Since G.I. Joe and the Transformers have gotten their own movies, it was only a matter of time before the first lady of plastic dolls would make it to theaters, but it’s been quite the journey for the pink princess. Sure, Barbie has made a few appearances in the Toy Story franchise and has starred in a string of made-for-video releases, but Hollywood has been tossing around the idea of a big screen movie for many years now.
In 2014, it was reported that writers Diablo Cody (Juno) and Jenny Bicks (Sex in the City) had worked on a screenplay for Sony Pictures. According to The Wrap, In 2016, Amy Schumer joined the project making changes to the script with writer Hillary Winston (My Name is Earl). At that time, the movie was about a woman who had to leave “Barbie-ville” because she didn’t meet their standards of the perfect woman. But those movie plans fizzled out sometime in 2018.
The next year, while moping in her dream house, Barbie learned that a new partnership had been formed with Mattel and Warner Bros. making their own Barbie movie that would star Margot Robbie. Not only is this one a “go”, but filming also began earlier this year. The script was written by Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story) and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) who is also directing the film. The plot of the new movie has not yet been revealed. It may be a version of the original idea or an entirely new one, but it is rumored that the movie will include multiple “Barbies”. There is also speculation that the new movie could be a musical, but nothing has been confirmed at this point. However, The Wrap also states that the kitschy song, “Barbie Girl” by Aqua will not be featured in the film, which feels like a mistake to me. Then again, the song is a sore spot for Mattel who sued Aqua on the grounds of copyright infringement. (They lost the case when the court ruled that the song was a “parody and a social commentary.”)
Just like in real toy life, Barbie will be paired with a Ken. In this case, the role belongs to a blond Ryan Gosling. The movie also stars Ritu Arya, Emma Mackey, Will Ferrell, Simu Liu, Michael Cera, Kate McKinnon, Rhea Perlman, Ncuti Gatwa, Ariana Greenblatt, Ana Cruz Kayne, Alexandra Shipp, Ritu Arya, Sharon Rooney, Connor Swindells, Scott Evans and Jamie Demetriou.
Barbie will be released sometime in July 2023.
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.