understand your favorite band's decision to name themselves after an obscure 1960s pop reference. Since it's been 40 years and you still haven't mastered Google long enough to figure this out, I'll give you a hint. Duran Duran is a nefarious sex predator whom intergalactic mercenary Barbarella chases throughout the universe in order to prevent him from further usage of his sex toy-related weapons. That's right. He enjoyed torturing people using pimped out (no pun intended) vibrators and the like. Just think about that the next time you hear Hungry Like a Wolf, The Reflex or Save a Prayer.
The 1968 Barbarella release was a strange production. Director Roger Vadim, seeking to recreate the success he had with And God Created Woman, once again cast his wife in the title role. As creepy as this maneuver was with Brigitte Bardot in 1956, it was even more perverse to duplicate 12 years later with his third wife, Jane Fonda. He directed her to have strange, other-worldly sex with (science) fictional characters straight out of some deranged hippy acid trip. The $9 million movie was a complete disaster, and disappeared from public consciousness for a decade.
Then, Barbarella found new life on the nascent home video market, perhaps offering couples a nice compromise between renting Jaws and "renting from the back room" if you know what I mean...and if you are part of the internet generation, you probably don't. Frequent late night airings as cheap sci-fi filler on local television didn't hurt any, either. Over time, Barbarella evolved from the biggest financial disaster since Cleopatra into a cult classic wherein people could see that chick from the workout videos have some of the strangest sex this side of a Belladonna movie.
What Barbarella V2.008 intends to do instead of undressing Jane Fonda (even Ted Turner was tired of that by 1995) is ignore the movie in favor of the comic from which it was created. Jean-Claude Forest and Eric Losfeld, two men I am pretty sure didn't date much, created what they described as an adult comic book. This was not exactly a new genre (dirty drawings go all the way back to the cavemen's wall carvings), but their creation was as close to mainstream as anything of this ilk had ever been up to that point. They were a 1960s precursor to later artists such as frequent adult magazine contributor (and Girl Genius creator) Phil Foglio and American Splendor creator Harvey Pekar.
Robert Rodriguez - director of another seedy comic book adaptation, Sin City - has signed on to direct. If his version of Barbarella faithfully follows the comic book as he did with Frank Miller's masterpiece, the new Barbarella is going to be a lot like the old Barbarella, only with a ton more explicit sex...which is aces by us. We'll let legendary producer Dino De Laurentiis describe what should be expected from this comic book adaptation (but not a re-make) of an existing cult flick. "In our vision, the future is female, and I can't wait to introduce 'Barbarella' to a new generation of moviegoers." So, BOP is expecting lots and lots of lesbianity from the new production. As such, this is now our most anticipated movie of 2008. (David Mumpower/BOP)