For millions of Barbie fans, news that the iconic doll was getting her own live-action treatment ensured it would be one of the most anticipated movie releases of coming years.
But while the announcement of Margot Robbie in the titular role was met with acclaim, one question remained.
What about her Ken?
That question was answered this week when it was confirmed that La La Land heart-throb Ryan Gosling will be getting dolled up as Barbie’s love interest.
Gosling originally declined the role, but has since been confirmed as the co-star of the live-action comedy, a co-production between Robbie’s company LuckyChap Entertainment, Mattel Films and Warner Bros.
Not much is known about the script yet, except that it was co-written by Greta Gerwig and her partner Noah Baumbach (who also share a child).
Gerwig, known for Oscar-nominated films Little Women and Lady Bird, was also confirmed as the film’s director in June.
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Robbie, Australia’s Hollywood superstar, says the film promises to be nothing like viewers expect, and that playing the role of Barbie “comes with a lot of baggage – and a lot of nostalgic connections”.
“But with that comes a lot of exciting ways to attack it.”
She told British Vogue in August that Gerwig would bring an element of surprise to Barbie’s legacy.
“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’,” Robbie said.
Gerwig’s breakout film Lady Bird received five Oscar nods, while Little Women received six.
Both Robbie and Gerwig are known for films with more mature audiences, causing some to wonder if the live-action Barbie comedy will be suitable for kids.
But at the premiere of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (rated R18+), Robbie told Variety that Barbie would be a more family-friendly flick.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to put some positivity out in the world and a change to be aspirational for younger kids,” she said.
Barbie is the maiden collaboration between Mattel Films and Warner Bros.
Production was first announced in January 2019, with an expected release date in 2020.
Way back then, before a global pandemic, Robbie was already inspired and excited to bring Barbie to life.
“Playing with Barbie promotes confidence, curiosity and communication throughout a child’s journey to self-discovery,” she said in a statement.
“I’m so honoured to take on this role and produce a film that I believe will have a tremendously positive impact on children and audiences worldwide.”
Production has been confirmed to begin in early 2022 at Warner Bros’ Leavesden Studios in London, according to Variety.
Fans can look forward to a release date some time in 2023.