Here’s something I never thought I’d say – I’m excited for the Barbie movie. Diablo Cody is stepping in to rewrite the script for Sony’s live action film based on Mattel’s $3 billion a year toy brand. Jenny Bicks (Sex and the City, The Big C) wrote the first draft for he studio, who hopes the live-action comedy will anchor an international franchise. Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald (Men in Black, A Series of Unfortunate Events) are producing.
Cody is an exciting choice for the film and brings an unexpected edge to the project. While Barbie has often come under fire for fostering negative body image in young girls (due to the doll’s disproportionate figure and liberally applied makeup), Mattel has always maintained that the spirit of the toy embraces female empowerment. Bringing Cody on board certainly backs up those claims. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this news is how Barbie has always maintained a wholesome image, and Cody famously worked as a stripper before breaking out as a screenwriter.
Could a sex-positive feminist Barbie be on the way? Ok, that’s probably pushing it, but it does bode well for the would-be franchise that the studio is willing to bring an exciting and somewhat provocative figure on board. And, as Phil Lord and Chris Miller proved last year with The Lego Movie, seemingly shallow product-based films can be incisive, quirky, and genuinely fun for the whole family – and still bring in a ton of profit. Like Lego, a Barbie film can go pretty much anywhere, so here’s hoping they go the exciting route and don’t turn the film into a standard fare rom-com.
Via Deadline, Walter Parkes commented:
Diablo’s unconventionality is just what Barbie needs…It signals we’re going for a legitimately contemporary tone. We’re bringing her on because she had great ideas, but even more importantly, she truly loves Barbie.
While Cody has received her share of grief for her slang laden too-cool-for-school screenwriting debut Juno, she has since proven herself a clever, talented writer with Young Adult, The United States of Tara and Jennifer’s Body. While underappreciated at the time of its release, Jennifer’s Body has since found a cult following and the acclaim it deserves. If she can bring some of that tone, humor and feminine sensibility, while keeping the material age appropriate, Barbie could be an absolute blast. And guys, Juno really isn’t that bad.
What do you think? Does Diablo Cody’s involvement get you interested in a Barbie film? Is there no way you’re ever going to be interested in a Barbie film? Sound off in the comments.