Barbie is a modern woman who’s done it all. She’s been a mermaid, princess, veterinarian and soon will make her big screen debut as a movie star. Mattel and Sony Pictures announced today that a live-action Barbie film is in the works.
The film is going to be a “comedic and contemporary” film, which will definitely appeal to modern audiences. In recent years, Mattel has done a great job with the Barbie brand through social media in making it appeal to not only young girls, but also older women who used to play with Barbies when they were younger. Capturing this nostalgia factor and positioning the movie as a more fun, contemporary chick flick is going to be key to this film’s success. It wouldn’t be farfetched to say that this movie will have a Legally Blonde vibe, which is already a bit Barbie in its own way.
While Barbie has been featured in many (trust us, many) direct-to-video movies over the years, this will be the first time that Barbie hits the big screen. After the monumental success of The Lego Movie and the announcement of its upcoming sequel, it’s no question that Mattel took note and is hoping for the same traction with Barbie, which will hopefully lead to a saga of movies in addition to greater doll sales.There has been a trend recently of toy companies capitalizing on their assets by making feature-length animated films (see Peeps, Trolls, My Little Pony and Tonka Trucks), so it’s no surprise that Mattel wants to get in on the fun by making one of its biggest franchises even bigger.
As mentioned before, Barbie is known for having over 150 careers–a true Jane-of-all-trades. Looks like Mattel isn’t going to force Barbie to just pick one of these careers for the movie: “Barbie will inhabit many of these roles, utilizing her personal and professional skills to inspire change in the lives of everyone around her.”
The character is going to be clever and almost like a modern day Mary Poppins, as she will “use her personal and professional skills to step into the lives of others and improve them.”
It will be interesting to see if the filmmakers keep Barbie’s iconic look, which has been criticized as unattainable and setting an unrealistic standard of beauty. It’s more likely that Barbie won’t complete ditch the ball gowns and pumps entirely. We’ll probably see both a natural fresh-faced Barbie, as well as a glammed up version at times.
The screenplay will be written by Jenny Bicks, who is best known for writing and producing Sex in the City. Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald will produce the film, in addition to Marc Resteghini and Julia Pistor as executive producers.
The executive producers commented:
“While it’s an overused word, Barbie truly is a legend, a cultural symbol whose career choices have been as unlimited as her wardrobe. She is about empowerment, but never at the expense of fun. Our hope is to capture all of these aspects of Barbie in a modern take of the character that can appeal to moviegoers of all ages.”
No word on casting yet, but there’s no doubt that many young Hollywood starlets are going to be clamoring to be the first person to portray and embody the classic American fashion icon. The film is set to begin production near the end of the year.