As a multi-billion dollar brand that’s remained part of the pop culture lexicon for over 60 years, the only surprising thing about the Barbie movie is that it’s spent so long stuck in development hell, with countless filmmakers and stars having circled the project at various points over the last few years.
The current iteration of Barbie was first announced in April 2014, with Sex and the City creator Jenny Hicks tasked with penning the script. A year later, Academy Award winner Diablo Cody came on board for rewrites, before in typical Sony fashion it was revealed in late 2015 that three different writers had been hired to write a screenplay each, and the best one would be chosen for the live-action treatment.
Originally penciled in for a summer 2017 release date, Amy Schumer signed on to play the title role before dropping out just four months later, with Anne Hathaway stepping in as her replacement. After further upheaval, Barbie is now set up at Mattel Films with Warner Bros. distributing, and Margot Robbie will headline and produce through her LuckyChap Entertainment banner, with the acclaimed independent cinema dream team of Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach c-writing the script, while Gerwig entered talks to direct.
That happened two years ago, and we’ve not heard much since, but a new rumor offers that Ryan Gosling is in talks to play Ken, but that’s about the extent of the information divulged. Robbie confirmed last December that Barbie was still happening, but details remain thin on the ground.
The idea of the Harley Quinn actress teaming up with Gosling in a movie from respective three-time Academy Award nominees Gerwig and Baumbach is a tantalizing prospect, and the whole Barbie thing would just make it all the more curiously strange.