The Barbarella Fiasco: Robert Rodriguez vs Universal
Some news started spreading last week about the upcoming Barbarella remake that Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror, Sin City) is directing. The report originated at The New York Observer, where they stated that Universal Pictures had dropped the film because Rodriguez wouldn't budge on his casting choice of his fiance Rose McGowan. The Observer said that "no one thinks Rose can carry the movie, but Robert won't listen." Now an update has arrived courtesy of IESB who spoke with Rodriguez quite recently and heard that it was a different reason. His response was that the issues were with the budget, not with Rose, and that it might be returning to Universal soon enough.
The original story that kicked off at the Observer claimed that it was Rose McGowan that was causing the studio to back out because the budget was rumored to be upwards of $100 million. The general consensus is that Rose can't carry a $100 million film. If you look at Grindhouse, which was highly focused on her (in both of the movies), that pretty much failed. However, I don't think that claim would carry over to Barbarella, but apparently the studio execs and almost everyone else does.
Rodriguez made an appearance recently at the Spike TV Scream Awards and IESB had a chance to talk with him very briefly were he provided his own response to the whole fiasco. He said that the issues had to do with the "skyrocketing budget", not Rose. And he also added that "we will know in a week about Barbarella and it might go back to Universal." Now this just makes this entire thing even more confusing.
The budget is now rumored to be less than $100 million. Rodriguez said that the budget is currently at around $82 million, but Universal is willing to do it if he can get it down to $60 million. All of this talk of money is making me dizzy! Why don't they just let Rodriguez make his movie?! However, they may be right on this one. Who really wants to see a Barbarella remake anyway?