Canal Plus Boards Gaumont International Television's 'Barbarella'

Nicolas Winding Refn

The French pay-TV group has partnered with GIT for the new action series from "Drive" director Nicolas Winding Refn.

PARIS — Canal Plus has partnered with Gaumont International Television for new TV series Barbarella. The French pay TV group Canal Plus said Thursday that they've hopped on board GIT's series about the iconic sex symbol that will be directed by Drive helmer Nicolas Winding Refn.

Refn will executive produce alongside Martha De Laurentiis, Julien Forest and Jean-Marc Lofficier will co-exec produce the show based on Jean-Claude Forest's famous graphic novel. GIT and Canal Plus are still negotiating their partnership agreement, but are hoping to kick off shooting the series in 2013. Producers have yet to start the hunt for their Barbarella leading lady.

GIT is currently on its third day of shooting Hemlock in Toronto and will kick off production there in August on Hannibal for NBC.

"We're a global company. We have offices in LA and in Paris. Our first series are partnerships with NBC and Netflix, so it was important for us that the first partner on this be a European one," Gaumont's Vice CEO Christophe Riandee told The Hollywood Reporter of their collaboration with the France-based Canal Plus.

While the title character in Barbarella was made famous by Jane Fonda in the 1968 film from Roger Vadim, she was inspired by Forest’s French comic book character. "It's very different from the film. We're really going back to Jean-Claude Forest's original comic book," Riandee said. 

Forest created Barbarella in 1962 for V-Magazine before it was soon translated in a dozen countries and finally adapted for the big screen by Vadim. Canal Plus said it was too early to reveal the precise details of their involvement with the project, but confirmed that it is part of their "original creation" program.

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