Who Should Play the New Barbarella?
As Robert Luketic nudges Robert Rodriguez out of the picture to helm the rebooted sex-and-space epic Barbarella, we can't help but remember that Hollywood rarely knows how to cast a woman as the lead in a big action film (witness the perpetually thwarted development of Wonder Woman as lesser comic book heroes get their big-screen moment). It's in that spirit, then, that Movieline has stepped in to narrow down the potential casting pool. Who's up to filling out Jane Fonda's skintight spacesuit?
The Definite Nos:
Now that Rodriguez is off the project, the muse he tried to lobby into the lead, Rose McGowan, is out of contention. Instead, producers will likely approach a mix of A-listers and recognizable up-and-comers (as opposed to McGowan, who's made herself near-unrecognizable as of late). One name likely to be off that wish list? Reese Witherspoon, who Luketic famously clashed with during the making of Legally Blonde.
The "Too Old" By Hollywood Standards:
Luketic worked with Fonda herself on Monster-in-Law, and her matchup with Jennifer Lopez in that film might have earned Lopez a Barbarella nod but for one thing: she's about to turn forty, and Hollywood would never entrust a budding action franchise to a female star out of her twenties. The same criteria would likely disqualify Drew Barrymore, once bandied about for the role, as well as her fellow Angel Cameron Diaz. Angelina Jolie is the youngest in this field at 33, and she's proven that she's the rare actress who can open an action film, but we have a hunch that producers will go younger
The Likely Offers:
So who's likely to be at the top of the casting heap? Potentially, the actress considered to be Jolie's young doppleganger, Megan Fox (a plus: looks good in ridiculous sci-fi costumes!). Scarlett Johansson has shied away from films where she's the unambiguous lead, but she's certainly got the right look, and she's started edging closer to Barbarella territory with roles in The Spirit and Iron Man 2. Meanwhile, Anne Hathaway's shown a willingness to doff her clothes onscreen, but if she balks at that outer-space strip scene, producers will no doubt call on the two Jessicas who've already played exotic dancers: Jessica Alba and Jessica Biel.
The Dark Horses:
Mamma Mia's Amanda Seyfried is one of Hollywood's newest, most castable ingenues, but her restrictive Big Love schedule has already forced her to drop out of Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch. If producers want a real unknown, they'll pluck blond bombshell Alice Eve (Starter for 10) from across the pond. But we have a hunch that Luketic may surprise everyone and reunite with the leading lady he's used on his last two films: Katherine Heigl. Shonda Rhimes, the fate of an entire sci-fi franchise may be in your hands.