Is a Barbie Sequel Brewing At Mattel?

The cultural steamroller that is the Barbie movie has been speeding ever-nearer since 2018, when Warner Bros. Pictures first scooped up the rights to Mattel’s best-known money-maker. There was always the hope that Ms. Barbara Roberts—as embodied by actress Margot Robbie—could pull big numbers at the box office, but the response since Barbie set photos first dropped in 2022 surprised even her most ardent supporters (and her manufacturers). The images of Robbie and co-star Ryan Gosling in head-to-toe neon and roller blades, skating along Venice Beach, lit social media ablaze. A year later, Barbie is projected to make as much as $140 million over its opening weekend; Robbie is one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood; and Barbiecore is the hottest trend in fashion.

With results of that caliber, Mattel—already keen on transferring as many of its toys onto the big screen as possible—would be hard-pressed to find reasons not to make a Barbie sequel. It certainly seems a likely outcome, given comments made by both Robbie herself and Barbie director Greta Gerwig in recent months.

As Robbie told Time in June, “[The story] could go a million different directions from this point. But I think you fall into a bit of a trap if you try and set up a first movie whilst also planning for sequels.” Gerwig followed that comment by tossing a tidbit to Entertainment Tonight in July: “I’m just focused on getting this one out and crossing all my fingers and toes. And then we’ll see what happens after that.”

Nor was this the first time Gerwig has teased the possibility of a whole series. In November 2022, while attending the Academy’s Governors Awards, Gerwig fielded a question from Variety regarding the chance Barbie might be “the start of a franchise.” To which she replied: “I can’t answer all these questions! I mean, it would certainly be exciting if it was.”

We know from recent reporting at The New Yorker that Mattel has dozens of toy-inspired projects in the world, including films about Barney, He-Man, and Polly Pocket. It would stand to reason a Barbie sequel would be a natural extension of the company’s already no-holds-barred Hollywood strategy. But until we get the official word from Gerwig herself—or, more likely, from Barbie’s corporate overlords—we’ll just have to hope there’s more adventures in the Dreamhouse to come.

Sure enough, speaking to the New York Times following opening weekend, Gerwig shut down hopes for a sequel or franchise. “At this moment, it’s all I’ve got,” she said of her singular Barbie film. “I feel like that at the end of every movie, like I’ll never have another idea and everything I’ve ever wanted to do, I did. I wouldn’t want to squash anybody else’s dream but for me, at this moment, I’m at totally zero.”

But in March 2024, a Warner Bros. exec suggested they’d been talking to Gerwig about more opportunities, and they’re clearly open to the possibility. The BBC reports that Pam Abdy, the co-chair and CEO of Warner Bros Motion Picture Group, stated she would “love to make a sequel to the box office blockbuster Barbie,” after the original movie “ignited audiences around the world.”

They added that the company and Gerwig were “always talking” about the possibility, adding she is “one of the best filmmakers working today.”

SOURCE: Elle

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