Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, writers of the last five James Bond movies, are to pen a new TV series based on ‘60s sci-fi character Barbarella.

Gaumont International Television and producer Martha De Laurentiis announced last year that they planned to bring the pop culture icon to the small screen, with Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn at the helm.

Canal+ has also come on board as a production partner with GIT, the US production and distribution arm of European studio Gaumont.

Purvis and Wade will now “reimagine” Barbarella, who was originally created by Jean-Claude Forest in a graphic novel and made famous in the 1968 film starring Jane Fonda.

The film starred Fonda as a 41st century astronaut who lands on an alien planet to hunt the evil Durand Durand. De Laurentiis’ late husband Dino produced the 1968 movie and was working on a feature remake until his death in 2010, after acquiring the films rights in 2007.

Wade said: “Barbarella was always beguiling and transgressive and we are excited to reimagine her journey in the company of Mr Refn.”

The writing duo’s first Bond screenplay was The World is Not Enough in 1999 and they subsequently penned Die Another Day, Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall. They also worked together on Let Him Have It, Johnny English and Stoned. 

Refn, who will direct and executive produce the series alongside De Laurentiis, said he was “excited” the two writers had signed on to develop and write the series with him.

“I’m certain that the combination of our creative forces will produce a show that is as enthralling as it is sexy,” he added.

Co-executive producers are Julien Forest and Jean-Marc Lofficier. 

Purvis and Wade are repped by UTA and Casarotto Ramsey & Associates Limited. Refn is repped by WME and Laurentiis by CAA.