Original Barbie writer Diablo Cody opens up about her exit from Sony’s attempt to bring the blonde bombshell to screens.
Like most films, Barbie’s journey to the silver screen is a tricky bit of Hollywood back-and-forth. Sony originally owned the rights to the blonde-bombshell’s silver screen antics. However, after several missteps, the venture failed. Amy Schumer and Anne Hathaway were once rumored to be driving Barbie’s pink convertible. They left the project after it became too tiring to bring the Mattel icon into theaters. Schumer said she fled Barbie after thinking the script wasn’t “feminist and cool” enough. She is just one of many people who felt Sony’s treatment of the material needed more refinement. Enter Diablo Cody, who 2018 told ScreenCrush she left the project because she “was literally incapable of turning in a ‘Barbie’ draft. God knows I tried.”
It has been several years since Cody made her comments. Now, she is opening up to GQ about why she abandoned the mission to introduce audiences a new kind of Barbie.
“I think I know what I did,” Cody said to the outlet. “When I was first hired for this, I don’t think the culture had not embraced the femme or the bimbo as valid feminist archetypes yet. You can find a wonderful subculture celebrating femininity by searching for ‘Barbie.’ But in 2014, making this thin blonde white doll into a heroine seemed like a tall task. Cody’s script failed because Schumer’s unique style of comedy made it unworkable. Cody stated that the idea of an anti Barbie made sense, given the feminist rhetoric from 10 years ago.
“I didn’t really have the freedom then to write something that was faithful to the iconography; they wanted a girl-boss feminist twist on Barbie, and I couldn’t figure it out because that’s not what Barbie is.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCYoucd71qcInterestingly, The Lego Movie
Barbie. People often say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but in Cody’s case, The Lego Movie acted like a shadow cast upon her best efforts.“I heard endless references to ‘The Lego Movie’ in development,” Cody told GQ, “and it created a problem for me because they had done it so well. Every time I tried to do something meta, they did it better. It was a roadblock for me, but now enough time has passed that they can just cast
Will Ferrell as the antagonist in a real-life Barbie movie and nobody cares.”Despite Barbie’s[‘The Lego Movie’ antagonist] complicated journey to screens, Greta Gerwig’s version is one of the year’s most anticipated films. The current iteration of
Barbie looks odd, meta, stylish, and dark regardless of the sets getting washed in pretty pinks and eye-popping neon. Let’s hope the version we get is the ideal.The Barbie cast includes many of Hollywood’s heavy hitters and fresh faces, including Margot Robbie (
The Suicide Squad) and Ryan Gosling (La La Land) as Barbie and Ken, alongside America Ferrera (End of Watch), Kate McKinnon (The Spy Who Dumped Me), Michael Cera (Arrested Development), Ariana Greenblatt (Borderlands), Issa Rae (Insecure), Thea Perlman (Matilda), and Will Ferrell (Elf). The film also stars Ana Cruz Kayne (Little Women), Emma Mackey (Sex Education), Nari Nef (Transparent), Alexandra Shipp (the X-Men films), Kingsley Ben-Adir (Secret Invasion), Simu Liu (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), Ncuiti Gatwa (Doctor Who), Scott Evans (Grace and Frankie), Jamie Demetriou (Cruella), Connor Swindells (Emma), Sharon Rooney (Dumbo), Nicola Coughlan (Bridgerton), Ritu Arya (The Umbrella Academy), Dua Lipa, and Helen Mirren (The Queen).Greta Gerwig directs from a screenplay she wrote with Noah Baumbach, based on Mattel’s rich history with the Barbie toy brand. The film’s producers are Oscar nominee David Heyman (Marriage Story,
Gravity), Robbie, Tom Ackerley, and Robbie Brenner, with Michael Sharp, Josey McNamara, Ynon Kreiz, Courtenay Valenti, Toby Emmerich, and Cate Adams serving as executive producers.