Following in Hasbro’s tradition of producing feature films based on their toys (Transformers and GI Joe) El Segundo-based Mattel and Warner Bros. Pictures Group have announced a partnership to bring the world-renowned Barbie franchise to theaters in its first ever live-action feature film
Academy Award-nominated actress Margot Robbie will not only play the iconic doll, but will also co-produce the film under her LuckyChap Entertainment Banner, alongside Tom Ackerley and Josey McNamara.
Barbie marks the first announced deal coming out of Mattel’s newly-established Mattel Films, led by Academy Award®-nominated producer Robbie Brenner, as well as the first collaboration between Mattel Films and Warner Bros. Pictures.
Ynon Kreiz, Chairman and CEO of Mattel said in a statement: “Barbie is one of the most iconic franchises in the world and we are excited to partner with Warner Bros. Pictures and Margot Robbie to bring her to life on the big screen. We look forward to building on this collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures as we tell the stories of our beloved brands. Mattel Films is on a path to demonstrate the enormous potential of our brand portfolio, as we continue to execute on our strategy of transforming Mattel into an IP-driven, high performing toy company.”
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“This project is a great start to our partnership with Ynon and Mattel Films,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “And, Margot is the ideal producer and actress to bring Barbie to life on screen in a fresh and relevant way for today’s audiences.”
Margot Robbie said: “Playing with Barbie promotes confidence, curiosity and communication throughout a child’s journey to self-discovery. Over the brand’s almost 60 years, Barbie has empowered kids to imagine themselves in aspirational roles from a princess to president. I’m so honored to take on this role and produce a film that I believe will have a tremendously positive impact on children and audiences worldwide. I can’t imagine better partners than Warner Bros and Mattel to bring this film to the big screen.”
The move makes sense for Warner Bros. which is trying to extend the brands it release into theaters. The DC Universe has been spotty and although Fantastic Beasts has been financially successful, it hasn’t lit a huge fire under audiences the same way Harry Potter did.
If this film does get off the ground, there are only two questions which remain – who will play Ken and what will the dream house look like?