Are Barbie and Ken alone in the cinematic universe? That’s the tantalizing question being floated around. “Little Women” helmer, Greta Gerwig is directing for Warner Brothers from a screenplay she co-wrote with her partner, Noah Baumbach. Though Margot Robbie will be playing the title role as previously announced, it’s now likely that she will share top billing with some other performers. Same story for the role of Ken, being played by Ryan Gosling.
Kyle Buchanan broke the news this week on his twitter, when he reported that Issa Rae and Hari Nef would also be appearing as different incarnations of Barbie, and that Simu Liu and Ncuti Gatwa would be doing similar duties for Ken.
The revelation is fueling speculation of a new plot twist for the film: Barbie’s realization that she may not be the only doll in town. The possibility is not outlandish: Though Barbie and Ken are often stereotyped as the iconic whitebread, cisgendered American couple, Mattel has marketed numerous variants since the dolls were first introduced, in 1959 and 1961 respectively. Included among these iterations are several, Hispanic, and Native American versions of Barbie.
Gerwig’s film is also garnering much interest because of what has been described as its “massive” cast, which already includes (in alphabetical order) Kingsley Ben-Adair, Ritu Arya, Jamie Demeetriou, Scott Evans, Emerald Fennsll, Michael Cera, Will Ferrell, America Ferrera, Ariana Greenblatt, Ana Cruz Kayne, Emma Mackey, Kate McKinnon, Rhea Perlman, Sharon Rooney, Alexandra Shipp, and Connor Swindells. And The Irish Sun is reporting that Dua Lipa and Saoirse Ronan are also being considered for roles in the flick.
Barbie is currently in production in London, at Warner Brothers’ Leavesden Studios. Star Margot Robbie is listed as a producer via her LuckyChap venue.