Warner Bros. is taking control of the long-delayed Barbie live-action movie and Oscar-nominated actress Margot Robbie is in talks to produce and star in it. If a deal is reached, the movie will be handled through Robbie's banner Luckychap Entertainment - the same group producing the upcoming Birds of Prey movie for DC Films.
First announced in 2009, the Barbie movie has spent the better part of a decade being tossed around Hollywood like a hot potato. The project started at Universal, before moving to Sony, where Diablo Cody was hired to work on a script. Amy Schumer was cast to star in the film in 2016 before dropping out due to other commitments, at which point Anne Hathaway was cast as Barbie. Plans were made for the film to begin shooting this year in anticipation of a 2020 release, before the rights revered back to Mattel, who sold the film rights to Warner Bros.
It's unknown at this point just what sort of film Warner Bros. intends to make using the Barbie license. Previous scripts for Sony were reportedly based around the idea of putting a spin on the classic Barbie mythology, exploring the issues of feminism and identity in a modern world through the eyes of a character who has not always exemplified the ideals of feminine empowerment. It's also unknown if Mattel took ownership of these Barbie scripts of if they remained the property of Sony. This would be the standard practice, but Mattel could still move forward with the idea of a more proactive Barbie with interests beyond fashion and boys at Warner Bros.
It seems likely that concept of such a Barbie movie would appeal to Robbie, whose most recent works have been centered around the portrayal of strong women. In addition to her work producing the Birds of Prey movie (in which she will reprise her role as the anti-hero Harley Quinn), Robbie will soon be appearing in Josie Rourke's Mary, Queen of Scots as Queen Elizabeth I of England. She is also signed to star in Marian, a film based around the idea of Maid Marian having to lead a new rebellion against the newly crowned King John in the wake of the death of her husband, Robin Hood.