Why Greta Gerwig Was the Perfect Filmmaker to Bring 'Barbie' to Life

Greta Gerwig's first two films, Lady Bird and Little Women, make her the right person to bring these dolls to the big screen.

The trailer for Greta Gerwig's highly-anticipated Barbie doll is finally here, giving us a glimpse at the star-studded cast, playful costumes, and a tribute to Stanley Kubrick ) a clever reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Mattel's iconic Barbie and Ken dolls, it's clear from the minute-long trailer why Gerwig is bringing Barbie to life for the first time. The perfect director for the big screen.

Why Greta Gerwig?

Although Gerwig is now more widely recognized as a director, she began appearing in clumsy films in the mid-2000s before she began working with frequent collaborator (and now partner) Noah Baumbach Collaboration, to more mainstream success. Before co-creating Barbie, Gerwig and Baumbach co-created Frances Ha and American Mistress, with Gerwig starring in both films. In 2016, she had a supporting role in Jackie and 20th Century Women and has a starring role in Baumbach's latest film, White Noise, which hits Netflix on December 30.

Gerwig made his solo directorial debut in 2017 with Lady Bird, a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age comedy about high school student Christine 'Lady Bird' McPherson as she tries to find herself and deal with her complicated relationship with her mother. it received five nominations Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay (also written by Gerwig) and Best Director, making her the fifth woman to be nominated in that category.

According to the trailer and some leaked set photos, Barbie is already very different from her first two films, but Gerwig is no stranger to adapting existing intellectual property. Her second film, Little Women, released in 2019 based on Louisa May Alcott's 1868 novel of the same name, was nominated for six Academy Awards and contributed to A beloved American classic is given new life.

Looking at Gerwig's career and what we know about the film so far, it's clear why she's the ideal director for a project like Barbie. As a writer-director, she brings a certain warmth and sensitivity to the exploration of women's issues and relationships in her films. Her unique sense of humor and attention to detail is sure to bring self-awareness to a concept that can easily remain one-dimensional in the hands of different directors.

Another notable feat of Gerwig was her ability to assemble a strong ensemble cast to enhance her already excellent script. Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet Both starred in her first two films, along with Tracy Letts and Laurie Metcalfe in "Lady Bird," and Meryl Sturdy in "Little Women." Rip, Laura Dern and Florence Pugh. For Lady Bird and Barbie, Gerwig worked with Alison Jones, the casting director behind The Office, as well as films like Supervillain and Bridesmaids. Ronan and Chalamet are gone, and Barbie marks Gerwig's first time with Robbie and Gosling and includes Issaray, Nkutiguetwa, America Ferrera, Ritu Many supporting roles including Arya and others cooperate.

This is clearly Gerwig's most diverse cast to date, an element that is especially important in a film about Barbie, a brand that has long been committed to promoting very specific and exclusive standards of beauty. For most of Barbie's history, the classic blonde archetype dominated the market, but the brand has undergone major changes over the years to include dolls of different races, nationalities and body types. This is reflected in the cast, which will see Rae, Gatwa, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Simu Liu and Hari Nef play various versions of Barbie and Ken, as well as plus-size actresses Nicola Coughlan and Sharon Rooney.

Why Barbie... and why now?

Mattel's Barbie is one of them One of the most recognizable toys in the world, beloved by generations, but also subject to a great deal of criticism and controversy in the market over the years, especially the lack of variety in dolls and the unrealistic body proportions of Barbie dolls, which have played a big role To a certain extent, the unattainable standard of beauty has been reinforced-thin, white, blonde, blue eyes, big breasts and thin waists. Mattel has made many changes in recent years, reinventing itself as an aggressive and young girl-empowering brand, with a greater focus on their career dolls, which come equipped with characters related to different professions such as medical professionals, scientists and teachers. Accessories. The Barbie Role Models collection launched in 2015, followed a few years later by the Inspiring Women collection, which honors strong female role models past and present, including women such as Maya Angelou, Naomi Osaka and Misty Copeland. With that in mind, it's entirely possible we'll see a Greta Gerwig doll release at some point before the movie's release.

Barbie's incorporation of a feminist message into its branding also coincided with the final decision to have Gerwig write and direct the upcoming film. Gerwig's portrayal of women is very sensitive, their Complex inner lives, and the nuances of their relationships with each other and with men. She's already telling a feminist story in "Little Women," and we're likely to see her take on one of the most recognizable symbols of female supremacy subverted in some way. Her parody of the opening scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey is a clever, tongue-in-cheek metaphor for the massive impact on American culture after the release of Barbie. It was the first mass-produced toy doll with adult features in the United States, essentially replacing baby dolls and giving young girls something to aspire to, for better or for worse. The trailer shows several little girls playing with dolls until Barbie emerges, a giantess in the signature black and white swimsuit and curly blond bangs of the first Barbie released in 1959. The girls were stunned when the Barbie gave them a pearly smile and a playful wink and they immediately smashed their dolls to pieces.

This trailer alone showcases Gerwig's unique approach to the source material and her understanding of Barbie's history. When audiences hear the words "Barbie movie," she knows what they're expecting, but it doesn't take long It's clear that Barbie will be more than just bleach blonde hair and cute outfits. As Robbie told British Vogue last year, "When people hear 'Barbie,' they usually think, 'I know what that movie's going to be,' and then they hear that Greta Gerwig is writing and Director, they're like, 'Oh well, maybe I don't...'”

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