New 'Barbarella' in works

Joe Gazzam to pen script for new take on character

"Barbarella" is getting a new lease on life.

Joe Gazzam has been tapped to write the screenplay centering on the character that was immortalized by Jane Fonda in the 1968 original.

Robert Luketic is attached to direct the sci-fi action-adventure, with original producer Dino De Laurentiis on board to produce the update along with his wife, Martha De Laurentiis.

Robert Rodriguez came on the project, which was then set up at Universal, in May 2007 with an eye to making it a vehicle for Rose McGowan. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade wrote the script, but the studio and director reportedly could not agree on where to shoot. After the parting of ways, a new direction for "Barbarella" was sought.

"Barbarella" centers on a female mercenary who roams the universe of a distant future, undertaking missions that require fearlessness, ingenuity and sensuality. The character debuted in 1962 in a French graphic magazine written and illustrated by Jean-Claude Forest and was known for her sexual escapades. There also was a musical produced in 2004.

The new take on the iconic character will not be campy, though it will keep the sexuality; there will be seductions, but the focus will be on the adventure.

The project is not set up at any studio, though De Laurentiis duo plans on shopping it when the script is in shape.  Lorenzo De Maio is overseeing.

Gazzam, repped by ICM and Circle of Confusion, wrote a movie version of "21 Jump Street" and has the spec "CryptoZoo" set up at Alcon.