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Barbie will be making her way to the big screen.
Sony Pictures, Mattel and Parkes+MacDonald Imagenation are teaming up to make a live-action comedy starring the iconic doll.
Production is set to begin at the end of the year on the first film, with the studio seeing this as a possible franchise.
The first film is written by Jenny Bicks and produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. Parkes/MacDonald Productions CEO Marc Resteghini will executive produce alongside Julia Pistor for Mattel’s Playground Productions.
The Barbie doll, launched in March 1959, has come in various looks over the decades, ranging from princess to president, mermaid to movie star. The studio plans to utilize many of these roles in the films. The brand brings in $3 billion annually.
Sources say the first movie will be a two-hander that teams Barbie with an overworked bureaucrat looking for an assistant. A contemporary buddy comedy ensues.
There have been numerous CGI-animated direct-to-DVD films made starring Barbie, beginning with 1987’s Barbie and the Rockers: Out of this World. Mattel and Universal released the most recent, Barbie: The Pearl Princess, in March 2014.
“We’ve always thought that the Barbie story had great potential, but a universe of possibilities opened up when Jenny, Walter and Laurie brought us their unexpected, clever and truly funny concept. It captures everything that has made Barbie a classic for generation after generation while also standing on its own, establishing Barbie as a truly original screen character. We’re confident that Barbie will delight audiences, no matter where her adventures take her,” said Hannah Minghella, Columbia Pictures’ president of production, in a statement.
This Barbie film marks the second collaboration between Sony Pictures and Mattel, which are currently developing a film adaptation of Masters of the Universe, based on Mattel’s popular He-Man action figures.
The deal was brokered by CAA on behalf of Mattel and Parkes/MacDonald, by UTA on behalf of Jenny Bicks, and by Michael Marshall for Sony.
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