Over the years we’ve seen a number of characters from the toy aisle get their moment in the Hollywood sun, between The LEGO Movie, Transformers films or G.I. Joe. Now come on Barbie, let’s go party! A movie about the iconic doll has long been in the works with Margot Robbie set to play Barbie herself, but now it’s really going from plastic to fantastic with an awesome director now officially signed on to make the movie.
Greta Gerwig, the writer and director behind Oscar-nominated films Lady Bird and Little Women will be directing the Barbie movie and it’s a fab pick. She was already working on the script with partner and frequent collaborator, Marriage Story’s Noah Baumbach. Gerwig isn’t the kind of filmmaker that will let us off the hook with an ordinary Barbie movie, and now we’re sitting up and ready to see this coming release more than ever.
The Lady Bird filmmaker became attached to the Barbie movie two years ago, taking over script duties after plans for the movie went through a number of outfit changes over the years. Amy Schumer was originally going to play Barbie in 2016 before dropping out. Anne Hathaway reportedly replaced Schumer, but has since been replaced by Harley Quinn actress Margot Robbie, who is involved in producing the project after also working behind the scenes on I, Tonya, Birds of Prey and Promising Young Woman.
The news was said off-the-cuff by Margot Robbie during her recent British Vogue cover interview when the project came up. There had been rumors that Greta Gerwig could direct the Barbie movie since she signed on as a writer, but now we know that we’ll be seeing Greta Gerwig’s Barbie on the big screen.
What can we expect from Greta Gerwig’s Barbie? For the moment, we have absolutely no idea what kind of vision is at play here. For one, the movie is being produced by Mattel Films in collaboration with Margot Robbie’s production company LuckyChap Entertainment. It will be geared towards a family audience, but as Robbie’s producing partner shared last year, Gerwig and Noah Baumbach have “subverted” what we’d expect from a movie about the doll. Robbie also teased this about the movie:
We like the things that feel a little left of center. Something like Barbie where the IP, the name itself, people immediately have an idea of, ‘Oh, Margot is playing Barbie, I know what that is,’ but our goal is to be like, ‘Whatever you're thinking, we're going to give you something totally different — the thing you didn't know you wanted.’
Now, I definitely know I want to see Greta Gerwig’s take on Barbie, I just don’t know how she’ll do it. Thus far, Greta Gerwig has positioned herself as one of the most exciting filmmakers of our time.
Lady Bird told the coming-of-age story of Saoirse Ronan’s Sacramento-based teen in a story that focused more on a mother-daughter relationship than a romance. And Gerwig adapted classic Little Women in a beautiful way that made an aged story feel timeless and modern. For both projects Gerwig received Best Screenplay nominations from the Academy along with nabbing a Best Director nomination for Lady Bird.
The Barbie movie is set to begin production in 2022 once Greta Gerwig finishes filming Noah Baumbach’s movie White Noise.