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During a conversation with singer Dua Lipa on the At Your Service podcast, Gerwig reflected on deciding to work on the script with Noah Baumbach before then taking on directorial duties for the Warner Bros. film that hits theaters July 21, 2023. The Little Women filmmaker explained that she had been wanting to work with Margot Robbie, who had secured rights to the popular Mattel toy line.
“It was something that was exciting because it was terrifying,” Gerwig said about working on Barbie. “I think that was a big part of it, like: ‘Oh, no, Barbie.'”
She continued, “It felt like vertigo, starting to write it, like: ‘Where do you even begin, and what would be the story?’ And I think it was that feeling I had was knowing that it would be really interesting terror. Usually that’s where the best stuff is, where you’re like, ‘I am terrified of that.’ Anything where you’re like, ‘This could be a career-ender’ — then you’re like, ‘I should probably do it.'”
Prior to Gerwig’s involvement, the script had been in development for years, with Amy Schumer and Anne Hathaway having previously been circling the title role. Gerwig’s film stars Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken, and the supporting cast includes America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, Ariana Greenblatt, Alexandra Shipp, Emma Mackey, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Issa Rae, Michael Cera, Rhea Perlman and Will Ferrell.
Robbie previously told The Hollywood Reporter that the film’s team is looking forward to catching audiences by surprise. “Something like Barbie where the IP, the name itself, people immediately have an idea of, ‘Oh, Margot is playing Barbie, I know what that is,’ but our goal is to be like, ‘Whatever you’re thinking, we’re going to give you something totally different — the thing you didn’t know you wanted,’” the star said.
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