“The Evolution of Barbie: From Amy Schumer to Greta Gerwig’s Feminist Take”


The upcoming Barbie movie would certainly be a lot different if the previous plan for the feature film had worked out. Before Greta Gerwig boarded Mattel’s Barbie movie, various screenplays had been considered, and at one point, it was reported that Amy Schumer would be starring in a live-action Barbie film from Sony. That version of the project would have also had Schumer and her sister, Kim Caramele, adding rewrites to a draft originally penned by Hillary Winston.

Months after joining the project, Schumer would reveal in 2017 that she was no longer involved, claiming at the time to have left over “scheduling conflicts.” There were tentative plans to bring in Anne Hathaway for the role, but Sony’s rights to Barbie would expire in 2018, allowing for Warner Bros. to swoop them up.

That came with a complete revamp of the Barbie movie plans, resulting with Gerwig coming in to write a new screenplay from scratch with an entirely different take on the story. Margot Robbie would be cast in the titular role soon after.

Read more Barbie Movie: Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling Star in Highly Anticipated Summer Release

In a new interview on What What Happens Live, Schumer came clean about her Barbie exit. Speaking with host Andy Cohen, Schumer says that the real reason she left Barbie was due to creative differences. She clarifies how she thinks Gerwig’s Barbie looks “awesome,” praising the feminist take on the story that Schumer says wouldn’t have been present with the unmade Sony film.

“I can’t wait to see the [Greta Gerwig] movie, I think it looks awesome,” Schumer said. “I think we said it was scheduling conflicts, that’s what we said, but yeah, it really was just, like, creative differences. But, you know, there’s a new team behind it, and it looks like it’s very feminist and cool, so I will be seeing that movie.”

When Cohen asks if she means that the Sony movie wouldn’t have been feminist and cool, Schumer confirmed by responding, “Yeah, yeah.”

"The Evolution of Barbie: From Amy Schumer to Greta Gerwig's Feminist Take"

Full plot details about that unmade movie haven’t been revealed, but chances are it would be far unlike what Greta Gerwig brought to the table with the screenplay penned with Noah Baumbach. In the film, Margot Robbie plays a real-life Barbie in Barbieland who sets off to find happiness somewhere in the real world. Ryan Gosling also stars as her Ken, the two looking like live-action versions of the Mattel dolls.

Other cast members include Kate McKinnon, Emma Mackey, Will Ferrell, John Cena, Dua Lipa, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Simu Liu, Ncuti Gatwa, Michael Cera, Helen Mirren, America Ferrera, Issa Rae, and Hari Nef.

Read more Greta Gerwig’s Barbie Trailer Promises a Self-Aware and Feminist Awakening

“The first time I read the Barbie script, my reaction was, ‘Ah! This is so good. What a shame it will never see the light of day because they are never going to let us make this movie.’ But they did,” Robbie has said of the film, doubting at first that it would even get made as it was so over-the-top.

Barbie will be premiering in movie theaters on July 21, 2023.

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