At this point, the Barbie biopic has had almost as many iterations as the polarising American doll itself. Several years ago, Amy Schumer signed on to play the legendary Mattel creation, but later dropped out due to scheduling issues, with Anne Hathaway rumoured to be stepping into Barbie’s magenta plastic heels instead. Then, at the beginning of 2019, Margot Robbie revealed that she would actually be playing the most contentious toy in history – triggering raised eyebrows from feminists, who worried the casting validated the original 1959 model’s impossible beauty standards.
“It comes with a lot of baggage,” Robbie told British Vogue of the part this summer – which, reassuringly, will now be scripted and directed by Greta Gerwig. “[There’s] a lot of nostalgic connections. But with that come[s] a lot of exciting ways to attack it. 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…’” Thus far the only details revealed about the plot are that it will centre around a doll living in Barbieland who is “expelled for not being perfect enough and sets off on an adventure in the real world”.
Another sign that the biopic will be different than anticipated? Ryan Gosling is now being lined up for the role of Barbie’s on-again, off-again partner Ken, according to Deadline. Mattel first introduced Ken in 1961, with dozens of further editions rolled out over the last 60 years. On Barbie’s website, he introduces himself as a “loyal, supportive, compassionate” Pisces who met Barbie “on the set of our first television commercial together”. “Talk about a total doll!” Fortunately, Gerwig will be taking some liberties when penning the script, with filming expected to commence in 2022.
CreditLead image: A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images