Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie, due out next year, has officially wrapped up production. And it sure seems that the flick inspired by the iconic Mattel doll is worth marking your miniaturized calendars for.
Ryan Gosling, one of the stars of the film, has called the script the “best” he’s ever read. An agent of Barbie star Simu Liu relayed a similar sentiment.
Margot Robbie, Will Ferrell, Issa Rae and Michael Cera also top the stacked . Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz said last month that the film is shaping up to be something that “would become a societal moment.”
There’s just one catch: The plot for the movie is a mystery. Here’s what we currently know about the Warner Bros. film, simply titled Barbie.
Who’s in the cast?
In addition to Liu, Rae, Cera, the film will star Kate McKinnon (SNL), America Ferrara (WeCrashed and Superstore) and Robbie doppelgänger Emma Mackey (Sex Education).
Sex Education stars Ncuti Gatwa and Connor Swindells are also in the mix, along with Jamie Demetriou (Stath Lets Flats), Rhea Perlman (Cheers), Kingsley Ben-Adir (Last Night in Miami) and Emerald Fennell, who won the best original screenplay Oscar in 2021 for her film, Promising Young Woman.
Here’s who else we can expect to see: Sharon Rooney (Disney’s 2019 live-action Dumbo film), Scott Evans (Grace and Frankie; he’s also the younger brother of Chris Evans), Ritu Arya (Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy), Marisa Abela (HBO’s Industry), and Ana Cruz Kayne (set to appear in the upcoming Netflix miniseries Painkiller). There’s also Alexandra Shipp (Netflix’s tick, tick…BOOM!), Hari Nef (Amazon’s Transparent) and Ariana Greenblatt, who appeared as young Gamora in Avengers: Infinity War.
The director of Barbie is Gerwig, who also directed 2017’s Lady Bird and 2019’s Little Women. Both received Oscar nominations for best picture. She wrote the Barbie screenplay with her partner, Noah Baumbach.
When is it scheduled to arrive?
Barbie is set to park her stylish pink car in theaters on July 21, 2023.
What is it about?
Ah, the key question. While the plot is still mostly under wraps, the flick is rumored to include multiple Barbies and Kens.
Kyle Buchanan, a pop culture reporter for The New York Times, tweeted in May about hearing “incredible Barbie goss” at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.
Buchanan wrote, “For one, I’m hearing that Ryan Gosling is not the only Ken in the Barbie film. Simu Liu and Ncuti Gatwa also play Kens.” Issa Rae and Hari Nef play different Barbies, in addition to Robbie, he added.
Cast members have shared some interesting anecdotes about the film in interviews.
In July, Gosling appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, where he talked about being offered the role as Ken. “Best script I’ve ever read,” Gosling told Fallon.
Rae has called the script “very funny” and “very specific” to Gerwig. Liu has said the movie is “wild” and “incredibly unique.”
According to a May story in British GQ, a junior agent of Liu’s spoke up on a call and described the Barbie script as one of the best he’d ever read. “He literally said this verbatim,” Liu told the publication. “He was like, ‘If I could stake my career on any one script, it’s the Barbie script. I really think you should do it.'”
Robbie, who’s also among the film’s producers, has said in interviews that viewers should expect the unexpected. (“Whatever you’re thinking, it’s not that,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2020).
“We like the things that feel a little left of center,” Robbie told The Hollywood Reporter, referring to her production company, LuckyChap. “Something like Barbie where the IP, the name itself, people immediately have an idea of, ‘Oh, Margot is playing Barbie, I know what that is,’ but our goal is to be like, ‘Whatever you’re thinking, we’re going to give you something totally different — the thing you didn’t know you wanted.'”
“People generally hear ‘Barbie’ and think, ‘I know what that movie is going to be,'” she told British Vogue in 2021, “And then they hear that Greta Gerwig is writing and directing it, and they’re like, ‘Oh, well, maybe I don’t…'”
Before arriving at Warner Bros. and tapping Robbie, a version of the Barbie movie had been in the works at Sony Pictures, with Amy Schumer set to star. That take would have been about Schumer’s Barbie getting kicked out of Barbieland “because she’s not perfect enough” and would have involved “an adventure in the real world,” according to Deadline.
Schumer parted ways with the movie in 2017, citing scheduling conflicts. In 2022, Schumer told The Hollywood Reporter the real reason had to do with creative differences. “They definitely didn’t want to do it the way I wanted to do it, the only way I was interested in doing it,” she told the entertainment publication.