Is this real life or is it just a doll fantasy?
Margot Robbie directs Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie,” which focuses on the story of plastic femininity in all its glory. Generic Barbie (Robbie) ventures out of her dream world and into the real world along with Ken (Ryan Gosling) on a journey of self-discovery. Simu Liu, Hari Nef, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, John Cena, Dua Lipa and more play other variations of the dolls, while Will Ferrell plays a Mattel executive antagonist. Also starring America Ferrara, Michael Cera, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Nicola Coughlan and Emerald Fennell.
Director Gerwig co-wrote the script with partner Noah Baumbach, with no one from Mattel, star Robbie’s LuckyChap production banner, or Warner Bros. reading any part of the script to completion.
Robbie ensured that LuckyChap structured the deal so Gerwig and Baumbach could have an “open” creative process, “which is really fucking hard to do,” she told Vogue. Robbie said he finally read the script: “We just looked at each other, pure panic on our faces. We were like, ‘Holy shit.’ I think the first thing I said to Tom was, ‘This is so brilliant. It’s a real shame that we will never be able to make this film.’”
Ken’s presence has been modeled as an “accessory” for Barbie, with Gerwig telling Vogue, “Barbie was invented first. Ken was invented after Barbie, to polish Barbie’s position in our eyes and in the world. That kind of creation myth is the opposite of the creation myth in Genesis.
The film was inspired by older Technicolor musicals, with the cast screening films such as ‘The Red Shoes’ and ‘The Umbrellas of Cherbourg’ as part of ‘movie church’ during production. The first trailer for the film included a direct homage to Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” and multiple double-entendre parodies such as puns in a beach brawl.
Actor Liu has been teasing “big, intricate dance sequences” with a wide range of Barbie and Ken dolls, saying earlier this year, “Greta was very, very conscientious about who she casts. We’ve been in able to throw people of all shapes, sizes, different abilities, to participate in this dance, all with this message of: you don’t have to be blonde, white or X, Y, Z to embody what it means to be a Barbie or a Ken.
“Barbie” will premiere in theaters on July 21, going from Stiletto to army boot with “Oppenheimer” at the box office. Watch the latest trailer below and click here for all the details.