Every Friday there’s a piece of movie news legitimately worthy of a big TGIF: Today, that news is that Margot Robbie is in talks to play Barbie in the live-action movie of the same name, inspired by the iconic Mattel doll. Even better news: Patty Jenkins, the director who breathed new, glorious life into the DCEU with Wonder Woman, is in early talks to direct it.
Sony and Mattel’s Barbie movie has hit snag after snag pretty much since its inception. At first, Diablo Cody was signed on to write the screenplay before tossing out her version in favor of competing three other writers against each other. Sony chose the winner and Amy Schumer joined the film to star (after a few touch-ups to the screenplay), but today she announced that, due to scheduling problems, she won’t be playing the iconic doll after all.
Sony’s live-action Barbie movie project has had a bit of a bumpy development process, initially hiring Diablo Cody to pen the screenplay (yay!) before tossing it out (boo!) and hiring three more (!) writers to deliver competing screenplays (huh?) — leaving us with little idea of what to expect from this wacky film. That drastically changed today, as Amy Schumer has officially been cast in the title role in the Barbie movie, which has an official screenplay and everything.
The Dark Tower opening in January felt like a bad sign, given that the first month of the year is typically a dumping ground for less-promising films. Inspiring a healthy bit of optimism, Sony has pushed the release back a month to February 2017, while also shifting dates for similarly long-gestating films Bad Boys 3 and Barbie — the latter of which remains without a director, so we’ll see how long that release date sticks.
Boy, these new Barbie body types are sure getting really specific. I mean, it makes sense for Mattel to attempt to reach a broader, more diverse audience by releasing new Barbies that better match the girls and young women of the world, but aging, rich white dude with trust issues hardly seems like it will strike the right chord. The only thing this might strike is fear into the hearts of criminals.
Though Mattel had announced the full DC Trinity (in their Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice garb) would be getting the Barbie treatment at San Diego Comic-Con last year, the only doll anyone got to see was Wonder Woman. The Amazonian princess certainly looked the part, but nobody really knew what to expect from a potential Batman or Superman at the time. With Toy Fair 2016 right around the corner, and Mattel having a large Barbie and DC Comics presence at the show, it seemed like we might get our first glimpse at the Bruce and Clark Ken dolls in a few weeks. Thanks to Amazon, we no longer have to wait for Batman.
The best news to come out of Sony’s live-action Barbie movie occurred over the summer, when the studio hired Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody to deliver a new draft of the screenplay based on Mattel’s iconic toy. But just as Barbie herself has tried on many different outfits and career choices, Sony has decided to try on many different screenplays until they find one that fits.