Nicolas Winding Refn has mainly established himself as a surefooted director of dark crime thrillers (Drive, Bronson, The Pusher series), so Deadline’s news today that he’ll be directing a Barbarella television series comes as a pretty stark left turn. Produced by Martha de Laurentiis, the wife of the late Italian producer Dino de Laurentiis (who also produced the original 1968 movie), the TV show’s being backed by the seemingly remake-happy Gaumont International Television, the same company that’s responsible for the Hannibal series coming later this year. There’s no indication yet where this might find a home, but it already sounds perfect for a Xena-like syndication deal.
Nicolas Winding Refn’s involvement mostly comes as a surprise because the original 1968 movie is known for being extremely cheesy; its opening sequence features Jane Fonda’s Barbarella undressing in zero-gravity, and a key scene involves a machine that makes its victims orgasm to death. The big question that remains is who would step into Jane Fonda’s iconic bodysuit? The director’s on record as saying that he thinks Christina Hendricks would be a perfect Wonder Woman; what about Barbarella? Probably not, right? That many screencaps would break the Internet.