Margot Robbie is officially set to star in a live-action Barbie movie, it has been announced. The 28 year-old Australian actress began her career on the long-running soap opera, Neighbours, but came to international prominence as a movie star in the likes of The Wolf of Wall Street and Suicide Squad. Robbie is set to appear in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and will reprise her Harley Quinn character in the forthcoming Birds of Prey. Aside from her acting, Robbie has started her own production company, serving as a producer on I, Tonya and Terminal, both of which she also starred in.
Plans for a big screen, live-action Barbie movie can be traced back almost a decade to 2009, when Universal were reportedly working on a script. Sony Pictures then took over the project and, after several rewrites, it was announced in 2016 that Amy Schumer would be starring as a real-life version of the iconic blonde doll. Citing "scheduling conflicts," Schumer pulled out only a few months later and the likes of Mindy Kaling and Anne Hathaway were suggested as potential replacements. In 2018, Sony also jumped ship and the Barbie movie moved over to Warner Bros., who were rumored to be eyeing their Suicide Squad star, Margot Robbie, for the lead role.
In a joint statement, Warner Bros. and toy company Mattel have now officially announced that they are moving forward with a live-action Barbie movie and Margot Robbie is confirmed for the title role. The press release also reveals that Robbie will co-produce the film but there is no word about who will direct, with Wonder Woman's Patty Jenkins a rumored candidate. The Barbie movie marks the first confirmed project under Mattel's dedicated film division established in September 2018. Regarding her involvement, Robbie said:
"I’m so honored to take on this role and produce a film that I believe will have a tremendously positive impact on children and audiences worldwide."
Barbie fans will likely be relieved to hear that this live-action movie, long thought to be languishing in development hell, is finally underway and especially with an A-list actress leading the cast. Schumer's cinematic stock has fallen somewhat in recent years, but Robbie is arguably one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood at present and her capture represents a real coup. Now that Mattel Films officially have Barbie underway, it'll be interesting to see if an announcement for their other rumored project, Masters of the Universe, arrives in the near future.
Like movies based on video games or anime series, it's natural to be somewhat skeptical when it comes to live-action interpretations of toys on the big screen. Battleship was poorly received, and while the G.I. Joe movies made money at the box office, they endured a negative critical reaction. Transformers is perhaps the biggest and most successful movie franchise inspired by a toy line, but many fans of the original toys were dissatisfied with the film series. Barbie certainly has many obstacles to navigate as production moves ahead.
Barbie is currently without a release date. More news as it arrives