Yep, you read that correctly. Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig has officially signed on to direct Barbie, a Warner Bros. film starring Margot Robbie. Gerwig first joined the project in 2019 as a script co-writer with Noah Baumbach. Now, she’s set to direct the upcoming live-action film about the famous Mattel character.
Birds Of Prey and Suicide Squad’s Robbie will play the picture perfect Barbie, with no other cast announcement made yet. In a profile with Vogue last month, Robbie discussed the unexpected nature of a Barbie film helmed by Gerwig.
“But with that comes a lot of exciting ways to attack it,” Robbie said at the time. “People generally hear Barbie and think, ‘I know what that movie is going to be,’ and then they hear that Greta Gerwig is writing and directing it, and they’re like, ‘Oh, well, maybe I don’t…’”
Known for her fantastical adventures and pink-saturated lifestyle, it will be interesting to see where Gerwig takes the iconic children’s doll. Maybe we’ll see Barbie take on a fine arts degree at an all women’s college, or cook ramen in her shabby New York apartment. Still, it’s quite the left field choice for the accomplished director, since toy and doll movies typically fall flat on their molded, plastic faces (unless we’re talking about Disney’s Life Size starring Tyra Banks and Lindsey Lohan).
Gerwig’s known for placing women at the center of stories, in films such as Frances Ha and Mistress America, which she both starred in and wrote. Her other acting credits include 20th Century Women (2016) and mumblecore film Hannah Takes The Stairs (2007). After starting her career in the independent film world, where she met her now-husband and frequent collaborator Noah Baumbach , Gerwig’s latest films have sent her right to the big screen. Gerwig became a more prominent director following the release of Lady Bird (2017), starring Soairse Ronan. In 2019, she directed an adaptation of L.M. Alcott’s Little Women, starring Florence Pugh, Laura Dern, Timothee Chalamet, Emma Watson, and Ronan. Gerwig received an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for Little Women.
The production of Barbie will begin in 2022, after Gerwig wraps up her role in Baumbach’s White Noise.