Barbie is Getting Her Own Live-Action Movie
Not to be outdone by 'Jem and the Holograms,' Barbie will also be getting her own live-action movie -- but of course homegirl has to one-up the competition, so she's getting a franchise because dream homes and matching pink cars aren't cheap, you know.
According to Deadline, Sony and Mattel have inked a deal to turn plastic doll icon Barbie into a movie superstar with her very own live-action franchise, produced by Laurie MacDonald and Walter Parkes, who are also behind the 'Men in Black' reboot (so they've got some great ideas). Up until now, Barbie has existed in the realm of direct-to-video animated movies, where her absurd bodily proportions can still happily exist.
With 'The LEGO Movie' becoming such a huge success, studios are jumping to turn just about every inanimate object/toy/consumer product for children into a clever family comedy. The idea is that Barbie has over 150 jobs and, although her body image is unrealistic, she's a role model for young girls, teaching them that they can be anything they want (as long as that anything is always impossibly slender and perfect). The producers' pitch has Barbie acting like something of a Mary Poppins, using her numerous skills and her ability to basically be anything or anyone she wants to slip into the lives of others and improve them.
It seems like a great opportunity for Sony and Mattel to take Barbie and make her more accessible and relatable: rather than casting a young actress with impossibly perfect proportions, they could show that Barbie is just like every young woman, which would make her appeal even greater. It's also an opportunity for the studio to use a supporting cast that is diverse and racially inclusive, showcasing that Barbie really is for everyone, and not just privileged young white girls.
Or you know, just give her a pink Jeep and have her go shopping with money that she gets from a job she didn't really earn. This is what we call a "teaching moment," Mattel and Sony -- don't mess it up.