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Amy Schumer will star in Sony’s live-action Barbie movie.
Mattel and producers Walter F. Parkes, Laurie MacDonald and Amy Pascal have teamed up for the project, which will try to put a contemporary spin on beauty, feminism and identity.
A year ago, Sony hired three scribes to pen separate screenplays, with the studio picking Hilary Winston’s idea and script to work off of. It is expected that Schumer will rewrite the script with her sister, Kim Caramele.
A search for a director is also underway.
The Barbie doll, launched in March 1959 by El Segundo, Calif.-based Mattel, is one of the biggest toy brands in the world, bringing in $3 billion annually. But it’s a brand that has had to address issues of self-image and race in modern times.
The feature, with Schumer in the lead, will try to address those issues in a story that begins in a perfect land of Barbies, where one woman slowly awakens to the fact that she doesn’t fit in. She is expelled from the idealistic land and journeys to the real world, where she discovers that being unique is an asset.
The studio is hoping to make an imaginative family comedy with plenty of heart, using the Tom Hanks classics Splash and Big, as well as Disney’s more recent Enchanted, which starred Amy Adams, as touchstones.
The road to a Barbie movie has not been an easy one, and finding the right take has been critical. At one point, the project was looking to be a buddy comedy, a two-hander that teamed Barbie with an overworked bureaucrat looking for an assistant.
Schumer’s casting is sure to raise eyebrows. One, it goes against the classic image of Barbie being a thin beauty that has come under fire in recent times, which is precisely the point of this casting. And two, Schumer has cultivated a brand of saucy comedy that may clash with Mattel’s pristine image of a gal who has unlimited career options.
Schumer is repped by UTA, management firms Maverick and B and law firm Schreck Rose.
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