Venerable toy brands like Hasbro and LEGO have long cottoned to the fact that they could give their product lines new leases on life by adapting them to various media. They could range from videogames to big-budget, possibly live-action, films (in case of Hasbro’s “Transformers” and G.I. Joe”) or animated (in case of “The LEGO Movie”). Their fellow big-name brand Mattel has made its own entertainment inroads, recently with several “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” animated productions, and longer still, with home-released animated “Barbie” films. They have been developing a live-action movie for that starring Margot Robbie. And now they have cast Ken.
Deadline Hollywood tells us that Mattel and Warner Bros. Pictures have gotten a top actor to portray the role of Barbie’s significant other in their planned live-action film. Interestingly, the star they got was their previous choice, one who had originally turned down the role due to scheduling conflicts. Long story short, actor Ryan Gosling is now set to play Ken opposite Margot Robbie’s Barbie in a story co-written by Noah Baumbach (Netflix’s “Marriage Story”) and Greta Gerwig (“Little Women” 2020), who is also directing.
Fans of movies based on long-running toy lines were shocked back in July to learn that Mattel not only was planning a live-action “Barbie” movie with Warner Bros., but have also tapped Australian movie star Robbie (Harley Quinn herself) to portray the lead role. Gosling had also been approached at the time to costar as Ken. When he said no, the studio actually decided to wait until he might change his mind. Inside sources reveal that the actor finally decided to give the script a go once an opening in his schedule showed up. The production hopes to begin filming in early 2022 in hopes of premiering sometime in 2023.
Margot Robbie had long spoken of the “baggage” that comes with taking on the role of one of the world’s most famous doll characters. She also hopes that the expectations of brand fans regarding a “Barbie” movie might change considering the creative forces writing and directing it. Robbie is also a co-producer of the project via her LuckyChap Production banner.
Image courtesy of The Wrap