Can’t Wait For The Barbie Movie? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Bring on 21 July, tbh.

A Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling and directed by Greta Gerwig was always going to pique our interest.

But ever since the first teaser was released earlier this year, it became clear that the forthcoming film had the potential to surpass even our wildest expectations.

Greta and Margot (who is also the film’s executive producer) haven’t just managed to assemble a seriously star-studded cast. The attention to detail in everything from the sets to the costumes to deep cuts of Barbie mythology is also pretty incredible.

And from the trailer at least, it seems like the script, co-written by Greta with her husband Noah Baumbach, will manage to pull off an impressive feat: poking fun at Barbie’s plastic fantastic world while also reminding us of why we fell in love with the doll in the first place.

Can’t wait to catch the film in cinemas (potentially as part of a tonally jarring double bill with Oppenheimer, which is released on the same day?) From the stars to the soundtrack to the plot, here’s what you need to know beforehand...

Ryan Gosling, Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie
Ryan Gosling, Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie
Jon Kopaloff via Getty Images

Who’s in the cast of the Barbie movie?

Greta has managed to assemble a truly staggering array of talent for the movie, ranging from Hollywood A-listers to rising stars to British comedy favourites. Margot, of course, leads the cast as stereotypical Barbie, joined by Ryan as Ken, whose job is “just beach”.

First up, the Barbies. Emma Mackey, Hari Nef, Issa Rae, Alexandra Shipp and Sharon Rooney play physicist Barbie, doctor Barbie, president Barbie, writer Barbie and lawyer Barbie respectively, joined by Kate McKinnon as weird Barbie (who, with her choppy hair and scribbled-on face, looks like she’s been customised by her previous owners), Ritu Arya as journalist Barbie, Dua Lipa as mermaid Barbie, Nicola Coughlan as diplomat Barbie and Ana Cruz Kayne as judge Barbie.


Oh, and there’s Midge, Barbie’s best friend, played by Promising Young Woman director Emerald Fennell (who you might also recognise from her stint as The Crown’s Camilla Parker Bowles).

Some of the Barbie movie's cast and crew at the European premiere in London earlier this week
Some of the Barbie movie's cast and crew at the European premiere in London earlier this week
Gareth Cattermole via Getty Images

Then, there’s the Kens. Joining Ryan are Simu Liu, Ncuti Gatwa, Scott Evans and Kingsley Ben-Adir as other variations on Barbie’s boyfriend, while John Cena also crops up as merman Ken and Michael Cera plays Allan, Ken’s pal.

In the real world, America Ferrera is Mattel employee Gloria, whose daughter Sasha is played by Ariana Greenblatt. Will Ferrell takes the role of the toy company’s CEO, and his sidekicks are played by Stath Lets Flats’ Jamie Demetriou and Sex Education’s Connor Swindells. Rhea Perlman also has a yet-to-be-confirmed role in the movie, with fans speculating online that she might be playing Ruth Handler, who invented the Barbie doll.

What is the Barbie movie all about?

Exact details of the movie’s plot are still closely guarded secrets, but it seems that the story plays out something like this. Barbie lives a pretty much perfect life with her fellow plastic pals in Barbie Land - until she starts to suffer from an existential crisis. “Do you guys ever think about dying?” Margot’s character asks the other Barbies and Kens mid-dance sequence in one much-memed scene from the film’s trailer. Plus, instead of remaining arched, her feet go flat. The horror!

After starting to question her very existence, Barbie heads off on a journey to the real world (and, from the trailer, it looks like Ken tags along with her). Once she has arrived, she meets some actual humans – including Gloria, the Mattel employee played by America Ferrera (yes, in this movie, Barbie visits Mattel HQ. How meta).

According to director Greta Gerwig, the film is about how young girls don’t just stop playing with dolls as they grow up – they also often lose a lot of their self-belief, too. “They’re funny and brash and confident, and then they just - stop,” she told Vogue. She wanted Barbie’s journey to reflect “the same thing that a teenage girl feels… All of a sudden, she thinks, ‘Oh, I’m not good enough’”.

Is there a trailer?

We’ve lost count of just how many times we’ve watched the Barbie trailer since it dropped online earlier this year.

The teaser kicks off with an unforgettable shot showing Barbie stepping out of her high heels, only for her feet to retain that perfectly arched shape, and it only gets better from there.

First we see snippets from stereotypical Barbie’s apparently perfect life with her friends in Barbie Land, featuring parties with specially choreographed dance routines and days out at the beach – until her existential crisis starts to kick in.

She heads out of town to see weird Barbie, who tells her to travel to the real world, which is where her adventures really begin.

Which artists feature on the soundtrack?

As well as lining up an impressive cast, the movie’s soundtrack also boasts plenty of brilliant musicians.

Dua Lipa’s Dance The Night was the first song to be teased, then the trailer revealed that Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice had teamed up to record Barbie World, which samples Aqua’s track Barbie Girl. Margot was especially keen for the movie to pay tribute to the iconic 1997 banger.

“I was like, ‘Greta, how are we going to incorporate this song?’” she told Rolling Stone. “‘We can’t do a Barbie movie and not have a nod to Aqua’s Barbie Girl. It has to be in there.’ And [Greta] was like, ‘Don’t worry, we’re going to find a cool way to incorporate it’”.

Plus, there’s also songs from (deep breath) Lizzo, Charli XCX, Karol G, Sam Smith, Tame Impala, Dominic Fike, Haim, Billie Eilish, The Kid Laroi, Khalid, PinkPantheress, Gayle, Ava Max, and FiftyFifty. And it gets better - Ryan has also recorded his own Ken-ergy-fuelled power ballad, titled I’m Just Ken, which was written by Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt (who previously co-wrote Shallow, the Oscar-winning Lady Gaga track from A Star Is Born.

What have the first reactions been like?

After the film’s LA premiere earlier this week, the first responses from critics started to drop. Full reviews won’t be unveiled until closer to Barbie’s 21 July release date, but so far, the reactions seem pretty effusive.

Critic Jamie Jirak from hailed Barbie as “my favourite film of the year”, adding: “Greta Gerwig somehow exceeded my expectations. She tackles the positives and negatives of Barbie so beautifully. Give Ryan Gosling an Oscar nomination, I’m dead serious!”

ScreenRant’s Joseph Deckelmeier echoed her sentiments, describing the film as “funny, bombastic, & very smart”. He also described Margot as “great” and Ryan and Simu as “pure entertainment”.

Critic Carla Renata branded the movie “overblown fun with a feminist twist”, and also praised “the production design, costumes, hair and makeup”.

Writer and producer Ben Mekler claimed that “Gosling steals the show”, describing the film as “a knockout” and “a total crowd pleaser”.

These early reactions have only caused our anticipation (already at feverish levels) to increase. Can 21 July hurry up, please?

Margot Robbie

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