In an effort to turn almost each and every one of their iconic toys into profitable movies, the American toy company Mattel has shoved the likes of Hot Wheels, Polly Pocket, Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots and even the Magic 8 Ball into the Hollywood limelight to be seized by eager filmmakers. Whilst few of these films have managed to rile up proper curiosity, however, it is the forthcoming Barbie movie that is truly the subject of fan curiosity.
In any other scenario, if one heard news of the release of the new Barbie movie, it would be met with sheer apathy, but look closer and you’ll realise this pink cinematic spectacle will be one to surely capture the interest of the contemporary zeitgeist. Directed by Greta Gerwig, with a script co-written by herself and indie filmmaker Noah Baumbach, the new movie is sure to deviate from all we know about the iconic toy living in her ‘Barbie World’.
Currently in production in London, early reports suggest that the film features an abundant amount of pink, with Gerwig promising an eccentric film and her first since the Award-winning 2019 drama Little Women, starring Emma Watson and Florence Pugh. taking a look into each aspect of the forthcoming movie, let’s take a look into what we can expect from the Barbie movie.
What is the new Barbie movie about?
Is life in plastic so fantastic? This is the central question director Greta Gerwig and co-writer Noah Baumbach will surely explore, with the two filmmakers well known for their idiosyncratic, alternative take on modern life.
Whilst little is known about the plot of the forthcoming movie, we can glean information from the identity of the iconic Mattel doll and her subsequent straight-to-video movies and TV shows. Fond of travelling to magical kingdoms and fantasy worlds, becoming a princess, ballerina and chef, there are no ends to the adventures of Barbie, with a common thread being that her reality incorporates pink luxury and little real-world issues.
Given Gerwig and Baumbach’s fondness for grounded, narrative drama, having made the comedy Mistress America in 2015 and the mumblecore romance Frances Ha in 2012, it’s likely that Barbie will remain in the remits of the real world for this outing.
The very first image from the brand new movie shows Margot Robbie as the titular character, sporting a wide grin as she rides in her pastel pink convertible, showing what looks to be her house in the background, made to look fake and cartoonish, much like the range of toys.
Other than this speculation, the only other aspect of the film’s plot that we know is that Barbie’s lover, Ken, will appear, played by Ryan Gosling, so we’d guess some sort of romantic drama that subverts everything we know about the Barbie character.
Speaking about the weight of taking on such a character in conversation with British Vogue, leading star Margot Robbie explains, “it comes with a lot of baggage! And a lot of nostalgic connections. But with that come a lot of exciting ways to attack it”.
Discussing the exciting filmmaking team behind the project, she adds, “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…’”.
Who is starring in the new Barbie movie?
Since Barbie is such an iconic world-renowned property, there’s no wonder Warner Bros. have doubled-down on its predicted success, putting together an impressive ensemble cast to help bring the eccentric movie to life.
Signing Margot Robbie onto the project early for the titular character of Barbie, director Greta Gerwig also personally chose Ryan Gosling to play the part of Ken, an actor who reportedly was the only choice for the character. As two of the biggest (and best looking) movie stars in the whole of Hollywood, Robbie and Gosling are perfectly cast in the movie, with the team behind the project capable of bringing out the best of their acting capabilities.
In addition to the lead stars, several supporting roles have also been confirmed, including the likes of Michael Cera, America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, filmmaker Emerald Fennell and comic actor Will Ferrell who is thought to be playing the CEO of a toy manufacturer.
One other casting decision that is raising eyebrows is the inclusion of the Sex Education star Emma Mackey, a popular lookalike of Robbie with the two often compared on movie message-boards across the web. Whether this means that we’ll see some sort of double or evil-twin dynamic we’ll just have to wait and see.
When will the new Barbie movie be released?
If you’re as excited as we are to see Margot Robbie portray the iconic Mattel doll on the big screen, you may be disappointed to hear that you’ll have to wait till 2023 to watch the film, with Warner Bros confirming at CinemaCon that Barbie will be released on July 21st.
With such a stacked ensemble cast that includes some of the most pertinent and celebrated modern movie stars, as well as a production team who are highly respected in critical circles, Warner Bros. may be onto a stone-cold winner with Barbie, grabbing the attention of young audiences, adults and cinephiles alike.