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What We Know About Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig’s Live-Action Barbie Film


What We Know About Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig’s Live-Action Barbie Film

Look for it in 2023.

Margot Robbie will officially play Barbie in an upcoming live-action film that Warner Bros. and Mattel announced in 2019. The Oscar-nominated actress will also coproduce the movie under her company, LuckyChap Entertainment, alongside husband Tom Ackerley and producer Josey McNamara.

This project will mark the first live-action film from the Barbie franchise, and the first movie deal from Mattel Films, the film division of the company behind Barbie and other iconic toys. Details of the plot and release date have not yet been announced, but here’s what we know so far.

Robbie is “honored” to take on the role.

In a press release, Robbie praised Barbie for promoting “confidence, curiosity and communication” through childhood, and empowering kids “to imagine themselves in aspirational roles from a princess to president.”

“I’m so honored to take on this role and produce a film that I believe will have a tremendously positive impact on children and audiences worldwide,” she added in her statement.

The actress has undergone some impressive transformations for her previous roles, including Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad, Tonya Harding in I, Tonya, and Queen Elizabeth I in Mary Queen of Scots. And although fans may be quick to tout the actress as a real-life Barbie, she has actually avoided being typecast for roles based on her looks.

“When I was trying to make my name as an actress, creative roles for women were limited,” she told  in her December 2018/January 2019 cover story. “I didn’t want to pick up another script where I was the wife or the girlfriend—just a catalyst for the male story line. It was uninspiring.”

Margot Robbie and Tom Ackerley at the 2018 Golden Globes

Rumors of her casting had been circulating for years.

Speculation of Robbie’s casting as Barbie first began in 2015, after a Sony email leak reportedly revealed that she was one of the potential actresses to play the famous doll. Years later, in October 2018, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Robbie was in talks to star in and produce the film with Warner Bros.

She also wasn’t the only star attached to the film. In 2016, Amy Schumer had reportedly landed the role but dropped out a few months later due to scheduling conflicts, according to THR. In 2017, Anne Hathaway was reported to possibly star.

Greta Gerwig is directing.

Greta Gerwig had been attached to the Barbie flick since 2019, when she was confirmed to write the script with Noah Baumbach. But now, the Little Women filmmaker is set to direct the film as well, as sources have confirmed to Variety. (Robbie mentioned it in a recent interview as well.)

Robbie and Gerwig at the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards

It will be released in theaters in 2023.

Fans will have to wait a couple years to see this film come to life. Gerwig and Baumbach will first work on their latest project, White Noise, before production for Barbie begins in early 2022 at Warner Bros.’ Leavesden Studios in London, Variety reported. After that, the movie is slated for a 2023 theatrical release.

Ryan Gosling is set to play Ken.

The film has landed another heavy hitter for its male lead. Blue Valentine actor Ryan Gosling is in final negotiations to play Barbie’s beau Ken, per Deadline. The Academy Award nominee has apparently been the studio’s only choice from the beginning, and he has now signed on after finding an opening in his schedule. With Gosling signing on, it looks like the long-awaited project can start filming in early 2022.