Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach have reportedly signed on to cowrite the long-long-gestating Barbie movie, according to Variety. Yes, that Barbie. And yes, that Gerwig and Baumbach—better known for writing naturalistic, R-rated dramedies than franchisable adaptations of toys that become movies that become toys again. Better yet, Gerwig is reportedly being eyed to direct the film. That would make Barbie her big follow-up to Little Women, which is currently set to be released this December.
So: what? How unexpected! But also, how…delightful? This will be Gerwig and Baumbachs third formal collaboration, following their work together on Frances Ha and Mistress America. Per Baumbachs 2013 New Yorker profile, they once worked together on an animated DreamWorks feature about a sad dog as well, but that film seems to have fallen through. In addition, Baumbach previously rewrote Madagascar 3: Europes Most Wanted at the behest of star Ben Stiller, who has starred in a handful of Baumbachs films—so hes not unfamiliar with the big-budget kids-movie universe.
Still, its Barbie! What would Barbie look like in a Gerwigian-Baumbachian universe? She would probably have a working knowledge of, I dunno, the French New Wave and hang out with a small, idiosyncratic group of friends who live in walk-up apartments in Greenwich Village. This Barbie went to Wesleyan. This Barbie starts her day with freshly whisked matcha and oat milk and has a dog-eared copy of Normal People in her (surprisingly expensive) tote bag. She takes long, lonely strolls in Paris, not Malibu. This Barbie is Lady Bird, and her Ken is a lanky cross between Timothée Chalamet and Lucas Hedges.
The Gerwig and Baumbach news is yet another turn in the long Barbie saga. This film has been in the works for years now, cycling through a variety of iterations, all bound together by Sonys initial desire for to revamp the dolls image with an edgy reintroduction to the masses. But its taken a while to get here. First Jenny Bicks (Sex and the City) was tapped to write a script. Then Oscar winner Diablo Cody was tapped to rewrite that script. Then three more writers were tapped to write new scripts, before one by comedy writer Hilary Winston was chosen. Sony then tapped Amy Schumer to star in the film, as well as to rewrite the script again. A few months later Schumer left due to scheduling conflicts, and Anne Hathaway was in talks to take the lead role. Then the musical chairs began once more—Hathaway left the film and Robbie took the lead, joining on as a producer as well. A Barbie girl in a Barbie world, if you will.