The scenes during the opening credits where Barbarella seems to float around her spaceship were filmed by having Jane Fonda lie on a huge piece of plexiglas with a picture of the spaceship underneath her. It was then filmed from above, creating the illusion that she is in zero gravity. (If you look carefully, you can see the reflection in the glass as she removes her gloves.)
The film's missing scientist character of Durand Durand (Milo O'Shea) famously inspired the name of 1980s pop band Duran Duran.The spelling was slightly changed removing the second letter 'D' of the once repeated word Durand to become Duran.
Barbarella's captured mole machine and her encounter with a robot belonging to a deceased rebel that has sexual relations with her are both omitted from the film, although pretty much everything else is very faithful to the comic.
English actor David Hemmings replaced Italian actor Antonio Sabato in the role of Dildano. Set photos exist of Sabato playing the famous "hand sex" scene with Jane Fonda. Sabato's performance was deemed to be too serious and he was replaced, in more comedic tone, by Hemmings.
In the original comic, Barbarella was not a secret agent but an outlaw, and the movie omits some of the adventures she had on Lythion, including an encounter with an earlier villainess called the Gorgon, whose face changed into a duplicate of the face of anyone who looked at her. Her spaceship is not repaired, so for the duration of the first comic album she is trapped on Lythion.
The film was made prior to actress Jane Fonda's "politicization" and maturation and evolution of her political persona. Fonda then had to defend the film in the context of her future political views and simply accepted it despite the obvious "sex symbol" nature of the Barbarella character which feminists argued exploited women.
Barbarella was the first science fiction hero from the comics to be adapted into a feature film as opposed to a serial (Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, her male predecessors, had only appeared in serials up to this point).
The movie's main English language trailer featured the following statement: "We wish to thank the following planets for making this picture possible: Lythion, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Earth and many special guest stars!".
There was no Durand-Durand and no death ray in the original comic; the city was built around a monster that belched gas through a series of ducts, and the Great Tyrant wore an eye patch even in her true identity.
Even though the titles of the film are credited to Arcady, they were actually designed by the original Bond Titles Designer Maurice Binder. Binder's credits along with the music credits were part of the original rough cut of the film, the titles can be seen on the streaming version on Amazon Instant Video.
Mathmos is the name of a company specializing in the design and manufacture of lava lamps. Apparently a sea of lava, inspired the UK company that made lava lamps to change their name from Crestworth to Mathmos.
A major theatrical re-release of the film was re-issued in 1977 due to the box-office success of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). The picture was edited to obtain an American "PG" rating and had the added subtitle "Queen Of The Galaxy", not present in the original 1968 release. Though all American video releases have been that of the original uncut version, Paramount repeatedly included the "PG" tag on their packaging, when they should have said "Not Rated."
The name of the laser weapon created by scientist Durand Durand (Milo O'Shea) was "The Positronic Ray". A "death ray" weapon was not uncommon in spy-fi films of the 1960s when this movie was made. The Barbarella character in this film has been described on DVD sleeve notes as being a "female James Bond".
The film was made and released about six years after its source French science fiction comic book of the same name by Jean-Claude Forest had been first serialized in the French publication V-Magazine in the Spring of 1962. "Barbarella" was then published as a series of four graphic novels between the years of 1962 and 1982.
The names of some of the movie's main set-pieces which were summarized in the film's main English language trailer were: The Biting Bird Cage, the Deadly Doll House, the Labyrinth of Love, the Chamber of Dreams, the Palace of Pleasure and the Wild Excessive Machine.
Inside Barbarella's space capsule, usually seen in the left side, is depicted the right hand portion of the famous painting "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte - 1884" by pointillist painter Georges Seurat. Seurat was a contemporary of the famous, fellow Frenchman, and famous impressionist painter, Pierre-Auguste Renoir - the grandfather of the film's Director of Photography, Frenchman Claude Renoir.
The nick-name that the Black Queen (Anita Pallenberg) had for Barbarella (Jane Fonda) was "Pretty Pretty". Barbarella's nick-name published as a subtitle as part of the the film's promotional Barbarella title was "Queen of the Galaxy".
Two of the characters in the film had two names: Milo O'Shea played "The Concierge", who was also known as "Durand-Durand", whilst Anita Pallenberg portrayed "The Great Tyrant", who was aka "The Black Queen of Sogo", or more simply known as just "The Black Queen". In the French comic book source, the latter was known as "La Reine Noire".