Barbie fans, rejoice! We’re creeping ever closer to what we’ve always wanted: a live-action Barbie movie. No longer will we have to puppet our dolls and do voices to be entertained! (Erm... not that we do that... ) The project has been in development for a while now and we finally have some details. But here’s what we know so far...
Margot Robbie will play Barbie and Greta Gerwig will direct.
Robbie will, of course, take on the role of Barbara Millicent Roberts (yes, that’s Barbie’s official full name). She certainly looks the part — blonde, beautiful, glamorous — but she’s also established that she has the level of versatility that makes Barbie so iconic. Barbie is a ballerina astronaut; Robbie has played roles ranging from queen, to Olympic figure skater, to super villain/psychiatrist.
Robbie is aware that playing such an iconic character — one that’s been a mainstay in pop culture and toy boxes since 1959 — comes with a certain expectation... and risk. “It comes with a lot of baggage!” she told Vogue in 2021. “And a lot of nostalgic connections. But with that come a lot of exciting ways to attack it.” In typical Barbie fashion, Robbie will also produce the film.
And while we know Barbie is perfectly capable of standing on her own two (teeny tiny) feet (metaphorically at least), we also know she’s just better with Ken at her side. In the movie, he will be played by none other than Ryan Gosling (who else could have done it, guys?). American Ferrera was recently announced to be joining the cast in a yet-to-be-announced role. Greta Gerwig, who directed Ladybird and Little Women, will direct. She and her partner, Noah Baumbach, best known for A Marriage Story and The Squid and the Whale, co-wrote the script.
We don’t know too much about the plot yet.
The movie’s official logline, which can be found on its (still scant) IMDb page reads:
A doll living in 'Barbieland' is expelled for not being perfect enough and sets off on an adventure in the real world. A Live-action feature film based on the popular line of Barbie toys.
Which sounds fun if a little bit familiar, but we have no doubt that Gerwig’s quirky, feminist sensibilities will put a new spin on the iconic doll in keeping with Mattel’s push in recent years for Barbie to be seen not as a vapid standard, but a figure that lets girls know that they can be anything.
The Barbie movie will premiere in theaters July 21, 2023.
Filming began in London in February 2022. But aside from a handful of publicity photos and a couple moments where the stars were spotted in costume while filming, we haven’t seen too much of the highly anticipated movie... until the teaser trailer dropped on Dec. 16. The trailer mainly parodies Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, complete with the dramatic “Also sprach Zarathustra” accompaniment (you don’t know you know the song, but you do). A giant, Margot Robbie, dressed as the first Barbie doll released in 1959, looms over a cadre of little girls bored with their baby dolls. As they gaze up in reverent awe, Barbie winks, sending the girls into a frenzy. The rest of the trailer does not feature plot so much as glimpses of the humorous tone and lavish costumes we can expect.
“Since the first little girl ever existed, there have been dolls...”
We have a while before we can actually sit and watch what happens. Until then, we’ll just have to tide ourselves over with the dozens of animated Barbie movies that are already out or the (genuinely very cool) Barbie vlog.
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