The new live-action Barbie moving starring Margot Robbie in the title role is now finally official. Movie giant Warner Bros. and toy company Mattel have announced a partnership for the film, and also confirmed that Robbie will be a producer on the film.
According to Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich, the new Barbie movie will “bring Barbie to life on screen in a fresh and relevant way for today’s audiences.”
He added that the new Barbie movie is the first in a new partnership with Mattel’s new film division, Mattel Films, which suggests some of the iconic toy company’s other brands may get spun into films someday. Barbie is arguably Mattel’s biggest brand, but the company also owns the American Girl Doll, Hot Wheels, Hot Wheels, Thomas the Tank Engine, and Fisher Price brands, among many others.
Mattel’s share price has plummeted over the past year, and the company also cut more than 2,000 jobs in an effort to improve its profitability, according to CNBC.
Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz said in his own statement that the company is trying to become an “IP-driven, high performing toy company,” and the new film division is one part of this. The new Mattel Films division is led by Robbie Brenner, who shared the Best Picture Oscar nomination for Dallas Buyers Club.
As for Robbie, who earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her leading role in I, Tonya, said she is “honoured” to be playing Barbie in the new film.
“Playing with Barbie promotes confidence, curiosity and communication throughout a child’s journey to self-discovery. Over the brand’s almost 60 years, Barbie has empowered kids to imagine themselves in aspirational roles from a princess to president,” she said.
According to Variety, the story is along the lines of Enchanted and Big, in that the main character finds herself kicked out of Barbieland and thrust into the real world.
Amy Schumer was originally lined up to play Barbie in the movie when it was set up at Sony. Before the studio changeover, it was expected to open in Summer 2018, but the date has been pushed. Reports now say that Barbie is slated for a May 8, 2020 release date.