Margot Robbie is bringing the iconic Barbie doll to life in a new live-action film. As one of the most recognizable brands in the world, Barbie has been a cultural icon for decades. Now Robbie takes on the challenge of portraying Mattel’s flagship character on the big screen for the first time ever.
An Overview of Barbie’s Impact and Legacy
Barbie was launched by Mattel in 1959 and quickly rose to fame as a fashion doll aimed at young girls. With her slim figure, flowing blonde hair, and expansive wardrobe, Barbie became a symbol of feminine beauty and the American Dream.
Over the years, Barbie has held over 200 careers, showcasing her as everything from a doctor, pilot, and astronaut, to even running for President. Barbie has also represented various nationalities, abilities, and backgrounds. She gave girls endless opportunities to imagine and role play their future selves.
Some key facts about Barbie:
- Debuted at the American Toy Fair in New York on March 9, 1959
- Currently over 58 million Barbies are sold each year in more than 150 countries
- Total Barbie dolls sold worldwide is estimated at over 1 billion
- She would stand 5 feet 9 inches tall with measurements of 36-18-38
- The first Barbie dolls were available as either blonde or brunette
While also beloved by collectors, Barbie has faced ongoing controversies related to her appearance and messaging to young girls. But she remains an iconic cultural figure celebrated by generations.
Bringing Barbie to Life: Casting Margot Robbie
Margot Robbie first gained attention for her role on the TV show Neighbors before breaking out in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. With her girl-next-door charm and versatility as an actress, Robbie has since starred in a diverse range of acclaimed films.
Key highlights of Margot Robbie’s acting career:
- Nominated for 2 Academy Awards and 5 BAFTA Awards
- Known for films like I, Tonya, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Bombshell, Suicide Squad
- Founded production company LuckyChap Entertainment in 2014
- Named in Time 100 Most Influential People list (2017)
At 31 years old, the Australian actress seems an unexpected choice to play the traditionally blonde-haired, blue-eyed Barbie. Yet Robbie brings depth and complexity to every role. Her Barbie is set to have dimensions beyond the doll’s perfection and spotlight the character’s journey of self-discovery.
For Robbie, the role also comes with high expectations as Barbie finally makes her live-action debut. But the talented actress has proven she can tackle challenging parts with grace and tenacity. With Robbie in the lead, Barbie is in capable hands.
The Evolution of Barbie on Screen
While this marks Barbie’s first live-action film, she is no stranger to the screen. Mattel has released over 35 animated Barbie films since 1987, many selling millions of copies.
Here is an overview of Barbie’s history on screen:
- First appeared in 1987’s Barbie and the Rockers: Out of this World
- Early films focused on Barbie as a teenager with various jobs and adventures
- Animated films have included musicals, princess tales, and mermaid stories
- Modern era explores more empowering plots like Barbie as president or a spy
- Most recent was 2020’s Barbie: Princess Adventure musical
- Films generally release straight-to-DVD/streaming
For many young viewers, these animated films were an introduction to Barbie’s world. Over the decades, the movies evolved with the times and expanded Barbie’s personality and passions beyond fashion and dating.
The brand has enduring popularity, with over 75 million views on YouTube and a 26-season TV show called Life in the Dreamhouse. Barbie’s first live-action turn as portrayed by such a high-caliber star provides the chance to connect with an even wider audience.
Inside the Upcoming Barbie Live-Action Movie
Details are still sparse for the new live-action Barbie film set for a 2023 release. Margot Robbie is confirmed to star, with indie director Greta Gerwig helming the project. Gerwig has described her vision for the movie as “totally positive” while also tackling ideas rooted in feminism.
Plot details are still under wraps. But certain trademarks of Barbie like her pink convertible and Dreamhouse will likely appear. Possible themes include diversity, female friendships, finding your passion in life, and embracing your unique self.
There is much curiosity over how the very slim, stylized Barbie proportions will translate to a live-action figure. Usage of CGI and other visual effects will probably help bridge this gap. Costume design and bright colors are also sure to play a big role in bringing Barbie’s world to life.
For supporting roles, several major names are in talks but no casting is yet confirmed. Fans hope for uplifting musical numbers as in the animated films. The overall tone seems geared toward comedy, family-friendly themes, and inspiration.
While this new movie marks a risk, the universal popularity of Barbie makes it a potentially very rewarding franchise. With Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie’s creative vision, hopes are high for a fun, modern take on Barbie.
How Margot Robbie Is Preparing for the Role
For Margot Robbie, playing Barbie requires a true transformation. Reports indicate the actress is fully committed to bringing the doll’s signature traits to the film authentically.
Here are the key ways Robbie is preparing for this challenging role:
- Dyeing her naturally brunette hair back to blonde
- Working with a nutritionist and personal trainer for a strong, slim physique
- Collaborating closely with costume designer Jacqueline Durran
- Researching Barbie history and reviewing the animated films
- Training extensively for any required singing and dancing numbers
- Crafting a recognizable voice and personality for this famous character
Robbie is known for her dedication method preparation for all her roles. For such an iconic part that means so much to girls and women globally, she is sure to immerse herself fully.
