Gerwig has been on board the Warner Bros. project since 2019, when the actor and filmmaker signed on to co-write the movie’s script with Noah Baumbach. Since then, rumors have swirled that Gerwig had been eyed to direct the project, but the deal wasn’t officially done.
However, during her cover interview for British Vogue’s Aug. 2021 issue, Robbie casually noted that Gerwig’s creative vision would extend past the screenplay and into the director’s chair. Sources confirmed the development to Variety.
When discussing the movie, the Oscar-nominated actor and producer first acknowledged that Barbie “comes with a lot of baggage! And a lot of nostalgic connections.”
“But with that come a lot of exciting ways to attack it,” she explained. “People generally hear ‘Barbie’ and think, ‘I know what that movie is going to be,’ and then they hear that Greta Gerwig is writing and directing it, and they’re like, ’Oh, well, maybe I don’t…’”
As for the production status of “Barbie,” Gerwig and Baumbach are currently filming his latest feature “White Noise,” in which Gerwig stars. After that project wraps, the pair will next turn their attention to the toy tale, which is set to kick off production in early 2022 at Warner Bros.’ Leavesden Studios in London. A 2023 theatrical release is planned.
News that Gerwig will take on directing duties for the film might not come as a surprise to some, especially given the actor and filmmaker’s success with her breakout features 2017’s “Lady Bird” and 2019’s “Little Women,” which racked up a combined 11 Oscar nominations and one win, including a nod for Best Director (making Gerwig one of seven women ever nominated).
As Robbie noted in her comments to Vogue, Gerwig’s admirers will be eagerly awaiting the chance to see what her directorial sensibilities bring to this new perspective on the plastic icon.
Not much has been revealed about the movie’s plot, including details about exactly which of Barbie’s plastic playmates will appear (What about Ken? Skipper? Christie?). But Robbie previously told Variety’s Marc Malkin that the movie serves as “a great opportunity to put some positivity out in the world and a chance to be aspirational for younger kids.”
In addition to starring in the movie, Robbie also produces the film, under her LuckyChap Entertainment production banner, which is coming off its own Oscar-winning run for last year’s “Promising Young Woman.” Producers on “Barbie” also include LuckyChap’s Tom Ackerley and Josey McNamara; Mattel’s Robbie Brenner and Ynon Kreiz; and David Heyman.
Gerwig is repped by UTA and Management 360.