The Barbie Movie Is Back On Track, And Margot Robbie Could Star

Margot Robbie in The Wolf of Wall Street
(Image credit: (Paramount Pictures))

For Mattel Films upcoming first feature, Margot Robbie might just be the Barbie girl for their Barbie world. A live-action Barbie movie, originally starring Amy Schumer under Sony, has seen quite a few alterations. But now it's reportedly moving forward, with Margot Robbie in talks to play the iconic plastic doll. Mattel is partnering with Warner Bros since the toymaker acquired the rights to their brand back, with Robbie also likely serving as a producing partner. The talented blonde-haired beauty certainly will seamlessly fit right into the sparkly dresses, bright heels and Malibu dream house of the popular toy.

Plans for Barbie to hit the big screen were originally announced back in 2014 by Sony. Two years later, Amy Schumer was announced to star as the titular role. The developing Barbie film would grapple with the often-manufactured ideals put on women, as Schumer would play a doll living in Barbieland who is exiled for being imperfect. However, the comedian dropped out of the film due to "scheduling conflicts" and Anne Hathaway replaced her. Earlier this year, Sony pushed the film's release date from August 8, 2018 to May 8, 2020 before Mattel and Warner Bros. took over the film's development. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins is being eyed to direct but no concrete deals have been made.

Besides Margot Robbie's obvious resemblance to the popular doll, the actress already has a working relationship with Warner Bros with her continuing role as Harley Quinn. Following her appearance as the DC darling in Suicide Squad in 2016, Robbie is set to reprise her role alongside some other femme fatales including Black Canary and Huntress in the upcoming Birds of Prey. She is also producing the film under her producing banner LuckyChap Entertainment, as she would if she officially strikes this deal on Barbie. Last month, Mattel announced their new film division, Mattel Films, leading them to take over the upcoming project from Sony. Mattel is following in the footsteps of their competitor Hasbro, who established Hasbro Films in 2009 to create feature films of their own based on their popular toy properties.

Considering the studio shake-up and the potential casting of Margot Robbie as Barbie, the film could be going into a different direction than the Barbie movie we heard about in 2016. By casting Amy Schumer as a fish-out-of-water Barbie, the film challenged the typical model figure found in the box of a Barbie doll and promised some discussion of breaking societal norms surrounding the doll. Robbie is more of a cookie-cutter choice for Barbie, but hopefully the film still uses an opportunity to open these discussions about women, as the doll has undergone tons of scrutiny in recent years for portraying unrealistic dimensions of the female body.

Margot Robbie can be seen next as Queen Elizabeth I alongside Saoirse Ronan in Mary Queen of Scots in theaters on December 7.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.