It's been a long and bumpy road for the Barbie movie, which was stuck in development limbo at Sony for years, with names like Amy Schumer and Anne Hathaway attached to star at various points. Last fall, Mattel took the Barbie party over to Warner Bros., where Margot Robbie signed on to star and produce through her LuckyChap banner – meaning she'll be heavily involved with the development process, which is great news for those of us concerned for this movie about an impossibly-proportioned plastic doll who must be popping Adderall left and right to hold down her 850 jobs. Although WB was recently eyeing Wonder Woman's Patty Jenkins to direct, it looks like there's been a change in plans, as Variety reports that indie faves Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach have signed on to write the screenplay for Barbie, with Gerwig possibly directing.
It would be a supremely interesting and somewhat surprising move for Gerwig, whose adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women hits theaters this Christmas. But even if Gerwig doesn't direct Barbie, her involvement as screenwriter is more than enough to warrant a serious eyebrow raise. We've known for some time that the film, based on Mattel's prolific line of dolls, would be taking a more progressive approach to Barbie – a previous iteration was to star Amy Schumer as a Barbie who doesn't fit the typical mold and is ousted from Barbie world, only to discover that she's perfect just the way she is. When the project was still at Sony, there was talk of hiring Diablo Cody to write the screenplay, all of which would have to be done with Mattel's blessing, which tells you where the brand's head is at.
As someone who had no shortage of Barbies and Barbie playsets and Barbie clothes and Barbie shoes and coloring books and all manner of pink plastic ephemera, I'm pretty excited about this Barbie movie – especially if Gerwig and Baumbach find a clever way to bring Barbie into the modern era and reconcile with her superficial past, and I imagine they'll do just that.