Barbie Director Didn’t Tell Her Co-Writer He Was Working On It

Greta Gerwig apparently committed boyfriend Noah Baumbach to write the script for Barbie without asking him if he was game.

By Matthew Creith | Published

margot robbie barbie movie

Director Greta Gerwig has been on a roll in recent years, helming big pictures that ended up with critical acclaim like Little Women and Lady Bird. Her next project, Barbie, will see Greta Gerwig direct a live-action romantic comedy version of the popular Mattel doll with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in lead roles as Barbie and Ken. Now, Screen Rant reports that Greta Gerwig co-wrote the film with her boyfriend Noah Baumbach, but she apparently didn’t tell him it was a Barbie-inspired movie until he already agreed to the project.

Noah Baumbach is an accomplished writer and director who has been responsible for recent Academy Award winning films like Marriage Story starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver. When Barbie was brought to Greta Gerwig and she spoke to Margot Robbie about writing and directing the film, Gerwig let Robbie know that Baumbach would be co-writing the screenplay with her, even though she hadn’t let Baumbach know about it ahead of time. Not running every little detail by her boyfriend of over 10 years, Gerwig explained to Baumbach in the midst of lockdown in 2020 that she had good thoughts about the potential romantic comedy and working with Robbie by stating, “I like Margot and I have a feeling,” so the pair proceeded to write the film.

Not having any original ideas for a Barbie movie, Noah Baumbach seemed to lean heavily on Greta Gerwig and her thoughts on expanding the doll’s media franchise into a live-action film. The result is Barbie, which is set to debut on July 21, 2023 after filming began earlier this year. The film will costar Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, alongside Will Ferrell, Emerald Fennell, Scott Evans, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Michael Cera, Rhea Perlman, Simu Liu, and America Ferrera.

Barbie Greta Gerwig
Ryan Gosling as Ken in Barbie

Barbie is set to be one of the most talked about movies of 2023, with Greta Gerwig taking on directing duties from the shared screenplay with boyfriend Noah Baumbach. As director of the blockbuster romantic comedy that is reported to be commanding a $100 million budget, Gerwig isn’t sure how the Warner Bros. Pictures film will play in front of an audience, but she’s excited to bring it to the big screen next year. The movie is a step in a different direction for Gerwig as she’s been primarily known for directing independent features throughout her career, including Little Women and Lady Bird that both starred Saoirse Ronan.

Prior to their work on Barbie, Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach collaborated on a number of projects together, including this year’s apocalyptic black comedy, White Noise. Solely written and directed by Baumbach–and starring Gerwig–White Noise is currently enjoying a limited theatrical run before it is released on Netflix on December 30th. Starring Gerwig, Adam Driver, Jodie Turner-Smith, AndrĂ© 3000, and Don Cheadle, the movie is based on the book of the same name by Don DeLillo.