After bringing Hannibal to television with an upcoming NBC series, Gaumont International Television and producer Martha De Laurentiis are looking to do the same for another iconic character, Barbarella. GIT, the U.S.-based production and distribution arm of European feature studio Gaumont, is teaming with De Laurentiis and Drive director Nicolas Refn for a TV series that will be based on the character created by Jean-Claude Forest in a graphic novel and made famous in the 1968 sci-fi movie staring Jane Fonda as a sexpot tasked with finding and stopping the evil weapons inventor. Refn will direct and executive produce the series alongside De Laurentiis, whose late husband Dino produced the 1968 movie.
Refn called Barbarella “one of the ultimate counter-cultural characters.” Added GIT CEO Katie O’Connell, “We are thrilled to have secured the rights from the Forest estate and are thrilled to be pairing the bold visceral style of Nicolas Refn with the pop culture icon Barbarella.” In addition to Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal starring Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen, GIT also is producing the upcoming Eli Roth series Hemlock Grove starring Famke Janssen and Bill Skarsgard for Netflix. Gaumont is producing two of Refn’s next feature films, including Only God Forgives starring Ryan Gosling. Dino and Martha De Laurentiis originally acquired film rights to Barbarella in 2007. Dino was working on a feature Barbarella remake before his 2010 death; the project attracted a slew of directors and young actress but ultimately didn’t take flight.
Normally this kind of thing would make me groan, however I love Refn’s movies, Drive was a highlight of 2011, so… this could be good.