It has been two years since we’ve last heard an update regarding Warner Bros. Pictures’ live-action Barbie movie, and now Variety brings word that titular star Margot Robbie has confirmed through a recent interview for British Vogue’s upcoming August 2021 issue that Lady Bird filmmaker Greta Gerwig is indeed officially directing the project. Gerwig and long-time partner and collaborator Noah Baumbach have actually been attached to co-write the screenplay for the Barbie movie since 2019.
During the cover interview, Robbie continued to open up about the long-in-development project as she acknowledges the fact that adapting the iconic Mattel doll does “comes with a lot of baggage! And a lot of nostalgic connections.”
“But with that come a lot of exciting ways to attack it,” she continued while teasing Gerwig’s take on the character’s story. “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…’”
Based on Mattel’s popular doll, the live-action Barbie movie will be led by Margot Robbie (I, Tonya, The Suicide Squad), who is also serving as a producer through her LuckyChap banner. Further details about its plot and characters are still being kept under wraps, but production is expected to finally begin in early next year at Warner Bros.’ Leavesden Studios in London. The studio is reportedly planning to release the film in 2023.
The film will also be produced by LuckyChap’s Tom Ackerly and Mattel Films’ Robbie Brenner along with Josey McNamara and Ynon Kreiz. This marks Robbie’s latest collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures after starring as fan-favorite anti-hero Harley Quinn in 2016’s Suicide Squad, 2020’s Birds of Prey, and the upcoming The Suicide Squad.
Barbie was originally being developed at Sony for the last few years, with Amy Schumer and then Anne Hathaway both initially in talks to star in the movie, while Diablo Cody was also previously attached to write. However, the project’s development was ultimately moved to Mattel Films and Warner Bros. Pictures.