The upcoming Barbie movie just gained a lot more street cred. A big-screen version of the iconic character could go several different ways and from the sound of this latest news, the legendary figure is in highly capable hands. Greta Gerwig will co-write the Barbie movie alongside frequent collaborator and longtime partner Noah Baumbach. This news comes courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, which also teased that Gerwig is "eyeing" the project's director's chair as well.
Margot Robbie was previously announced as Barbie and, according to Entertainment Tonight, she will also executive produce the film in collaboration with her production company, LuckyChap Entertainment. Developed by Mattel and Warner Bros., this movie has been through a lot of potential iterations. In the works since 2016, Barbie has had past lives starring Amy Schumer, as a trope-bending version of the doll, and then Anne Hathaway in 2017. Hathaway's version had Alethea Jones attached as director at Sony. Once the move was made from Sony to Warner Brothers, Wonder Woman helmer Patty Jenkins was rumored to lead the production, per Collider.
So, it seems as if Robbie's late 2018 casting might have inspired more traction on the movie, which is slated for a 2020 release, per IMDB. (As of now, the film's page still lists Jones as director with Ocean's Eight screenwriter Olivia Milch for the script.)
Gerwig, whose adaptation of Little Women hits theaters in December, and Baumbach, who is in post-production on a film for Netflix, are an unconventional choice. Considering Barbie is one of the most recognizable images on the planet, her movie is destined to be large in scale, while Gerwig and Baumbach are known mainly for indie films.
The creative duo first met on 2010's Ben Stiller-led Greenberg, where Gerwig she played Stiller's quirky love interest. Inspiration between the pair sparked onscreen and off. They reportedly began dating in 2011 before quietly welcoming a child together in early 2019. In between, the couple has collaborated on screenplays for movies including 2012's Frances Ha and 2015's Mistress America. Gerwig played roles in both movies, establishing her onscreen charisma while prepping for her behind-the-camera debut.
The result of Gerwig's first major directorial efforts was Lady Bird, which was nominated for five Academy Awards, including two for Gerwig's direction and screenplay. So, it seems that complicated and complex female characters are kind of Gerwig's jam. Maybe her addition to the Barbie movie isn't so out of left field after all?
A common denominator between Frances Ha, Mistress America, Lady Bird, and Little Women? They all chronicle the lives of women who lived boldly, imperfectly, and ambitiously. For a character lobbed with feminist critique as often as Barbie, Gerwig is the best thing to happen to her image in a long time.
But how the filmmakers will solve Barbie trademarks such as her Malibu Dream House and the sometimes problematic Ken? We'll leave that one to the two Oscar-nominated people now taking the reigns of this highly-anticipated movie. Let the Timothée Chalamet for Ken campaigns commence.