Initially announced in 2014, the upcoming “Barbie” movie has quickly become one of the most anticipated releases of 2023.
Audiences have praised and criticized each “Barbie” update (this is one of the most beloved toys of all time, after all), but this April, Warner Bros.’ released the official first-look image of Margot Robbie as Barbie, and anticipation has been growing ever since — especially after Warner Bros.’ stoked the flames with our first look at Ryan Gosling as Ken.
In addition to co-writing the latest “Barbie” draft, Oscar-nominated “Little Women” and “Lady Bird” filmmaker Greta Gerwig is directing the project. In addition to starring as the titular character, Robbie is also a producer alongside “Dallas Buyers Club” producer Robbie Brenner (Mattel Films) and “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman (Heyday Films), as well as her husband, Tom Ackerley (LuckyChap Entertainment).
Below, we run down everything we know about the “Barbie” movie so far — from the release date to the cast to the project’s lengthy production history.
When will it be released?
In celebration of the Mattel doll’s 60th anniversary, “Barbie” will be released in theaters on July 21, 2023
Who is in the “Barbie” cast?
The highly anticipated film includes an ensemble of very different actors and actresses. Robbie is to star as the “main” Barbie, coupled with Ryan Gosling as the “main” Ken. It’s been revealed there will be different versions of Barbie — one is rumored to be portrayed by Issa Rae (“Insecure”) and the other might be Hari Nef (“And Just Like That…”) — and the three Barbies will be matched with their own Kens.
The rest of the (revealed) cast includes Will Ferrell, Simu Liu (Marvel’s “Shang-Chi”), Michael Cera (“Superbad”), Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”), Emma Mackey (“Sex Education”), Kingsley Ben-Adir (“High Fidelity”), America Ferrera (“Superstore”), Rhea Perlman (“Cheers”), Ncuti Gatwa (“Sex Education”), Ariana Greenblatt (“Avengers: Infinity War”), Ana Cruz Kayne (“Little Women”), Alexandra Shipp (“Tick, Tick, Boom…”), Ritu Arya (“The Umbrella Academy”), Sharon Rooney (“Dumbo”), Connor Swindells (“Sex Education”), Scott Evans (“Almost Love”) and Jamie Demetriou (“Fleabag”).
Nicola Coughlan, Dua Lipa, and Saoirse Ronan have all been rumored to be linked to the production, but are thus far not confirmed.
Between Greta Gerwig and Christopher Nolan’s upcoming films, every Hollywood actor might be appearing in theaters in July 2023. Nolan’s upcoming film — and potential box office rival — “Oppenheimer” might have cast everyone who isn’t in “Barbie.”
Wasn’t Amy Schumer supposed to be in it?
The “Barbie” project actually has a pretty lengthy development history. Originally, writers Diablo Cody and Jenny Bicks’ wrote a screenplay in 2014 for a potential Sony “Barbie” franchise. By 2016, Amy Schumer joined the project and revamped the script with Hillary Winston, focusing the story on a woman who is kicked out of “Barbie-ville,” due to her inability to meet its standards of physical perfection. After “scheduling conflicts” — later revealed as creative differences — Schumer left the production in 2018.
By 2019, “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” actress Margot Robbie and Warner Bros. took over the production, attaching Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”) and Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”) to write the screenplay, with Gerwig directing.
What is “Barbie” about?
While the plot has yet to be revealed, this spring it was revealed that Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling will not be the only Barbie and Ken.
After Margot Robbie’s Letterboxd account, and her list “Watch for Barbie,” went viral on Twitter, Letterboxd and Twitter users began to speculate what they believe “Barbie” could possibly be about. Robbie’s ”Watch for Barbie” list of films includes, “Splash” (1984), “Puberty Blues” (1981), “The Truman Show” (1998), and two of Jaques Demy’s musicals “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” (1964) and “The Young Girls of Rochefort” (1967). Some fans have theorized “Barbie” might include musical numbers, but the cast and crew have been very tight-lipped about what they’re working on.
Is it currently filming?
Yes. “Barbie” began filming at Warner Bros.’ Leavesden Studios in London in early 2022.
Most importantly, will “Barbie” feature Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” in the film?
Unfortunately, audience members looking forward to seeing Robbie’s Barbie and Gosling’s Ken accompanied by the 1997 pop song will be disappointed to learn it will not be in the film.