Sony Pictures has been trying to mount a live-action film based on the Barbie toy line for years, and the project took a major step forward Friday when The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Trainwreck star Amy Schumer had been cast in the title role.
In March 2015, Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody was tapped to rewrite the screenplay, working from an original draft by Jenny Bicks. But the studio ultimately settled on a concept by Hilary Winston which begins in “a perfect land of Barbies, where one woman slowly awakens to the fact that she doesn’t fit in.” Exiled to the real world, the woman discovers that her unique qualities are actually an asset, rather than a disadvantage.
Schumer, who will rework the screenplay along with her sister and Trainwreck co-producer Kim Caramele, may not seem to fit the image of the iconic Barbie doll, but that’s precisely the point of the casting. The thin, statuesque toy line has often come under fire for its perceived role in promoting unhealthy and unrealistic beauty standards in young women, and putting an outspoken feminist like Schumer in the leading role could go a long way toward redefining Barbie for a modern era.
Sony hopes to turn the film into “a family comedy with plenty of heart,” with Disney’s Enchanted and the Tom Hanks classic Big serving as examples of the tone they’re hoping to achieve. This approach means the raunchy, expletive-filled humor that has long been Schumer’s trademark will be off-limits.
No director has been announced yet, nor has a release date been scheduled.
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