De Laurentiis lines up new slate

'Barbarella' retake tops list of upcoming films

After amassing a list of credits any producer would envy, you might wonder what kinds of films Dino De Laurentiis wants to make next. The answer is simple — the sorts of movies that fill the screen with awe-inspiring visuals and leave the audience astonished.

Dino De Laurentiis is still as aggressive as the newest producer on the block,” says Lorenzo De Maio, the Dino De Laurentiis Co.’s vice president of production development. “When I give him a book to read, I know he’ll get through it very fast, and he’s also always reading on his own, looking for something special.”

The company has a full slate of projects in the works –everything from an adaptation of the German techno-thriller “The Swarm” to feature adaptation of the TV series “MacGyver” to a remake of the producer’s own cult sci-fi classic “Barbarella.”

“Every young actress in town is interested in playing that ‘Barbarella’ part,” De Maio says. “It’s such an iconic role, and we think there will be a lot of excitement around the movie.”

Popular on Variety

The film will be helmed by Robert Luketic and written by Joe Gazzam. Choosing fresh talent is also part of the De Laurentiis style, De Maio says.

“He worked with the Wachowski brothers on ‘Bound’ before they did ‘The Matrix,’ so he’s very interested in new talent,” De Maio explains.

The list of upcoming projects also includes an adaptation of the Karen Russell novel “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves,” about a group of adolescents reared by werewolves and are now being taught by a nuns on how to enter the world of polite society. The fantasy and horror elements of a story like this certainly are familiar territory for De Laurentiis, but there are other elements in the work that attracted him.

“He loves films inspired by a literary beginning,” says De Maio of the filmmaker, who may also soon begin a remake of his own “War and Peace.” “He’s someone who loves to read, loves classic stories, so that’s always a big part of what happens here.”

More Film

  • Liam Neeson Widows

    Film News Roundup: Liam Neeson's Comedy 'Made in Italy' Sells to IFC

    In today’s film news roundup, IFC buys a Liam Neeson comedy and STX takes territories on Karen Gillan and Lena Headey’s “Gunpowder Milkshake.” ACQUISITIONS IFC Films is acquiring U.S. rights to James D’Arcy’s feature directorial debut, “Made In Italy,” starring Liam Neeson and Micheál Richardson. “Made In Italy” will receive a traditional theatrical release in [...]

  • Baby Peggy

    Diana Serra Cary, Child Star Known as Baby Peggy, Dies at 101

    Diana Serra Cary, the child silent film star known by the nickname Baby Peggy, died on Monday in Gustine, Calif. She was 101. Born on October 29, 1918 as Peggy Jean Montgomery, Cary began her career in the film industry at the early age of 19 months. During a visit with her mother and a [...]

  • Riz Ahmed

    Riz Ahmed on Creating ‘A Really Personal Piece of Work’ with ‘Mogul Mowgli’

    The idea for “Mogul Mowgli” first began in 2017 when British actor, rapper and activist Riz Ahmed met Bassam Tariq, a producer and independent filmmaker, between trips to New York. Almost three years later, the pair is debuting “Mogul Mowgli” in Berlin’s Panorama. The film, which Tariq directed and co-wrote with Ahmed, who also stars, [...]

  • David Permut

    'Hacksaw Ridge' Producer Developing Colombo Crime Family Son's Story (EXCLUSIVE)

    David Permut, the Oscar-nominated producer of “Hacksaw Ridge,” has acquired the life rights to the story of John Franzese Jr., the son of the Colombo crime family’s second-in-command, Sonny Franzese. The elder Franzese passed away on Sunday at the age of 103. Franzese Jr. became active in the family business during the 1980s, leading to [...]

  • Annabella Sciorra

    Annabella Sciorra on Weinstein Verdict: 'We Can Never Regret Breaking the Silence'

    Annabella Sciorra hailed the guilty verdict against ex-mogul Harvey Weinstein, which included a “criminal sexual act” and third-degree rape, on Monday. Weinstein was also acquitted on two counts of predatory sexual assault that centered on Sciorra’s testimony — indicating that the jurors did not believe, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Weinstein had raped and assaulted [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris participates in Fox's "BH90210"

    SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris on Weinstein Verdict: 'You Can't Hide Any Longer'

    SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris has hailed the verdicts in the Harvey Weinstein case, with the disgraced ex-mogul found guilty of committing a criminal sexual act and third-degree rape. “Justice was served today and Harvey Weinstein was held accountable for his crimes,” Carteris said. “But it is only a beginning. We look forward to the Weinstein [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content