It appears like there is going to be a Barbie for every occasion. Greta Gerwig brought footage from her pending summer comedy BARBIE to Las Vegas for the CinemaCon 2023 presentation, and during the Warner Bros. Studio Panel, the filmmaker and her stars opened our eyes to their unique interpretation of Barbie’s Dream World.
Which is going to include “President Barbie” (Issa Rae), “Writer Barbie” (Alexandra Shipp), “Physicist Barbie” (Emma Mackey), and “Weird Barbie,” played by the always hilarious Kate McKinnon of “Saturday Night Live” fame. More on her in a second.
The BARBIE cast fully embraced what Ryan Gosling would refer to as “Ken-ergy” for the panel. The NOTEBOOK star rocked a pink bomber jacket, while lead actress Margot Robbie talked about the pressure of bringing a character to life who already is a globally recognized identity, though one who has never been seen on the big screen in live-action. All of that will change when Barbie (Robbie) starts waking up in her pink paradise and feeling like things are… off. Her shower is cold. Her drinks taste odd. And her feet are flat – a definite no-no in Barbie Land.
So she embarks on a journey to find Weird Barbie (McKinnon), who lives on the outskirts of Barbie Land in a mountaintop residence. She gives a conflicted Barbie two choices: Slip back into her high heels and forget this “awakening” ever happened, or choose a pair of Birkenstocks, and learn what the real world is all about.
We didn’t expect to see a MATRIX-style “red pill, blue pill” gag in the BARBIE footage, but this goes to show how smart and funny Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s script appears to be.
For her part, Gerwig said that she wants people watching it to feel “that joy” the cast and crew experienced on set each day. She fell so in love with the script during the writing process, she knew that she had to direct it. And she admits that she wrote Gosling into the script as Ken before he agreed to be in it. So it’s a good thing he agreed to the project, because he inspired Ken during the writing process without even knowing it.
“If I’m being really honest,” Gosling joked, “I doubted my Ken-ergy.” But the more he discovered the character resting inside of him, he laughed about bleaching his hair, shaving his legs, wearing neon outfits, and rollerblading down Venice Beach. Based on the footage that we were shown at CinemaCon 2023, everyone is fully embracing the positive energy associated with BARBIE. Co-star America Ferrera admits that she agreed to appear in the project because she knew that Robbie and Gerwig would bring a strong point of view to the comedy. She did say that this is a story that makes you laugh, and then sneaks up on you and makes you cry.
Gerwig herself cried the first time she stepped onto The Barbie Land set. She was amazed by the life-sized Barbie houses created by her crew, with slides that went down to pools that were decals. The team that designed Barbie’s cars also did The Batmobile for Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN, and Gerwig gushed that they couldn’t wait to break out that pink paint, and top what they did on the classic superhero automobile.
While BARBIE feels like a singular experience that will bring the world-famous toy doll to life, Gosling couldn’t stop himself from making one final reference to Hollywood royalty – THE WIZARD OF OZ – when he talked about his experience on this set. “I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but, I think I finally know what Dorothy felt like,” he said.
Be sure to keep up with AMC Theatres at CinemaCon in our updated post, and follow us on Twitter!BARBIE opens July 21st.