The latest Barbie trailer was recently released, and it's given yet another insight into what the movie's going to be about. Ahead of its July 21 arrival (the same day as Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer in an admittedly bold move), precious few details are out on the movie. Two trailers have been shared. The first was an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey with shots pulled and recreated from Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi classic. The second was a showcase of some of the things to expect (namely the type of humor) and the basic premise. Here's what we know so far.
Barbie 2023: Who's In The Movie?
While it may not be competing with Nolan's Oppenheimer in terms of sheer cast size and quality, the ensemble for Greta Gerwig's third outing as a director is pretty exceptional. It's led by Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, who will be playing Barbie and Ken, respectively. However, since there were a lot of different Ken dolls as well as the titular female and other characters, there were a lot more actors and actresses involved. Other notable names in the cast include John Cena, Helen Mirren, Will Ferrell, Du aLipa, Michael Cera, and Kate McKinnon.
It's a pretty deep cast with a wide range of actors. Most of them are playing Kens or Barbies, but Michael Cera will be Allan, the random non-Ken doll that Barbie had briefly. Will Ferrell is the Mattel CEO from the real world. Other characters will likely be played by extras, as that is the extent of the cast on IMDb.
What Is The Barbie Movie About?
At first glance, the upcoming Barbie movie looks like a bit of a slapstick comedy about a doll trying to navigate the real world. That's probably going to be true. The trailers indicate that Barbie and Ken are going to the real world, though it remains to be seen if that's an intentional move or not. However, Greta Gerwig doesn't make surface level movies. Lady Bird and Little Women are both excellent and deep films that have a lot of themes, motifs and ideas. One can reasonably expect Barbie to be the same.
Ultimately, this will likely shake out to be a bit of a coming of age story. Barbie lives in the Dreamworld where she and her doll counterparts run everything. It's a true matriarch where the Ken dolls (and presumably Michael Cera's Allan) are just accessories to Barbie. She's headed for the real world where everything is patriarchal and she's a woman that looks like Margot Robbie. She's in for a big awakening and that's likely going to be the underlying struggle.
Will Ken Be The Film's Antagonist?
It's going to be the same for Ken, though. There's a distinct possibility that Gosling's Ken becomes the antagonist or at the very least a foil to Robbie's Barbie. They could completely butt heads based on their discoveries. Ken will be leaving a world where he has no identity apart from being Barbie's boyfriend. He's nothing without her and he's headed to a world where men are inherently valued more. It will be a big awakening for him, too, and it might reveal some internal conflict he didn't know was there.
Both characters will be reckoning with the real world where their roles are significantly different. Barbie will be hit with the realization that the real world is much worse for her, but Ken will learn that it's a lot better for him. Further, count on Gerwig to explore these themes with expert accuracy. She hasn't missed on a movie yet and Barbie certainly doesn't look like her first misfire. Her films have been beloved by critics, but this will be the least "artsy" of the three.
Barbie is an interesting lens to view this story through because she has been an important toy for young girls through the years. Can the movie be the same? Gerwig is an excellent choice to at least attempt to do the same. She'll likely be successful, too. At first glance, the Barbie movie looks like a fun, colorful movie about a toy. While that's going to remain true, it looks like it will be much deeper than that and will explore a lot of dark subject matter and themes. Nevertheless, it may end up being a popular film come awards season.
When Will Barbie Be Released?
The Barbie movie hits theaters July 21, which means early showings will take place on Thursday, July 20. It's unlikely that any more trailers will be released and the film's true plot will be kept under wraps until then. That day will be a big one for cinemas everywhere. Will you be heading to see Barbie or Oppenheimer first? Both movies figure to do extremely well and it will be interesting to see which film outperforms the other. Fairly or not, they will be forever linked based on their release date. Based on the recent trailer's humor, a PG-13 rating or higher is all but assured. However, Gerwig's first two films were rated R (Lady Bird) and PG (Little Women).