Margot Robbie’s ‘Barbie’ Movie Will Be Directed by Greta Gerwig

The long-gestating Barbie movie is finally on the way to becoming a reality, with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Greta Gerwig now officially on board to both direct and co-write.

Aussie star Margot Robbie will be taking on the lead role in the Warner Bros. film taking the iconic Mattel doll to the big screen. Robbie will also be producing the film via her LuckyChap Entertainment production banner, which was behind the recent Oscar-nominated film Promising Young Woman.

It was announced back in 2019 that Gerwig would be co-writing the screenplay with Noah Baumbach, continuing a longtime collaborative relationship that has seen them work together on projects such as Frances Ha and Mistress America. Up until now, there were only rumours that Gerwig, who directed widely acclaimed pictures Lady Bird and Little Women, would take the helm as well.

Variety‘s sources have now confirmed that Gerwig will indeed be directing, but before that, Robbie nonchalantly dropped a confirmation in an interview with British Vogue, where she has the August issue.

“[Barbie] comes with a lot of baggage! And a lot of nostalgic connection,” Robbie told the magazine. “But with that come a lot of exciting ways to attack it. People generally hear ‘Barbie’ and think, ‘I know what that movie is going to be,’ and then they hear that Greta Gerwig is writing and directing it, and they’re like, ‘Oh, well, maybe I don’t…’”

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Just how Barbie will be taken to the screen and what the plot will entail is being kept firmly under wraps for now, but you can imagine a balance of topical issues will be injected with a story that surrounds the occasionally controversial fashion doll.

The Barbie movie has had a long stop-start journey to get to this point. Juno scribe Diablo Cody had been hired to write the film back in 2015, when the Barbie project was at Sony. In 2016, Sony then changed it up with Amy Schumer, hiring her to both write and star in the picture. Schumer was then forced to leave the project due to scheduling conflicts, and Anne Hathaway entered talks to star in 2017. That failed to move forward as well.

Schumer’s version was to be set in a land of Barbies and would have seen her playing a woman who comes to realise that she doesn’t quite fit in with those around her. She is kicked out from the land and travels to the real world, where she learns that being unique isn’t a bad thing and can instead be an asset. We’ll see if Gerwig’s take on Barbie has any similarities to that version.

Variety reports that Gerwig and Baumbach will be starting production on Barbie in early 2022, after they wrap White Noise, the Baumbach-directed/written and Gerwig-starring picture they are currently filming. Barbie is expected to hit cinemas in 2023.

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