Margot Robbie Thought Barbie Would Never Get Made

Margot Robbie thought Barbie's script was too weird and subversive to be made into a big-budget movie.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

The upcoming Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling-starring Barbie film was perhaps one of the most unexpected film announcements in recent years. It’s definitely one of those films that seems like a great idea but still surprises everyone that Warner Bros even approved it. Robbie herself was just as surprised that the film is getting made as she recently said in an interview with BAFTA “The first time I read the Barbie script, my reaction was, ‘Ah! This is so good,'” adding, “‘What a shame it will never see the light of day.” (via Deadline)

It’s understandable that Margot Robbie had doubts that a big-budget Barbie film would be greenlit. While the popular toy line still makes plenty of money for Mattel, it’s not necessarily the pop culture phenomenon that it used to be. Still, the same could be said about the toy-based Lego Movie, and that ended up being an undeniable success.

Of course, your film is probably more likely to get greenlit when Oscar-nominated writers like Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach pen the screenplay. Gerwig is also on board to direct the film, so the talent behind the camera is definitely there. With Gerwig on directing and writing duties and Margot Robbie on board in the main role, the studios would have been stupid not to greenlight the Barbie movie.

The trailers for the movie are already inspiring confidence and getting people hyped for the film. The first trailer was a bizarre and hilarious 2001: A Space Odyssey homage that somehow worked. The homage was so good that the Stanley Kubrick estate apparently watched the Margot Robbie-starring Barbie trailer and tweeted, “They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!” 

The second trailer gave us more scenes from the actual movie, with plenty of Margot Robbie’s Barbie and Ryan Gosling’s Ken (along with the various other Barbies and Kens). The pink-saturated production design and pitch-perfect costuming make one think that a Barbie movie could even nab an Oscar nom for certain categories. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the cast is absolutely stacked with talent.

Along with Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken, the cast includes America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Simu Liu, Will Ferrell, Ariana Greenblatt, Emma Mackey, Alexandra Shipp, Issa Rae, Michael Cera, Hari Nef, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Rhea Perlman, Ncuti Gatwa, Emerald Fennell, Sharon Rooney, Scott Evans, Ana Cruz Kayne, Connor Swindells, Ritu Arya, Jamie Demetriou, and Marisa Abela. The film essentially has a cast that rivals a Wes Anderson or Tarantino film. So not only did the film get greenlit, but it’s shaping up to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the year.

We don’t have much longer to wait to find out if Margot Robbie’s Barbie is going to be a massive critical and commercial success, as it’s set to hit theaters on July 21. Judging by everyone’s hype and the positive reactions so far, it seems like people will be heading to the theaters to see it. Who knows — we might even see more Barbie movies greenlit in the near future.