At nearly 60 years old, Barbie is getting her big screen moment, thanks to an upcoming live-action film, which will star actress Margot Robbie.
Barbie’s parent company Mattel announced the movie with with Warner Brothers Pictures Group, which will be produced by the Mattel Films unit.
Mattel’s CEO Ynon Kreiz is also a veteran of the movie industry and a former leader of Disney’s Maker Studios and this move comes as the company and Barbie herself go through a series of makeovers and rebranding.
Mattel has committed to making Barbie and Barbie-related products more diverse and inclusive, more focused on empowering children (and adults!) who buy and play with them, and offering new body types, accessories and backstories for the iconic doll.
Mattel has said that it wants to take discussion away from what the doll looks like and shift it to what she represents — and to helping her fans navigate the often tricky landscape of body image, confidence, education, careers and more.
Robbie, an Australian Oscar-nominated actress, says she’s thrilled to take on this live-action role.
“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.”
Barbie originally launched as a fashion doll in 1959. Since, Mattel has sold more than one billion Barbies, and an estinated 100,000 people are “avid” Barbie collectors. But sales have sharply dropped in recent years. While there have been animated films, television specials, video games and other projects created around Barbie, this is the first live-action project.