Mattel has announced in a press release that they are collaborating with Warner Bros to bring Barbie to the big screen in a live-action movie. They also revealed that Margot Robbie has been cast in the title role and will also serve as co-producer. Barbie would be the first announced deal to come out of Mattel’s newly-established Mattel Films.
“Playing with Barbie promotes confidence, curiosity and communication throughout a child’s journey to self-discovery,” said Robbie of the iconic doll. “Over the brand’s almost 60 years, Barbie has empowered kids to imagine themselves in aspirational roles from a princess to president. 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 is one of the most iconic franchises in the world and we are excited to partner with Warner Bros. Pictures and Margot Robbie to bring her to life on the big screen,” said Ynon Kreiz, Chairman and CEO of Mattel. “We look forward to building on this collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures as we tell the stories of our beloved brands.”
“This project is a great start to our partnership with Ynon and Mattel Films,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman at Warner Bros. “Margot is the ideal producer and actress to bring Barbie to life on screen in a fresh and relevant way for today’s audiences.”
The film was originally being developed by Sony, with Amy Schumer attached to star, but she dropped out in 2017 after telling Variety she was no longer able to commit due to scheduling conflicts. Anne Hathaway was then attached, but departed in early 2018. Talk emerged in October 2018 when Deadline reported that the project was shifting to Warner, with Robbie potentially in the lead.
Robbie will co-produce the film under her production company LuckyChap Entertainment, alongside Tom Ackerley and Josey McNamara. When over at Sony, the film had Alethea Jones set to direct from a script by Olivia Milch, where Barbie gets kicked out of Barbieland because she is not perfect enough. It is not yet known if they will still be involved now that the film is over at Warner Bros.
The live-action Barbie film is expected to be released sometime in 2020.