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Diablo Cody to Write “Next Draft” of Sony and Mattel’s Live-Action Barbie Movie

Movies are hard.


Barbie: The Live-Action Movie has risen from the depths to menace innocents once again.

According to Deadline, Juno‘s Diablo Cody is set to write the next draft of Mattel and Sony’s live-action Barbie movie, apparently taking over for Sex and the City writer Jenny Bicks. Producer Walter Parkes explains, “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.”

To recap, here’s Deadline’s description of the film from when the project was first announced almost a year ago:

The plan for Barbie is also clever. Some of the doll’s appeal has been cool clothes and of course Ken, but beyond accessorizing, the toy has always been about female empowerment. Barbie has been part of merchandise packages that span over 150 careers, and Bicks and [Walter] Parkes and [Laurie] MacDonald won the rights from Mattel when they plugged into that with their pitch for a contemporary tale. It 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. That storyline allows for the discovery of a young actress to play the title character, and young cast to play Ken and Barbie’s best friend, putting stars around them that can change in subsequent movies. Much the way that Marvel has managed its costs with deals that call for options on future films as they create stars with their superhero movies, this seems a way to keep costs manageable for another live-action series meant to span multiple films.

If we were living in a pre-LEGO Movie world I might dismiss the Barbie movie as a glorified advertisement, and it undoubtedly will be; but if Chris Miller and Phil Lord have taught us anything, it’s that glorified advertisements can be awesome. In the right hands, a live-action Barbie movie could even redeem some of the toy’s incredibly problematic aspects (imagine a Barbie movie with a diverse cast and unapologetically feminist themes!), I’m just not convinced that Mattel and Sony won’t royally fuck this up.

What do you think, friends? Cody and Bicks are both interesting choices for the project, if only because they’ve both previously worked on some very adult material. Yay or nay?

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