'Barbarella' remake planned with Drew Barrymore in the title role

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The one-time child star has travelled a long way, but few of her fans would have expected Drew Barrymore to embark on outer-space sex frolics in a remake of Barbarella, the science fiction cult classic of the 1960s that had Jane Fonda in the title role.

The one-time child star has travelled a long way, but few of her fans would have expected Drew Barrymore to embark on outer-space sex frolics in a remake of Barbarella, the science fiction cult classic of the 1960s that had Jane Fonda in the title role.

But like it or not - and Fonda may not like it at all -the new film is indeed in the works in Hollywood. Warner Brothers and Fox are coming together to co-finance the project with Barrymore, 25, starring as the saucy heroine in perpetual orbit.

Story-line details are as yet sketchy. But aficionados of the original will be already be asking this - will Barrymore submit herself to the Excessive Machine, a contraption designed to kill its victim by orgasm overload? More to the point will Barrymore have the same galactic sexual stamina as Fonda did and defeat it?

The studios have warned, however, that this will not be an exact remake of the 1968 original. It will instead be based on two later books in the sci-fi comic-book series about Barbarella penned by France's Jean Claude Forest. They are Le Semble Lune (The Moon Like) and Le Miroir au Tempetes (The Mirror of Storms.)

The basic theme will endure, however, featuring a naïve but sexually charged woman who uncovers the secret behind her distant planet's good fortune and finds herself leading a revolution, fighting evil and defending good on the frontiers of the universe. We are told to expect a cross between Star Trek and Woody Allen's sex comedies.

Presumably we can also look forward to a return of the Great Tyrant. When he told Barbarella in the original that she was, "very pretty, pretty, pretty", she quickly replied, "My name isn't Pretty Pretty, it's Barbarella". And henceforth, for better or worse, Barbaralla's name will not be Fonda. It will be Barrymore.

It is tempting, meanwhile, to reach one other conclusion - that Barrymore has an almost unhealthy interest in reviving the cheesy.

Cinema-goers next month will be treated to a remake of the old television series " Charlie's Angels" in feature-length form. It will star Barrymore, who also co-produced it.

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