Sticking to his guns may have cost director Robert Rodriguez upwards of $40 million dollars and has placed the future of his remake of the campy 1960s science-fiction film Barbarella in jeopardy, according to a report in the New York Observer.
Rodriguez has been adamant that Rose McGowan, who starred in Rodriguez’s Planet Terror segment of last spring’s Grindhouse, is the gal to fill original star Jane Fonda’s silver go-go boots for the 21st century update. However, Universal Pictures has balked at shelling out the reported $100 million that has been budgeted for the film, primarily on the basis that they don’t feel that McGowan, whom just so happens to be engaged to Rodriguez, doesn’t have enough star power to drive enough box office to make the film profitable.
The Observer’s report has Rodriguez trying to spin the story away from his future bride and towards the film’s escalating budget, saying that Universal became concerned when it began to escalate past the originally projected $60 million price tag. The report states that Rodriguez says that Universal will still fund the picture at $60 million but he is currently shopping the project around to other studios for more money.
Personally, if Universal is having doubts about McGowan in the film, than they’re making a mistake. True, Grindhouse did not come close to making the box office that was hoped for, but the blame rests in places other than with Rodriguez or McGowan. McGowan has built a large fan following from her six years on the television series Charmed, a fanbase that tends to skew female, a demographic that might otherwise be a hard sale to get into the theater for a film like this.