The filmmaking industry is going through a phase where remakes, reboots, and superhero movies dominate the big screen, and adaptations of any kind of pre-existing IP– whether a book, video game, or even a toy – seem to immediately have a spot. Adaptations of books are very common, and adaptations of video games are slowly but surely getting a spot in the industry. After the success – both critical and commercial – of The LEGO Movie, studios are opting to develop projects based on toys, so it’s not a big surprise that Sony and Mattel are bringing Barbie to the big screen.
The live-action Barbie movie is happening, with a first script draft written by Jenny Bicks (Rio 2) and a re-write by Diablo Cody (Juno). It seems as though the studio wants as many creative ideas as possible, as they have hired three new screenwriters to help them bring the beloved doll to live.
Sony has reportedly hired Bert Royal, Hilary Winston, and Lindsey Beer to write their own scripts for Barbie’s live-action adventure. According to THR, sources say Sony wasn’t pleased with Diablo Cody’s version of the script and decided to bring these writers on board to share their visions. Bert Royal wrote the script of the critically acclaimed teen comedy Easy A, starring Emma Stone. Other credits include the TV movie Joey Dakota and the 2016 TV series Recovery Road, where he also serves as executive producer.
Hilary Winston has written various episodes for multiple TV series, most notably My Name is Earl and Community. Meanwhile, Lindsey Beer is working on the fifth Transformers movie, and previously worked in a family adventure story for Disney, titled Dig, as well as on The Weinstein Co.’s Short Circuit.
The studio is aiming for a June 2017 release, so it’s understandable they are now using a multitrack strategy to come up with the type of story they are looking for. There has been no word on who could be directing this movie, but once the script is done, we should be hearing about possible directors.
Barbie has had multiple direct-to-home animated features but no live-action versions until now. Previous reports have stated they are looking for a Mary Poppins-style character who improves the lives of those around her. It’s going to be interesting how these new writers will bring their spark and sense of humor to Mattel’s famous doll, but mostly how they are going to approach this Poppins-like idea, as Barbie’s audience is used to seeing her in fantastic scenarios.