multiverse of mattel: everything we know so far about the ‘barbie’ movie


photo: “barbie ( reprise )” by tracheotomy bob is licensed under cc by 2.0.

Come on Barbie, let’s go party! This Malibu party girl is moving out of the dream house and relocating to the big screen. Yes, our favorite doll is getting her very own live action movie. Before we get into the details of what we know so far about the film, it should probably be mentioned that the beloved song “Barbie Girl” by Aqua will unfortunately not make an appearance on the soundtrack. It truly is a tragedy, especially since “Barbie Girl” has become seriously intertwined with the Barbie brand over the years (I mean the first sentence in this article was from the song so that should tell you the chokehold it has on society). That being said, with lyrics such as “you can brush my hair, undress me anywhere” and “I’m a blond bimbo girl in a fantasy world”, it is probably for the best that “Barbie Girl” sits this one out. Sorry Aqua.


So, what exactly do we know about the upcoming “Barbie” movie and what should us viewers expect? The “Barbie” live action movie was originally supposed to start production back in 2016 starring Amy Schumer. However that plan shortly came to end after Schumer dropped the project only a few months afterwards due to creative differences. Anne Hathaway was then reported to take Schumer’s place, but that plan also fell through after she too backed out. Nevertheless, that didn’t deter a Barbie movie from happening since a couple of years later the project was greenlighted once again. Immediately the film was off to a great start when it was announced that Greta Gerwig, director of “Lady Bird”, would serve as the director and would be co-writer to the script alongside her husband Noah Baumbach. 


It only got more exciting once it was confirmed that actress Margot Robbie would play the starring role of Barbie. The film is planned to have a “contemporary twist on the toy” and it covers a plot that us viewers aren’t expecting. In an interview with British Vogue, Robbie speaks more about the movie and her role.


“Right, it comes with a lot of baggage!” she said regarding the memory of barbies. “And a lot of nostalgic connections. But with that come 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.’”


Beyond Robbie, there is already an all-star cast lineup starting with Ryan Gosling playing the ever dreamy, Ken. America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Simu Liu, Alexandra Shipp, Ariana Greenblatt, Will Ferrell and Issa Rae are also all announced to be a part of the cast. “Bridgerton” star, Nicola Coughlan and “Sex Education” actor, Ncuti Gatwa have teased of joining the Barbie family after both posted a photo together with the caption “a pair of dolls.”


What makes this all so exciting is that the film has taken a page from the multiverse and plans to star multiple versions of Barbie and Ken. For a toy that has been infamously criticized for not being inclusive and its contribution to reinforcing the idea of “conventional” beauty, it will be interesting to watch the film tackle on the theme of identity. How this concept is supposed to play out is still unknown, but the idea is already exceeding expectations on how most of us probably assumed how this film was going to go. 



Production just started earlier this year, so there is still no trailer and there probably won’t be one until a few months. We do at least know when to expect the film to be released. In April 2022, Warner Bros posted a tweet with an image of Margot Robbie in the trademark pink convertible with the date July 21, 2023. 


As we eagerly await for the film to finish production, all we can do is imagine being a Barbie girl in a Barbie world. After all, life in plastic is fantastic.


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