Sydney Sweeney is Barbarella

Sony Pictures is teaming up with Sydney Sweeney who will star and co-produce a remake of the campy scifi film Barbarella.

Sydney Sweeney continues her streak of Sony Pictures projects, as she is set to star and co-produce a remake of the science fiction cult classic Barbarella.

Sony Pictures and Sydney Sweeney who will forge a remake of the campy scifi film Barbarella. (Images: Netflix and Paramount Pictures)

Her fan-favorite role as Cassie Howard in the HBO teen drama Euphoria has made Sydney Sweeney a household name. In 2021, she starred in another HBO project, The White Lotus and Night Teeth on Netflix. And Sweeney is set to co-star in the upcoming Spider-Verse movie Madame Web in a still-undisclosed role.

Deadline was one of the first entertainment news outlets that reported Sydney Sweeney’s upcoming project. However, it was the actress herself who slyly confirmed the Barbarella project through a post on her Instagram.

The post features an image of art from the original Barbarella film which starred Jane Fonda. Specifically, it was from the re-issued theatrical poster painted by the legendary Boris Vallejo. Sweeney included the caption "time to save the universe", effectively announcing her upcoming role.

The original 1968 movie was an adaptation of the Barbarella French comic series by Jean-Claude Forest. The 1962 to 1964 comic book series was controversial for its adult content set in a space-faring adventure. In it, the titular character Barbarella would often be forced into sexual liaisons with the aliens she encounters.

The 1968 Barbarella film starring Jane Fonda inspired the archetype of the sexy science fiction heroine.

The live action film was directed by Roger Vadim, who cast his then-wife Jane Fonda in the role of Barbarella. The story itself has space adventurer Barbarella being tasked by the Earth President to retrieve the inventor Durand Durand. Durand created the positronic ray, a weapon of mass destruction. But Barbarella’s task is delayed by multiple setbacks, including crashing in the Tau Ceti system and being captured Sogo's Black Queen.

The film was not a critical or huge commercial success, but it has an unmistakable legacy, particularly in the science fiction genre. The visuals, which are dated by today’s standards, helped influence later works in popular media.

Barbarella is viewed as the first sexy sci-fi heroine, having inspired such characters as Aeon Flux and Lelu from The Fifth Element, as well as Princess Leia's gold bikini in the third Star Wars film Return of the Jedi. Barbarella also influenced the visuals used in music videos. The popular new wave band Duran Duran even took inspiration of their name from the character in the film.

Barbarella would influence the look of later sci-fi properties such as Star Wars, The Fifth Element, and Aeon Flux.

In addition to Barbarella, Sony Pictures and Sydney Sweeney also acquired the rights to The Registration by Madison Lawson. The adaptation of the dystopian crime novel will also have Sweeney as the star and as co-producer under her new production company Fifty-Fifty Films.

The Sony Pictures remake of Barbarella starring Sydney Sweeney is currently in early development. An official target release date has not been confirmed. Meanwhile, Madame Web is projected for a theatrical release on February 16, 2024.

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.