Jane Fonda’s starring turn in 1968’s Barbarella helped catapult her to worldwide acclaim — but she’s not thinking about passing the mantle onto Sydney Sweeney, who is set to lead the upcoming remake.
“I try not to because I worry about what it’s going to be,” Fonda, 85, told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published on Friday, January 27. “I had an idea of how to do it that [original producer] Dino De Laurentiis, when he was still alive, wouldn’t listen to. But it could have been a truly feminist movie.”
The Grace and Frankie alum portrayed Barbarella in the original sci-fi flick, which was directed by her ex-husband Roger Vadim. The movie follows astronaut Barbarella as she attempts to thwart scientist Durand Durand’s (Milo O’Shea) nefarious plans of mass destruction. Barbarella quickly became a cult classic upon its release — and made Fonda a bona fide sex symbol of the decade.
“The ’70s were when I began to produce movies. It was a much easier time,” the two-time Oscar winner recalled of her career during a 2015 panel at Sundance Film Festival. “I took the easy road for a while. I would say that ended with Barbarella. I liked doing something that caused a certain generation of men to have their first erections. But then I became an activist.”
Fonda has since seen her acting as a way to draw attention to her activism, which includes her frequent D.C. “Fire Drill Friday” protests defending climate change.
“One feeds the other,” the 80 for Brady star told THR. “I recently thought, ‘Maybe I do want to quit acting.’ I mean, I’m 85. But then I realized my platform matters. It brings people in that might not come in normally. I was happy to turn 82 in jail [after my 2019 arrest after a protest]. Because I knew it would get a lot of attention.”
While Fonda is looking forward in her career, the 25-year-old Euphoria star is set to follow in her footsteps with a new version of Barbarella.
“Time to save the universe,” Sweeney wrote via Instagram in October 2022, confirming her casting with a throwback snap of Barbarella’s 1964 comic book illustration.
The Handmaid’s Tale alum’s celebrity friends immediately cheered on her new gig, including Vanessa Hudgens, Nicola Peltz and Glen Powell. “It’s about time,” Hudgens, 34, replied at the time.
Further details about Sweeney’s Barbarella have not been confirmed, though the actress is gearing up to begin filming.
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“I’m really excited to serve all the fits, but also, it’s such an iconic, fun character,” the Madame Web star told Entertainment Tonight later that October, playing coy if she spoke with Fonda about the role. “I want to keep that fun alive through Barbarella. So, I’m excited for everyone to see it.”
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