Up until the point where filming began on Planet Terror, Robert Rodriguez's career was flying. Long considered one of Hollywood's more prolific directors (11 directorial credits between 1995 and 2005), the auteur specialized in churning out FX heavy (yet, comparatively speaking, low-budget) B-films that ended up being very profitable for both himself and the studios that released his pictures. But Rodriguez's life and career began to fall apart as he began an on-set relationship with his lead actress in Planet Terror, Rose McGowan, a relationship that not only ended up costing him his marriage but also one that seriously derailed his career. Most recently, he had been pushing to get studios interested in his $70 million remake of Barbarella which, natch, would star his new
soul-draining harpy love interest. However, nary a studio in the world was willing to take a risk on a movie with that budget that had Rose McGowan as a lead (nor would they touch Red Sonja or Women In Chains!, two other projects he tried to secure financing for with his flame in the lead). Now, it appears that the friction between Rodriguez's personal and professional lives landed the pair an all-expenses paid trip on the Splitsville Express. According to Page Six:
Sources say the couple, who we reported last October were engaged, have split, partly over the problems Rodriguez had finding financing for "Barbarella" - the 1968 cult classic in which Jane Fonda played a sexy space adven- turess - with McGowan in the title role.
"Too bad 'Grindhouse' didn't gross $100 million. Then, maybe, 'Barbarella' would have gotten the green light," said one source. "Instead, the moguls were saying, 'We need a bigger star, a bigger name.' " Jessica Alba has been touted as a possible replacement.
Let us be the first to say good riddance to the former Mrs. Marilyn Manson, whose appeal and subsequent career success has always been a bit of a mystery for us. While we would never (never!) wish ill-will upon a budding couple, this relationship seemed to be standing in the way of the career prospects of one of our favorite directorial guilty pleasures (the Spy Kids franchise aside, obvs). Now we're not saying that McGowan is talentless, it's more that her days as a viable big screen sexbomb expired sometime around the time of Jawbreaker. They say love is blind, but clearly, big studio heads are not. When you're trying to appease a cult of twentysomething fanboys (Rodriguez's primary audience), the name Rose McGowan does about as much to get their horndog motors running as the name Bea Arthur. While we're not clamoring to see vapid actresses like Jessica Alba or Jessica Simpson fill the iconic spacesuit that Jane Fonda wore, there is one actress out there who possesses the requisite amount of sex appeal and bouncy hair who could get us to pre-order tix for the Barbarella remake stat. Just take our word for it, Robert, and have your people get in touch with Kate Beckinsale's people. You can thank us later.
- H'WOOD SPLIT GOOD FOR JESSICA [Page Six]