Birds of Prey star Margot Robbie is turning her attention to a new franchise: Barbie. The ever-popular Mattel doll will now form the basis of a brand new Barbie movie, and Robbie, who is set to produce, says the project is likely to take people by surprise.
Robbie will be producing through her LuckyChap Entertainment company, which was behind the incendiary ice skating black comedy I, Tonya. In the movie, Robbie starred as disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding and received her first Oscar nomination for the role. LuckyChap, based in London, has also backed the provocative new drama Promising Young Woman, which is drawing raves for director Emerald Fennell (The Crown; Killing Eve) and star Carey Mulligan (Wildlife).
Intriguingly, back in 2019, it was confirmed that the movie would be written by filmmakers (and real-life power couple) Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story) and Greta Gerwig (Little Women).
Robbie told The Hollywood Reporter: "We like the things that feel a little left of centre. Something like Barbie where the IP, the name itself, people immediately have an idea of, “Oh, Margot is playing Barbie, I know what that is.” ‘But our goal is to be like, “Whatever you’re thinking, we’re going to give you something totally different — the thing you didn’t know you wanted."
She adds: "The IP, the name itself, people immediately have an idea of, 'Oh, Margot is playing Barbie, I know what that is,' but our goal is to be like, 'Whatever you're thinking, we're going to give you something totally different — the thing you didn't know you wanted'... Now, can we truly honor the IP and the fan base and also surprise people? Because if we can do all that and provoke a thoughtful conversation, then we're really firing on all cylinders."
LuckyChap was established by Robbie, her eventual spouse Tom Ackerley, Josey McNamara and Sophia Kerr in 2014, and also supported the aforementioned DC movie Birds of Prey. With Robbie staking out greater representation for women, on both sides of the camera, what could she achieve with Barbie? She's clearly an iconic figure, having been celebrated and pilloried in equal measure, and has appeared in several spin-off films already. (She also made a scene-stealing appearance in Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 3.)
Several names have been linked to the role of Barbie, including Amy Schumer, but nothing has been confirmed yet. Robbie, meanwhile, is being connected to the new Pirates of the Caribbean reboot. Is the world ready for her allegedly mold-breaking take on Barbie? Let us know @Cineworld.