Barbie headed to the big screen

Universal acquires rights; 'Julia' producer on board

Hollywood screens are usually populated by Barbies, but now the real Barbie is on her way to the big screen.

After months of negotiations, Universal has acquired the rights to the iconic Mattel toy to make a live-action feature.

Laurence Mark, whose credits include "Jerry Maguire" and "Julie & Julia," is producing.

Barbie, celebrating her 50th anniversary as one of the top toy brands in the world, has never been adapted into a live-action film, though not for Hollywood's lack of trying. Mattel has been extremely protective of the toy, which has generated billions of dollars, wanting nothing to tarnish the polished image.

Columbia has entered into negotiations to pick up He-Man, another Mattel property.

Mattel did OK a straight-to-home animated Barbie movie, which Universal currently distributes.

It is unclear how the toy will translate. Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts; is sometimes a high school teen, but at times a pilot, military officer, teacher or astronaut; drives a slew of cars; dates a man named Ken; and has friends straight out of a United Colors of Benetton ad.

Barbie general manager/Mattel senior vp Richard Dickson and Barbie vp entertainment Rob Hudnut will executive produce.

Executive vp Tracy Falco will oversee the project for Universal.

Mattel is repped by CAA.