Barbie Director Is Worried It Will Destroy Her Career

Barbie director Greta Gerwig had feared the film could be a career ender given her free rein on the project.

By Britta DeVore | Published

Barbie Greta Gerwig

From everything we’ve seen surrounding the Barbie movie, it would appear that the film’s director Greta Gerwig has been shooting for the stars. And, based on comments from cast members like Will Ferrell, it’s obvious that Gerwig has another hit on her hands. But, the Lady Bird director wasn’t always so certain about her ability to mold a movie around the iconic Mattel doll and, as she told Dua Lipa on the singer’s At Your Service podcast last week, she was nervous that being given so much freedom with the story could’ve been a complete “career ender.”

Starting the script of Barbie from scratch was admittedly a “terrifying” challenge for Greta Gerwig, who co-wrote the feature. Overwhelmed by all the possibilities for the characters, Gerwig says that she wasn’t even sure of how to start penning the script, adding that “it felt like vertigo starting to write it.” But, despite all the initial anxiety and mental pushback, Gerwig knew in her heart that a project this “terrifying” would also be incredibly rewarding. 

Recognizing that Barbie would be one of the hardest stories she’s ever formed, Greta Gerwig said that within that fear is “where the best stuff is.” A real risk taker, the Little Women director added that when she’s faced with a possible “career-[ending]” project, she knows that she needs to take it. And while some may think that working with a major brand like Mattel would be an absolute headache, Gerwig says that this wasn’t the case.

Praising the company as “amazing partners” to work with on Barbie, Greta Gerwig says that Mattel gave the director and her team a lot of “trust and… freedom,” granting her the opportunity to pour her vision into the production. They respected Gerwig’s artistry and knowledge of crafting beautifully told stories (after all, she is a three-time Academy Award nominee) and never overstepped their boundaries or tried to “micromanage.”

margot robbie barbie movie
Margot Robbie in Barbie

The company instead allowed Gerwig and co. to tell the story the way they wanted to, with all the neon pinks and greens possible. So, what is the story being told in the upcoming summer blockbuster? When it comes to details on Barbie, Greta Gerwig is keeping it tight-lipped.

What we do know is that the live-action romantic comedy will see one of the dolls living in ‘Barbieland’ kicked out after not fitting the mold of the “perfect” Barbie, which will in turn set her on a journey of self-discovery. If there’s one thing you have heard about the film, it’s definitely the stacked cast.

Not only is Barbie directed by the celebrated Greta Gerwig, but it boasts a lineup that includes Margot Robbie as Barbie, Ryan Gosling as Ken, and Will Ferrell as the CEO of Mattel with ensemble performances by America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Alexandra Shipp, Ariana Greenblatt, Michael Cera, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Emma Mackey, Rhea Perlman, Hari Nef, Ncuti Gatwa, Emerald Fennell, and more. Gerwig co-wrote the script with her partner and frequent collaborator Noah Baumbach.

Speaking of Noah Baumbach, before the release of Barbie, Greta Gerwig will be seen in Baumbach’s apocalyptic dark comedy feature White Noise, which is now playing in select theaters before arriving on Netflix on December 30. The film marks the first time Gerwig will be seen on the big screen since 2018’s Isle of Dogs. We can’t wait to see what big risks Gerwig took with her vision of Barbie when it hits theaters in July 2023.