This is very early, but we’re hearing that Barbie, after going around in circles in development at Sony, is heading over to Warner Bros with Margot Robbie potentially headlining. Robbie is not signed as of yet. There was a rumor that Patty Jenkins was circling, but we just learned that is no longer true.
After being in development at Sony for quite some time — the latest iteration being with director Alethea Jones and a revised script from Olivia Milch — Barbie‘s option expired. Anne Hathaway departed from the project earlier in the year after a version starring Amy Schumer, penned by her sister Kim Caramele, didn’t come together due to Shumer’s schedule.
Barbie is a serious $3 billion brand that helped build Mattel, which just announced Robbie Brenner as the head of its film division. They are protective of Barbie and have always wanted the best live-action version on screen. None of the producers previously with Barbie at Sony are attached, i.e., Amy Pascal, Laurie Macdonald and Walter Parkes.
Pascal bought Barbie during her days as Sony Pictures chairman and remained aboard the project when she segued to producing, working on several drafts with female writers. The version at Sony for Barbie always entailed a fish-out-of-water story a la Splash and Big, whereby Barbie gets kicked out of Barbieland because she’s not perfect enough, a bit eccentric and doesn’t fit in. She then goes on an adventure in the real world and by the time she returns to Barbieland to save it, she has gained the realization that perfection comes on the inside, not the outside, and that the key to happiness is belief in oneself, free of the obligation to adhere to some unattainable standard of perfection. It’s not certain if that’s the version that will be developed at Warner Bros.
Robbie is repped by CAA, Management 360 and Jackoway Austen.