Greta Gerwig Calls Approaching ‘Barbie’ Film an “Interesting Terror”
Who would have thought an 11-and-a-half inch doll could be so scary?
Greta Gerwig, currently seen opposite Adam Driver in Noah Baumbach’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s White Noise (in select theaters before its Netflix debut next week), recently joined Dua Lipa for an 85-minute episode of her At Your Service podcast.
The host, after shouting-out Gerwig’s first film as a solo director, Lady Bird (“please tell us more about Sacramento” is not too common of a request), prodded for info about one of next year’s most anticipated movies, Barbie.
The forthcoming Margot Robbie–Ryan Gosling movie, which caused some well-deserved paparazzi mayhem during its production, was certainly an unexpected announcement for a next project from Gerwig, particularly after Little Women, which did extremely well both at the box office and with awards bodies. “It was something that was exciting because it was terrifying,” she told Lipa about first approaching an “IP-driven” movie.
“I think that was a big part of it, like: ‘Oh, no, ‘Barbie’,” she said.
Clarifying, she added “it felt like vertigo, starting to write it, like: ‘where do you even begin, and what would be the story?’ And I think it was that feeling I had was knowing that it would be really interesting terror. Usually that’s where the best stuff is, where you’re like, ‘I am terrified of that.’ Anything where you’re like, ‘This could be a career-ender’—then you’re like, ‘I should probably do it.’
Before Gerwig and her partner-in-life-and-frequently-work Baumbach got involved (he co-wrote the screenplay), a Barbie project had been bouncing around since 2009. Over the years various creatives, like Jenny Bicks (Sex and the City) and Diablo Cody were reported as working on the script. Lindsey Beer, Bert V. Royal, and Hillary Winston also worked on drafts.
In 2016 Amy Schumer was approached to star, and she was said to be doing rewrites to the most recent script. This didn’t happen, and neither did a version with Anne Hathaway with Olivia Milch rewriting the script for Alethea Jones to direct. In time, Margot Robbie was cast (and there was talk of Patty Jenkins directing), until someone had the outside-the-box idea to get Greta Gerwig on board.
In addition to Robbie and Gosling, America Ferrera, Simi Liu, Kate McKinnon, Kingsley Ben-Adir, and Will Ferrell are among the slew of names in the cast.
The costumes, and you’ve already seen some of the costumes, are designed by Jacqueline Durran, who won the Oscar for Little Women.