Look, Modern Hollywood is 90 percent intellectual property farm that spends all day trying to figure out how to turn known entities into bankable movies. You can’t get too mad at the film exec suits for giving people what they clearly want, whether that’s Transformers or Paw Patrol. It’s not weird that they’re trying to make a Barbie movie. It is weird that we’re pretty excited about it, and that’s because of one person: Greta Gerwig.
Gerwig, a true generational talent behind movies like Frances Ha, Lady Bird and Little Women, is officially on board to adapt Barbie as a movie from a script she co-wrote with her partner and frequent collaborator Noah Baumbach. Margot Robbie, one of the most Barbie-looking human beings alive, is set to star in the film, which will likely start production early next year.
If two filmmakers of Gerwig and Baumbach’s caliber feel like there’s a good story here, who are we to argue? And, hey, it’s not like gold hasn’t been spun from existing IP before. There was no reason to think the Lego Movie would be any good, and it ended up being terrific. Some of those superhero movies are pretty solid. And, hey, remember when Disney got a whole, very weird and mostly fun film franchise out of its Pirates of the Caribbean theme park ride?
As Robbie herself told British Vogue, “[With ‘Barbie’] comes 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…’
Yeah, that’s pretty much our thoughts. As Gerwig told RELEVANT about Little Women in 2019, “I would never adapt just to adapt. I’d have to have something that I have to tell this way through this piece.” Sounds like she has something to say about Barbie.