Who’s going to keep Barbie company in her Malibu Dream House? Make ocean journeys with her in her Dolphin Magic Ocean View Boat? Spend time with her when Midge, Christie, or Teresa are unavailable? Well, apparently it’s going to be none other than Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Gosling, and for those keeping score — we called it months ago.
Back in June, we brought you an exclusive report from one of our trusted and proven sources that Ryan Gosling was in talks to play opposite Margot Robbie in the upcoming Barbie feature. Now Deadline has confirmed that the Blade Runner 2049 star is in final negotiations to play the live-action version of Barbie’s–boyfriend? Guy friend? We don’t know, and we imagine the film will feature its own version of their relationship.
Deadline claims that, at first, Gosling had turned the role down because of scheduling conflicts. Barbie‘s producers — who include Margot Robbie — were persistent, insisting Gosling was their only choice for Ken. A hole reportedly opened up in Gosling’s schedule, and now the La La Land star has joined the cast.
Little is known about the plot of Barbie at this point, including the nature of the relationship between Ryan Gosling’s Ken and Robbie’s Barbie. The film’s IMDb page includes a synopsis that mentions a doll being expelled from “Barbieland” and needing to make their way in the real world. However IMDb isn’t always the most reliable source of information — particularly this early in a film’s production — and it’s particularly conspicuous that it seems to be the only website to supposedly have such information.
Margot Robbie has made a point of being vague about Barbie. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter last December, Robbie insisted, “Whatever you’re thinking, we’re going to give you something totally different — the thing you didn’t know you wanted.” If you’re thinking that means the version of Barbie that Robbie and Ryan Gosling are about to bring us won’t be family friendly, another interview seems to go against that notion. Robbie told Variety in July 2019 that the movie would “put some positivity out in the world and a change to be aspirational for younger kids.”
One of the more surprising additions to Barbie is the director/writer team of actress/filmmaker Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) and Noah Baumbach (The Squid and The Whale). The real life partners in romance and filmmaking are usually prone to more indie arthouse fare. Their involvement in a major motion picture starring the likes of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling is curious and promising.
Barbie will be produced by LuckyChap Entertainment, the company Margot Robbie co-founded in 2017. The company’s first film was I, Tonya in which Robbie starred as the infamous figure skater Tonya Harding. One of the company’s most recent productions was the black comedy thriller Promising Young Woman, in which Carey Mulligan stars as a woman who lures would-be rapists and doles out violent judgment.
There’s no word yet on when we should expect to see the live-action Barbie film in theaters, however Deadline says it could start principal photography in early 2022. Deadline also says the film hasn’t officially been greenlit yet, but with Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie attached — along with a popular intellectual property — no one’s going to have to hold their breath long.