Everything we know about the Barbie movie: Release date, cast, plot

·5-min read
Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken in Barbie. (Warner Bros.)
Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken in Barbie. (Warner Bros.)

After 21 years of animated Barbie movies, a live-action adaptation is making its way to the big screen.

Warner Bros. is officially a Barbie girl, and the internet is already living in a Barbie world. Twitter and TikTok have been overrun with real-time coverage of the film’s shooting, with principal photography beginning in England in March 2022. Current filming is taking place across Los Angeles, with appearances from prominent cast members across Venice Beach stirring up plenty of public interest.

With its open set allowing people to get up close and personal with the film’s inner workings, scenes are already being unpicked and decoded, while meme culture refuses to let go of what’s set to be completely unpredictable.

Here’s everything we know about the Barbie movie so far.

When will the Barbie movie be released?

SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 03:  Margot Robbie (L) and Greta Gerwig with FIJI Water during the 33rd Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 3, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.  (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for FIJI Water)
Margot Robbie with Barbie director Greta Gerwig in 2018. (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for FIJI Water)

Though the film’s process is still in its early days, the Barbie movie already has a solid release date planned.

The downside is that fans are going to have to wait a little longer to see the end result.

Warner Bros. has scheduled the official Barbie theatrical release for 21 July, 2023. As of yet, there is no schedule for a digital release, though this could be expected around 45 days after in line with the studio’s history.

While nothing is set in stone, audiences could be seeing the Barbie movie online as soon as September 2023.

Who will star in the Barbie movie?

Margot Robbie in Barbie. (Warner Bros.)
Margot Robbie in Barbie. (Warner Bros.)

With so many details still unknown, the Barbie movie was quick to announce its star-studded cast.

Margot Robbie is taking on the lead role of Barbie, while Ryan Gosling is set to play opposite her as Ken.

Read more: Margot Robbie promises 'surprising' Barbie movie

With two Oscar nominations each under their belts, Robbie is best known for her roles in I, Tonya and Bombshell, while Gosling has had hits including La La Land and Drive.

Ryan Gosling as Ken in the Barbie movie. (Warner Bros.)
Ryan Gosling as Ken in the Barbie movie. (Warner Bros.)

Other big names attached include Saoirse Ronan, Dua Lipa and Issa Rae. Rumours are that Rae will star as an alternate version of Barbie, alongside Hari Nef.

The cast is also set to star America Ferrera (Ugly Betty), Emma Mackey (Sex Education), Jamie Demetriou (Stath Lets Flats), Emerald Fennell (The Crown), Connor Swindells (Sex Education), and Kingsley Ben-Adir (Peaky Blinders). Each of their roles is as yet unknown.

OSLO, NORWAY - JUNE 26: Dua Lipa performs on stage at Oslo Spektrum on June 26, 2022 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Per Ole Hagen/Getty Images)
Dua Lipa performs on stage at Oslo Spektrum, 2022. (Per Ole Hagen/Getty Images)

Ana Cruz Kayne, Scott Evans, Sharon Rooney, Rhea Perlman, Michael Cera, Alexandra Shipp, and Kate McKinnon are equally linked to Barbie with undisclosed roles.

Recently-announced Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa is set to appear as a Ken doll, with Gosling recently stepping out in a T-shirt with his face on it. Shang-Chi's Simu Liu will portray another.

Will Ferrell will reportedly appear as a CEO of a toy company.

Who is directing Barbie?

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 09: (L-R) Directors Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig attend the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Directors Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig attend the 92nd Annual Academy Awards on February 09, 2020. (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

While the first iteration of Barbie was announced for 2018 starring Amy Schumer, fan excitement has since been fuelled by the directorial choice of Greta Gerwig.

Gerwig joins the project fresh from her latest feature film Little Women, with Barbie becoming her third outing as a director.

She was originally attached to the film as a co-writer alongside her partner, and long-time collaborator, Noah Baumbach with her directorial role announced in July 2021.

Greta has been pictured multiple times on set, often donning a pink jumpsuit to match the plastic fantastic outfits of the cast.

What do we know about the Barbie movie’s plot?

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 20:  Barbie dolls from the 2017
Barbie dolls from the 2017 "Barbie Fashionistas" collection. (Chesnot/Getty Images)

Unsurprisingly, not much detail has been given to the plot of Barbie so far.

Aside from initial promotional shots that were released in June of this year, most knowledge of the film has come from public reports on social media. Photos of Robbie and Gosling rollerblading in Los Angeles have caused a lot of public speculation, alongside images of their initial scenes together.

As Barbie’s first live-action film, it’s likely to stay away from what fans have seen in the animations. It’s unknown what time period the film will be set in, or what genre it will embody.

It’s safe to say that audiences should expect the unexpected.

Is there a trailer for the Barbie movie?

There is currently no trailer released for the Barbie movie.

Will the Aqua song be in Barbie?

Danish-Norwegian pop group Aqua, 17th October 1997. From left to right, they are guitarist Soren Rasted, vocalists Lene Nystrom and Rene Dif, and keyboardist Claus Norreen. (Photo by Tim Roney/Getty Images)
Danish-Norwegian pop group Aqua, in 1997. L-R: Soren Rasted, Lene Nystrom and Rene Dif, and Claus Norreen. (Tim Roney/Getty Images)

As much as fans might like singing along to it, ‘Barbie Girl’ by Aqua has already been ruled out of a film appearance.

According to Variety, Aqua’s manager Ulrich Møller-Jørgensen has said the song will not be used, with Warner Bros. so far declining to comment.

This is believed to stem from Mattel’s bad blood with the Danish pop band since the song’s release in 1997.

Barbie is coming to cinemas on 21 July, 2023.

Watch: Barbie filming is underway

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