TV & Movies

Mattel Bosses Reveal Why The Original Barbie Movie Was Scrapped

Life in plastic wasn’t always fantastic.

Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images / Warner Bros.

Greta Gerwig’s much-anticipated Barbie is poised to become one of the biggest releases of the year. Starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, the live-action comedy follows the story of the iconic doll as she leaves Barbieland behind to embark on a journey of self-discovery with Ken in tow. To the surprise of many, Amy Schumer was originally set to star as Barbie in a now-scrapped version of the film, but she later made the decision to walk away from the project. Now, the real reason the original Barbie script was abandoned has been revealed.

During an interview with Bloomberg ahead of the film’s release, Lisa McKnight, global head of dolls and Barbie at Mattel, revealed that the original script starring Schumer was “understandably more comedic” but “didn’t feel as smart and as provocative as we would have hoped for.”

Little Women director Gerwig later signed on to the project and penned her own version of Barbie along with her longtime collaborator, Noah Baumbach. “The first time I read the script. I was like: ‘Wow, wow, wow,’” the Executive Producer of Mattel Films, Robbie Brenner, told Bloomberg, noting that Gerwig’s script didn’t make Barbie the butt of the joke.

As mentioned, Schumer pulled out of the film back in 2017, and revealed to The Hollywood Reporter in 2022 that “they definitely didn’t want to do it the way I wanted to do it, the only way I was interested in doing it.”

More recently, the Trainwreck star confirmed on Watch What Happens Live that she dropped out of the original Barbie due to “creative differences.”

“I can’t wait to see the [Margot Robbie] movie, it looks awesome,” Schumer told host Andy Cohen. “I think we said it was scheduling conflicts, that’s what we said. But yeah, it really was just creative differences. But you know, there’s a new team behind it, and it looks like it’s very feminist and cool so I will be seeing the movie.”