Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach are set to cowrite the live-action Barbie movie, with Gerwig also being eyed to direct. A live-action film based on Mattel’s immensely popular Barbie fashion doll-turned multimedia brand has been in development for just short of ten years now. The project has changed studios a few times along the way, but is currently set up at Warner Bros. and is expected to serve as their first collaboration with the recently-formed Mattel Films production company.
While Amy Schumer and Anne Hathaway were attached to star in previous iterations of the film, they’ve since moved on and been replaced by Margot Robbie (who’s also producing through her LuckyChap Entertainment banner). There’ve been even more changes in screenwriter than lead actor during the movie’s development, with names like Oscar-winner Diablo Cody (Juno, Tully) and Bert Royal (Easy A) among those who’ve turned in a draft at some point. More recently, Wonder Woman helmsman Patty Jenkins was reportedly being considered to direct the film. However, she shot down that rumor herself near the beginning of this year.
According to The Wrap, real-life partners and fellow filmmakers Gerwig and Baumbach have now closed a deal to write a new live-action Barbie movie script. The former isn’t set to direct just yet, but she’s said to have dibs on the job if she ultimately decides she wants it.
In terms of their film collaborations, Gerwig and Baumbach have worked together on such acclaimed projects as Frances Ha and Mistress America (both of which they cowrote, with Gerwig starring and Baumbach directing). Gerwig went on to make her directing debut with 2017’s Lady Bird, a much celebrated and (very) loosely autobiographical coming of age dramedy that was nominated for Best Picture and snagged Gerwig Oscar nods for both her writing and directing. Her sophomore feature, an adaptation of the beloved Louisa May Alcott novel Little Women, is due to reach theaters this December, and is expected to become an Oscar contender in its own right.
The prospect of Gerwig and Baumbach working on a live-action Barbie movie is unexpected, but more than welcome, especially with Robbie starring and Gerwig potentially directing. What could’ve easily been a lazy attempt to cash-in on the enduring popularity of the Barbie brand is currently shaping up to be a creatively worthwhile adaptation of a best-selling toy instead. (Dare we say, even the next LEGO Movie?) The film is technically scheduled to arrive in May 2020, but it’s safe to assume at this point that WB is planning to delay Barbie to give its future director – be it Gerwig or not – the time that they need to avoid having to rush things.
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Source: The Wrap