Her production company is also heavily involved in crafting Barbie’s story. Warner Bros has faith in Robbie’s vision given her Oscar and BAFTA nominations. Audiences are eagerly anticipating seeing this beloved doll heroine brought to life when the film debuts.
The Filmmaking Talents Behind the Camera
Besides its leading lady, the untitled Barbie movie has impressive credentials behind the scenes. Acclaimed indie director Greta Gerwig is co-writing the script with her partner Noah Baumbach.
Gerwig received Best Director and Original Screenplay Oscar nods for 2017’s coming-of-age film Lady Bird. Her most recent movie was the critically praised Little Women adaptation.
The film’s score will be composed by Gerwig’s frequent collaborator Oscar winner Michael Giacchino. Also onboard is acclaimed costume designer Jacqueline Durran, who has worked on Little Women and Beauty and the Beast.
Warner Bros appears committed to investing in this potential franchise starter. With its $100 million budget and talented filmmaking team, hopes are high for a quality live-action debut.
How Barbie Is Redefining Her Story
As a pioneer for dolls, Barbie has also faced ongoing controversies around her appearance, lifestyle, and values. Critics have called out her exaggerated proportions and focus on beauty and fashion as potentially harmful to young girls.
Mattel has responded with many diverse iterations of Barbie over the decades:
|1971||Malibu Barbie launched, with sun-kissed skin and a modern lifestyle|
|1980||First Black Barbie launched|
|2016||Curvy, Petite and Tall Barbies added|
|2020||Barbie ran for president in partnership with nonprofit She Should Run|
The brand has clearly worked to redefine itself beyond outdated ideals. This live-action film provides an opportunity to further shape Barbie’s story in an uplifting, empowering way.
With a relatable storyline, it can inspire girls to believe they can be anything. The movie seems well-positioned to capture the current cultural moment and introduce Barbie to a new generation.
Recapturing the Toy Brand Magic
As technology increasingly competes for kids’ attention, classic toy brands like Barbie aim to stay relevant in the 21st century. The key is telling stories that resonate with modern families while keeping core product ties.
Successful examples include:
- The Lego movies, spanning from 2014’s The Lego Movie to 2019’s The Lego Movie 2. These expanded the Lego world beyond just building blocks with fun characters and adventures.
- My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic revitalized the pony brand starting in 2010 with its intelligent writing, quality animation, and appeal to wider demographics.
- The Transformers films brought the robots in disguise back in thrilling live-action style, earning over $4 billion worldwide.
Like these examples, Barbie will ideally translate to film in a way that delights both nostalgic parents and kids discovering her for the first time. Leveraging the talents of Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the movie seems poised for this kind of multi-generational success.
Predicting the Impact at the Box Office
Modern doll-centric movies geared toward families have seen big success:
- 2014’s The Lego Movie grossed over $469 million worldwide
- 2016’s Trolls earned over $346 million globally
- The 2019 Playmobil film notably underperformed, showing the difficulty of launching new toy brands.
As an iconic globally recognized brand for over 60 years, Barbie arrives on the big screen with built-in audience interest and marketing potential. Given the star power and filmmaking team, predictions are:
- Opening weekend: $35-55 million domestic opening (<40%)
- Domestic total: $140-180 million
- Worldwide total: $350-450+ million
Parents nostalgic for Barbie and kids enamored with the bright doll world should drive ticket sales. Profit projections also account for merchandising and promotion. If successful, the movie could expand into a multi-film franchise. Much depends on the story resonating with audiences beyond just name recognition.
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But the beloved Barbie brand has enduring cross-generational appeal. And Margot Robbie looks ready to bring the legendary doll to life in a whole new way for the big screen.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Barbie Movie
Barbie’s first ever live-action movie is generating lots of buzz. Here are answers to some common questions about the upcoming film:
Who is starring in the Barbie movie?
Margot Robbie is confirmed to play Barbie. She is also co-producing the film through her LuckyChap Entertainment company. Casting is still underway for other characters like Barbie’s boyfriend Ken.
When will the Barbie movie be released?
The movie is currently slated for a summer 2023 release from Warner Bros. An exact premiere date has not been set yet.
Who is making the Barbie movie?
Acclaimed director Greta Gerwig is co-writing the script with Noah Baumbach and will direct the movie. Oscar-winner Michael Giacchino is composing the score.
What will the Barbie movie be about?
Full plot details are still under wraps. But it is described as a fish-out-of-water story focused on Barbie’s journey of self-discovery. The tone seems fun, comedic, empowering, and optimistic.
Will Ryan Gosling play Ken in the Barbie movie?
Gosling is reportedly a top choice for the role of Ken and he has expressed interest. But his casting is not yet confirmed. Fans are eager to see him take on the role of Barbie’s iconic beau.
How can I stay updated on Barbie movie news?
Follow the movie’s official social media pages, Margot Robbie’s Instagram, and major entertainment news sites. Warner Bros will likely rollout more details and first look images as it gets closer to release.
Barbie’s long-awaited live-action adventure is shaping up to be a major cinema event. With talent like Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig attached, excitement is high to see this cultural icon reimagined for modern audiences.