The internet unanimously loved its larger-than-life vibes, the coverage for Trump’s arrest clearly didn’t keep viewers from enjoying two big Barbie-related announcements that took place yesterday, the release of character posters being the second. Margot Robbie is Barbie, Ryan Gosling is Ken, and they’re joined by a stellar cast that includes Emma Mackey, Helen Mirren, Will Ferrell, Simu Liu, America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, and Dua Lipa among others. A teaser trailer dropped a few month ago, taking on one of the most iconic scenes in cinema, from Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.
Greta Gerwig officially signed on to direct the film in 2021, while already on screenwriting duties with her husband, filmmaker Noah Baumbach. The pair has been involved in several projects together such as ‘Frances Ha’ or ‘Mistress America’, among others, and have a long history of award-nominated work separately. Think of them as those cool, Brooklyn-based people at a fancy dinner party, drinking wine, effortlessly sliding words like ‘schadenfreude’ while discussing deep philosophical essays, indie French music and casually texting with Adam Driver and Wes Anderson. In a way, they’re the USA’s ‘Martin McDonagh and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’. Now imagine a double date with these two. And this is why you should not reduce the upcoming ‘Barbie’ to a mere high-end magazine spread.
Gerwig’s work has always been about empowering women, but not just that; her main character in ‘Lady Bird’, a quirky high-schooler that doesn’t wallow in self-pity, is quite a refreshing take on the way mainstream American cinema views young women, and her vision of ‘Little Women’ is a modern, relatable, and fashionable take on an otherwise overdone classic. Baumbach’s work is equally rich, thorough, and groundbreaking. Their decision to take on such a project should come as a surprise, but their love for cinema and strong female characters will trump anything. Mattel has always spoken highly of their star doll’s feminist qualities, despite what everyone might think. Which is why, even with the big, lavish sets, head-turning fashion and tongue-in-cheek jokes that we witnessed in the trailer, there is still much room for the whole story to go rogue, and knowing their scribes’ cinematic history, they will much probably take that road.
And we will be watching.
‘Barbie’ will be released in US theatres on July 21.