Sony Pictures Picks Up Mattel's 'Barbie' for Inevitable Feature Film
With Transformers and G.I. Joe making the jump to the big screen, and other toys like Hot Wheels in development, maybe it's time the girls had some fun too. With something like The LEGO Movie making waves with everyone, Mattel is finally ready to bring their classic doll Barbie to the big screen with Deadline reporting Sony Pictures has landed the rights to the bestselling toy with the intention of turning it into a live-action comedy franchise. This isn't just a development deal, but rather a plan that is moving very quickly to get the film made, with Jenny Bicks (Rio 2, What a Girls Wants, "Sex and the City") writing it.
Barbie has been the star of dozens of straight-to-DVD animated feature films, but this will be the first time the toy has come to life in a live-action film on the big screen. Frankly, we're surprised that Disney didn't try to make a spin-off animated film work after including Barbie in the Toy Story franchise, but they're doing fine with their own Disney princesses, especially after Tangled and Frozen. Men in Black producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald will produce the film that is said to be a contemporary tale that "allows the character Barbie to use her personal and professional skills to step into the lives of others and improve them, almost like a modern day Mary Poppins."
But who will play the iconic blonde doll? Well, don't expect a big name to take the role, because the report also says that the storyline somehow "allows for the discovery of a young actress to play the title character, and young cast to play Ken and Barbie’s best friend." And like any family film that focuses on younger characters played by lesser known actors, well-known actors will play characters surrounding them to make-up for the missing star factor. This idea was enough for Mattel to bite after inviting just a small group of producers to pitch potential movies, not to mention resisting years of feature film pitches before now.
Sony is already working with Mattel on Masters of the Universe, so this just sweetens their relationship. However, Barbie doesn't have the mythology or story that Masters of the Universe has, so can this actually work? We'll find out eventually if all goes well at Sony, but we'd almost rather see a movie about the Ukraine woman who turned herself into a "human Barbie doll" instead, because that sounds creepy as hell.