The excitement surrounding the upcoming release of the live-action Barbie movie is already palpable. This can be attributed to the talents of leading lady Margot Robbie and director Greta Gerwig, as well as the recent release of a trailer generating positive reactions from audiences. However, it is interesting to note that the movie could have taken a different direction had Hollywood chosen a different pitch.
Back in 2014, Sony Pictures closed a deal with Mattel to create the first live-action Barbie movie after 64 years. The initial plan was to make a contemporary tale about a Barbie who used her personal and professional skills to improve the lives of others, similar to a modern version of Mary Poppins. This idea was later abandoned, and Diablo Cody was brought on to write a script that focused on a Barbie who helped others, but with the humor and provocative tone that characterizes the actress and screenwriter.
Amy Schumer was slated to play the lead role, but subsequently left the project. Anne Hathaway was in talks for the role while other writers worked on the script. By 2018, the story had morphed into a family comedy akin to Splash or Enchanted, where Barbie was expelled from her perfect world and had to learn that true perfection comes from within.
Eventually, the project landed with Warner Bros., and Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach developed their own vision for the movie. The official synopsis reveals that the film is centered around Barbie’s dichotomy between her perfect world and an existential crisis, taking her on an adventure in the real world alongside Ken.
Despite the abandonment and changes, the new collection of ideas could have actually played in favor of the upcoming film. The names involved, such as Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Greta Gerwig, and Noah Baumbach, are all at the top of their careers and know how to pick the right projects. The tie-in to the nostalgic toy brand also adds to the appeal. Barbie hits theaters on July 20th, and fans are eagerly anticipating the new take on this iconic character.