If you thought that the first teaser for ‘Barbie’ would be an homage to Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, well, congratulations. We’re not sure we believe you but given what little we know about the movie so far, an inventive teaser was hardly shocking.
Nothing about the film seems to be the expected choice, between Greta Gerwig (who co-wrote the script with creative/life partner Noah Baumbach), to Margot Robbie leaping aboard to star and produce and Ryan Gosling joining her.
And then there’s the rest of the cast, which is beyond eclectic: America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, Alexandra Shipp, Emma Mackey, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Issa Rae, Nichola Coughlan, Michael Cera, Ritu Arya, Jamie Demetriou, Hari Neff, Emerald Fennell, Ncuti Gatwa, Ariana Greenblatt, Rhea Perlman, Connor Swindells – the list goes on and on.
Gerwig and co. have so far been very secretive about the movie, releasing no real story details, though we’ve started to glean the idea that part of the concept will see multiple versions of Barbie and Ken, played by some of the ensemble above.
‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Liu in particular has spoken about the “wild” and “incredibly unique” Barbie-based movie, adding that he’s had to wax his entire body for his role and that he’s also taken dance lessons (and you can see a tiny snippet of the results in the new teaser).
It is tough to glean much more from this teaser, which nods towards the seismic cultural impact that Barbie had when the doll was launched in 1959, when the industry of playthings was dominated by baby dolls.
But we also see a little more of the pink-tinted world that Robbie’s Barbie exists in, with Gosling’s Ken engaged in what looks like a fight that has broken out during… a sports game? And Issa Rae leading some sort of cheer… or is it a revolt? And finally, yes, Liu going full dance number. Honestly, we can’t wait to see what this is all about, so the teaser is definitely mission accomplished.
Yet with Gerwig as the creative driving force here, you knew this was going to be far from a basic toy tie-in (though she has said that Barbie company Mattel gave her the thumbs up for anything she wanted to do) so expect commentary on social mores and plenty of subtext under all that pink.
“Playing with Barbie promotes confidence, curiosity, and communication throughout a child’s journey to self-discovery. Over the brand’s almost 60 years, Barbie has empowered kids to imagine themselves in aspirational roles from a princess to president,” Margot Robbie said in a statement when her casting was announced. “I’m so honored to take on this role and produce a film that I believe will have a tremendously positive impact on children and audiences worldwide.”
‘Barbie’ struts into theaters on July 21st.