All of this naturally leaves us with the obvious question: what the heck is this movie?!
There’s a lot we don’t know. For a while, the only plot tease available online said, simply, “Barbie lives in Barbie Land and then a story happens.” (??? How dare you???)
Here’s what we know.
First, Barbie is being directed by Greta Gerwig. Yes, the indie prodigy turned Oscar-nominated director Greta THEE Gerwig. With Gerwig having written and directed lady bird (2017) and little women (2019), both subverting coming-of-age stories about women and featuring Oscar-nominated performances, it’s safe to say that what she’s planning is keeping Mattel execs up at night.
Robbie herself knows what it is. She told British Vogue last year: “People often hear ‘Barbie’ and think, ‘I know what this movie is going to be,’ and then they hear that Greta Gerwig is writing and directing, and they’re like, ‘Oh , well, maybe I don’t.’”
(She’s talking about me. I’m people.)
Second, Gerwig wrote the script with partner Noah Baumbach, another indie darling, who is most famous for his Oscar-nominated films. The Squid and the Whale (2005) and Story of a wedding (2019). Quirky and Melancholy Divorce Story CONFIRMED!
Third, the cast is absolutely stacked – like, to a comedic degree. Here are just a few of the actors that are confirmed: Will Ferrell, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, America Ferrera, Michael Cera, Rhea Perlman, soap opera star (and brother of Chris Evans) Scott Evans, Hari Nef, The crown star and promising young woman director Emerald Fennell, coming soon Doctor who Star Friends Gatwa, and Gatwa’s sex education co-stars Emma Mackey and Connor Swindells. We also have good reason to suspect bridgerton and derry girls Star Nicola Coughlan will appear, as will Dua Lipa (?!) and former Gerwig collaborator Saoirse Ronan.
Fourth, the script must be incredible. Like, drop your-other-projects-and-fuck-me-a-board awesome. Marvel star Liu told GQ UK in May that she taped an audition for the film after one of her agents spoke about the project. “He literally said that literally,” Liu said. “He said, ‘If I could stake my career on any script, it would be the Barbie road map. I really think you should do this.’”
Fifth, Aqua’s iconic 1997 song “Barbie Girl” will NOT be on the soundtrack. This one creepy development is apparently due to decades of bad blood between the band and Mattel, who originally sued for copyright infringement. We can only assume that Gerwig is planning on introducing Belle and Sebastian or Death Cab for Cutie.
So with all those things in mind – and after another hour of looking at that photo of Gosling – here’s the best I could get for several Barbie installments:
Quirky and free-spirited Barbie (Margot Robbie) lives in Sacramento with BFF Ken (Ryan Gosling), a gay man who bleached his hair in a crisis when he turned 27. NYU, they carry out a series of robberies in which they dress up in sexy Western outfits.
Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling) live in Barbie Land. When they witness a powerful mobster (America Ferrera) commit a murder, they are forced to go undercover at a cabaret show in Reno, Nevada, where they wear sexy Western outfits.
Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling) are futuristic, human robots who don’t know they are androids and live in a theme park called Barbie Land. Gradually, they go crazy and start killing guests, all while wearing sexy Western outfits.
Ken (Ryan Gosling) is married to Barbie (Margot Robbie), but discovers a portal through which he can inhabit the mind of Emerald Fennell (promising young woman, The crown) while trying to write an adapted screenplay based on toy Barbies.
Margot Robbie stars as Barbie – not Barbie the toy, but Barbie the character in which the Toys Story movies was based on. The film features a brief gay kiss between Scott Evans and Ncuti Gatwa, who play gay astronauts married for whatever reason, which conservative commentator Ben Shapiro will later declare “a disgusting attempt to distract kids from the fact that we never had a scene.” kiss kiss. with Chris Evans.”
Barbie (Margot Robbie) is a former teenage star who grows up to marry Ken (Ryan Gosling), a theater director. They have a peculiar son (Michael Cera) who loves Halloween. When their fairytale marriage falls apart, the divorce turns into a long, messy legal case involving expensive lawyers (Simu Liu and Issa Rae, in an Oscar-winning performance). Barbie eventually gains ownership of the Dreamhouse (voiced by Will Ferrell). Heartbroken, Ken sings Sondheim’s song “Losing My Mind” from madness.
Barbie (Margot Robbie) moves with her spiraling mother (Kate McKinnon) to a Montana cattle ranch, where she is taken under the wing of Ken (Ryan Gosling), a temperamental, queer cowboy. The film, shot in New Zealand, features a band of cowboys who resemble Chippendales dancers running around in pants and shirtless. Sam Elliott narrates.
Margot Robbie plays Barbie, a social media and reality TV superstar married to Ken-ye (Ryan Gosling). After making far-right comments, Barbie meets Australian surfer Blaine (Pete Davidson in a yet-to-be-announced role).
When Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling) are invited to Barbie Land High School’s 10th anniversary reunion, they realize their frivolous, fashion-focused lives have been worthless. Over the course of a 90-minute montage sequence, they experiment with a range of careers (doctor, ballerina, princess, sexy cowboy, etc.) to land jobs that will really impress their former classmates.
Ken (Ryan Gosling) leaves Barbie (Margot Robbie) for me (David Mack). I also take the convertible.
Hollywood power couple Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling) are pushed to their creative limits when they must abandon their mainstream film backgrounds to write and direct a tongue-in-cheek indie screenplay that satirizes the limits of intellectual property as a source of inspiration.
Barbie hits theaters July 21, 2023 – the same day as Christopher Nolan’s WWII drama Oppenheimer, who will inevitably be crushed by this pink and sequined gay fever dream. We will be watching.
Additional chaotic brainstorming by Tasneem Nashrulla.