Margot Robbie promises her long-gestating Barbie movie (which she will produce and star in) won’t be like anything audiences are expecting.
Margot Robbie promises her long-gestating Barbie movie will be unlike anything audiences are expecting. Robbie first caught Hollywood’s attention with her role in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, though it wasn’t until she was cast as Harley Quinn in the DCEU that she became a true household name. Now, Robbie stands as one of the biggest stars working today, having played Harley twice with a third appearance coming in next year’s The Suicide Squad. She also gained great acclaim for her roles in movies like I, Tonya, Bombshell, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
By the time Robbie became attached to Barbie as both the star and producer, the movie itself had been in development for a long time. Barbie first entered development at Sony in 2015, and over the years, it has undergone several rewrites and stars. At one point, Amy Schumer was set to star, and when she exited the project, Anne Hathaway was in talks. Robbie finally signed on in 2018, and in 2019, Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach signed on to write, with Gerwig possibly directing. Since then, there haven’t been any major updates.
Nevertheless, work on Barbie continues. In a new profile with THR and her LuckyChap producing partners, Robbie offered some teases about what fans can expect from Barbie. As in, they can essentially expect nothing, because it’s going to be completely different from what audiences might have in mind. Robbie said:
And we like the things that feel a little left of center. Something like Barbie where the IP, the name itself, people immediately have an idea of, “Oh, Margot is playing Barbie, I know what that is,” but our goal is to be like, “Whatever you’re thinking, we’re going to give you something totally different — the thing you didn’t know you wanted.”
The simple addition of Gerwig and Baumbach certainly seemed to indicate Barbie wouldn’t quite be a typical story about the iconic doll, and Robbie’s comments further cement that belief. Going into a Barbie-fronted project, it’s easy to think it could be a superficial, family-friendly tale about kindness or other Barbie-esque values. However, with Gerwig and Baumbach writing and Robbie producing, it sounds like this project will dig deeper into Barbie’s world and characterization.
Right now, it’s a little hard to imagine how that will take shape, but it does sound intriguing. Robbie’s LuckyChap banner has so far worked on projects like Birds of Prey and Promising Young Woman, which arrives this week. Both of those movies – as well as the others from the company – feature bold female-fronted stories, and it sounds like Barbie could be their latest. It remains to be seen when Barbie will be released, seeing as it hasn’t even begun production (or officially named a director), but it remains in active development. The COVID pandemic likely hasn’t helped matters, but Robbie and her team could make further progress next year. Fans will just have to keep their eyes out.