Barbarella: Hello Pretty Pretty
Generally my reaction to any remake is somewhere between disgust and dismay. More often than not that reaction is out of respect for the original film, its place in film-making history or simply out of some kind of personal affection or the original.
The disgust is mostly bought on from what I perceive to a blatant attempt to rehash an idea which plainly doesn’t need to be remade. What I mean is that there are plenty of older film kicking around which ‘hold up’ extremely well, I’d much rather see a re-released, cleaned up, version of a classic, than a bland, heartless, sausage-machine remake (I’m thinking specifically of ‘The Thing’ here… Don’t do it people, just don’t friggin do it!) of a classic.
When my reaction is ‘dismay’ it will often be accompanied by a muttered “What the f@#k for??”: Seriously team, some films should never be remade. Indeed, quite a few should never have been made in the first place! Usually my feeling, in these situations is that the film in question wasn’t really that strong to begin with, so it hardly seems worth the time and effort to retread an old tire.. You know, it’s the old ‘building a straw house on weak foundations and mixed metaphors’ theory.
However, my reaction to the news that there is talk of a BARBARELLA remake in the works belongs in neither of those categories. I think where I’m at is somewhere between bemusement and slight arousal. Mind you, that last one could just be bought on by the images of a pert young Jane Fonda that popped into my head almost immediately upon hearing about the project.
It’s incredible to think that the Barbarella was made before many of us were born and yet Jane Fonda’s sexy heroin is still a common reference point for any modern sci-fi babe: I’m sure I read recently someone refer to Claudia Black’s SG1 character as Barbarella-esque.
Anyway, when it comes having faith in the people behind a remake, you have to feel pretty good about having a guy like Dino De Laurentiis producing Barbarella. Why? Well while you probably don’t know the guy’s name, he’s been one busy feller. He’s been a producer in almost 160 films, including Serpico, Crazy Joe, Flash Gordon, Dune, Army of Darkness, and 1968’s Barbarella! Additionally, GIRL WITH A PERL EARRING director, Peter Webber is set to direct the remake and while details are still pretty thin Webber has said that hottie Sienna Miller is the current front runner for the lead role.
I have to admit that I’m yet to actually see anything that Miller has been in (Yeah, Layer Cake is on my must see list), however after seeing her recent appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart I’m pretty taken by her full on personality… Either that or she’d been into the red cordial.
Whatever the case something about this project has me waving my usual remake trepidation and I’m kinda into the idea that De Laurentiis is pitching for the film of a “Female James Bond, in outer space,”… Which, to me, sounds a lot like… well, Barbarella! [source]