Will the Oscars Open With a ‘Barbie’ Dance Number? Producer Mark Ronson Wants a ‘Greta Gerwig-Directed Spectacle’

Imagine the 96th Academy Awards ceremony opening with an epic “Barbie” musical medley.

According to Puck’s “What I’m Hearing” newsletter, The Academy wants it to happen. Who foots the bill on the production is another story. Typically the studios are responsible, but as Matthew Belloni writes, “Warners is selling off movies to raise money these days. By the time the Oscars arrive, marketing and awards budgets are spent, so who knows?”

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But with three major songs vying for awards recognition — Dua Lipa’s disco pop ode “Dance the Night,” Ryan Gosling’s climactic centerpiece “I’m Just Ken” and Billie Eilish’s ballad “What Was I Made For?” — “Barbie” is the obvious pick for an extravagant Oscars musical number.

Director Greta Gerwig has been out campaigning for the three songs, which will all likely make the original song shortlist next next month, but only two songs from a given film can land nominations, per Academy rules.

Mark Ronson, who produced the music of “Barbie,” recently shared with Variety his ideal Oscars performance, and what it could look like on Hollywood’s biggest stage. “Slash with the wind machine, Ryan, unicorns running across the stage, just a full Greta Gerwig-directed spectacle is what I’d love to see,” Ronson said.

The 2023 Academy Awards featured musical performances from Son Lux, David Byrne and Stephanie Hsu (“This Is a Life” from “Everything Everywhere All at Once”); Rihanna (“Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”); Lady Gaga (“Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick”); and Sofia Carson and Diane Warren (“Applause” from “Tell It Like a Woman”). There was also a vibrant dance number honoring “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR,” which won the award for best original song.

The Academy and Warner Bros. have not responded to Variety‘s request for comment.

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