The Barbie Movie: Barbie Goes to Hollywood
After months of negotiation, Universal Pictures has acquired the movies rights to children's doll Barbie, and Barbie is officially set to make her debut on the big screen in a Hollywood live-action movie.
Celebrating its 50th birthday this year, the iconic Mattel's Barbie is going to be adapted into a live-action film for the first time, following other toy-based hits such as the Transformers movies and G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
"The brand wasn't ready for a movie," Mattel told Variety yesterday. "[But] in the last 10 years, Barbie has evolved from a toy into an intellectual property. We've already had enormous success in the entertainment industry... there have been live stage shows, live symphonies and other non-traditional forms of entertainment."
"Barbie is the most famous doll in history, a unique cultural icon in the world of brands," said Universal Pictures chairman Marc Shmuger. "So many representations of Barbie frequent pop culture, but never before has she been brought to life in a motion picture."
Previously, Barbie has appeared on the small screen including animated films such as Barbie in the Nutcracker, which went direct to home video, and the TV special Barbie and the Rockers. Also, Barbie appeared in a cameo in the Toy Story 2. Currently, Barbie has theme homes in Malibu and Shanghai, in addition to a blog, a Twitter feed, a Youtube channel, and her own Facebook page.
Universal has appointed the prominent producer Laurence Mark, whose work includes Jerry Maguire and the recent Julia & Julia, to oversee the project, along with Mattel executives Richard Dickson and Rob Hudnut. It is still unclear as to how the toy will be presented in a feature-length movie, but it is known that at least part of the narrative is likely to revolve around Ken, Barbie's boyfriend, while other portions will include Barbie's diverse cast of friends.
On a side note, Columbia Pictures has been negotiating with Mattel to pick up He-Man, another Mattel property.