An official Barbie film is in the works. With Gerwig and Baumbach on board, it appears that the film will take a more indie approach.
A live-action Barbie film has been rumoured since 2018. Greta Gerwig, whose history includes work on major films including Little Women and Ladybird, is set to direct the film. Gerwig has been co-writing the script since 2019 with her partner, Noah Baumbach. Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach first met on the set of Greenberg in 2010.
Margot Robbie has been cast as the protaganist, Barbie, as announced by Variety in July.
margot robbie as barbie? perfect casting pic.twitter.com/ATdboFlmgC
— best of margot (@badpostmargots) January 8, 2019
During a cover interview for the August 2021 issue of British Vogue, Robbie casually mentions Gerwig’s directorial vision. Robbie explains,
“It comes with a lot of baggage… And a lot of nostalgic connections. But with that comes a lot of exciting ways to attack it. People generally hear ‘Barbie’ and think, ‘I know what that movie is going to be,’ and then they hear that Greta Gerwig is writing and directing it, and they’re like, ‘Oh, well, maybe I don’t.’”
Ryan Gosling is reported to be amidst final discussions to play iconic Mattel character, Ken, in the upcoming Warner Bros. project. His potential role is as Kenneth Sean Carson, Barbie’s boyfriend, was introduced to the Mattel family in 1961. With Gosling on the edge of signing on, the project is on the verge of a green light.
Deadline reports that Gosling initially turned down the job. After a schedule adjustment, he is now in the final stages of negotiations with producers. The Oscar nominee has just finished filming The Gray Man, a Netflix action film in which co-stars Chris Evans, directed by the Russo Brothers.
In addition to her starring role in the film, Robbie is also producing it under her LuckyChap Entertainment company. She works alongside Tom Ackerley of LuckyChap Entertainment, Robbie Brenner of Mattel, and David Heyman of Mattel. Josey McNamara of LuckyChap and Ynon Kreiz of Mattel are executive producers. Production is set to begin in early 2022.
Since 2014, Sony has been attempting to develop a Barbie film. Jenny Bicks of Sex and the City first wrote the script first, then Diablo Cody joined the cast, and Amy Schumer was cast in the starring role.
Schumer dropped out and Anne Hathaway was cast in her place. After Cody left the project, they virtually trashed it and started over at Warner Bros., with Olivia Milch of Ocean’s 8 penning the script. Of course, now that Gerwig and Baumbach are in charge of the project, it’s unclear how much of the prior versions will be used.
In 2019, it was announced that Gerwig and Noah Baumbach would be writing the script for a live-action Barbie movie. The two have previously collaborated on indie classics Frances Ha, Mistress America, and Greenberg. The picture is expected to start filming next year, with a 2023 release date.
In the meantime, Gerwig and Baumbach are hard at work on the Netflix feature White Noise, in which Gerwig will co-star with Adam Driver, who played the lead in Baumbach’s critically praised 2019 film Marriage Story. André 3000 has also joined the cast of White Noise, a film based on Don DeLillo’s postmodern novel of the same name from 1985.
The Barbie plot is currently unknown, but given Gerwig’s track record as a director, one may expect this to be a unique take on the doll’s story.
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