There’s something inherently funny about the sheer level of talent that has been attracted to this Barbie movie, is there not? May we remind you that we’re talking about BARBIE dolls, here—toys used as shorthand for “vacuous, unrealistic entertainment” for decades in pop culture. You would no doubt expect a Barbie feature film to be written and directed by your standard Hollywood gun for hire.
The opposite, however, seems to be true, as The Wrap is reporting that Academy Award-nominated writer-directors Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach are the latest to take of the mantle of writing the Barbie script for Mattel and Warner Bros., which has been passed around like a hot potato in recent years. Still, it’s a coup for the film, considering that Gerwig and Baumbach have written several award-nominated works together, including Greenberg and Frances, Ha. Gerwig, meanwhile, is also being talked about to direct the Barbie movie, two years after being nominated for Best Director at the Oscars for her debut film, Lady Bird. Once again: Big get for the film, if it pans out. With this pair writing it, there’s really no chance that this version of Barbie is an air-headed bimbo, as seen in the Toy Story series.
Barbie is being produced by Margot Robbie and LuckyChap Entertainment, with Robbie also intended to star—makes sense, as she’s about the closest thing in modern Hollywood to an anthropomorphized Barbie doll. This, too, has been through several iterations since the project was first announced at Sony in 2014, with both Amy Schumer and Anne Hathaway previously being attached. On the writing side, meanwhile, the script has at various points been touched by Diablo Cody, Lindsey Beer, Jenny Bicks, Kim Caramele, Bert V. Royal and Hilary Winston. It’s not clear whether any of these scripts still exist and are being tweaked by Gerwig and Baumbach, or whether the two have restarted from scratch. All we know is the very general synopsis that The Wrap reported was once in place: “The film followed a Barbie doll who goes to the real world after finding that she does not fit in the doll world because of her unique nature.”
Regardless, it will be the first film from the newly established Mattel Films, and their first collaboration with Warner Bros.
Gerwig became only the fifth woman every nominated for Best Director for Lady Bird in 2017, and the first to ever be nominated for her debut film. Her follow-up, Little Women is due out on Christmas via Sony. Baumbach, meanwhile, has made a name for himself with indie dramas, and was Oscar nominated for the screenplay of the movie The Squid and the Whale, which he also directed. His next film is an untitled comedy for Netflix that stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson.
We’ll have more information on the Barbie movie, meanwhile, as it breaks.