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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.”

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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.”

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