It seems almost unthinkable to put these two things in a sentence together, but it looks like Margot Robbie’s Barbie movie has managed to land Oscar-nominated director Greta Gerwig to helm the new big screen take on Mattel’s iconic doll. Gerwig was already signed to the project as co-writer, but there have been numerous rumors that she was also being sought as director, but it was not known if she had actually done the deal. In a new interview with British Vogue, The Suicide Squad‘s Robbie made a passing comment that Gerwig’s part in the movie would extend to the director’s chair.
In the interview, Margot Robbie spoke about the project and how the mere mention of Barbie “comes with a lot of baggage and a lot of nostalgic connections.” She told the magazine, “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…'”
Sony has had the rights to make a big budget Barbie movie for some time now, but that “baggage” that Margot Robbie talks about isn’t a small thing as they have been trying to get this movie made since 2014. The proposed movie was originally to be penned by Jenny Bicks of Sex and the City fame, and it then passed on to Diablo Cody with Amy Schumer brought in to play the world’s most famous blonde. When Schumer left the project, Anne Hathaway stepped into the role until Cody also parted ways with the movie and the idea was scrapped entirely. Eventually, a fresh idea of a Barbie movie was kicked around with Warner Bros. with Oceans 8 scribe Olivia Milch writing the script. When that fell through, the film went quiet again until its current iteration came into being.
There is nothing yet known about the plot of the movie except for that it should be completely different than we expect, and I’m sure fans and skeptics alike really cannot wait to find out exactly how this is going to go down, but the big screen version of Barbie is just one of the movies Mattel is looking to bring out based on their vast range of toys. A Polly Pocket film is furthest down the production line, being directed by Lena Dunham, with Emily in Paris star Lily Collins signed on to play the title role and putting her own spin on the mini-doll that brought so much joy to kids of the 80s.
With the Transformers movies continuing to do big business, numerous Lego movies bringing in huge worldwide grosses and the revival of many other franchises based on 80s and 90s toys, it is not surprising that it is now we are seeing a big leap forward in the project. After over 60 years as one of the world’s biggest selling toys, you have to question why Barbie has been confined to animated straight to video releases in the past, but also whether the combination of Robbie and Gerwig can manage to make things work in a live action movie that doesn’t turn into a peroxide bloodbath when put in front of the critics. The movie is set to shoot in early 2022 with a release in 2023. This news comes to us from Variety.