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July 2, 2008 --

ROSE McGowan's breakup with her fiancÚ, director Robert Rodriguez, could be good news for some other actresses, who could end up with the leading roles she was set to play in his movies.

McGowan was hoping to star in at least three planned Rodriguez films - a remake of "Barbarella," "Red Sonja" and "Woman in Chains!"

But 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.

McGowan, best known for her witchy role on TV's "Charmed," wasn't thought to have enough box-office draw for the $70 million remake, especially after "Grindhouse" disappointed with about $25.4 million in domestic ticket sales.

"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.

Rodriguez - who directed the "Spy Kids" movies as well as "From Dusk Till Dawn" and "Sin City" - was wed for 16 years to, and had five kids with, Elizabeth Avellan before he directed McGowan in "Grindhouse."

Page Six first reported their on-set affair in April 2006, and Variety reported how filming had to be halted when Avellan learned of the romance: "The production had to shut down for a month while he recovered" from the revelation's aftermath.

In May 2007, Rodriguez and McGowan went out publicly for the first time at the Cannes Film Festival. In October, she was wearing a big diamond ring. No word on whether she gave it back now that their wedding plans are off.


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