Mattel's Film Chief says Barbie movie will be 'positive'

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 4 March 2019
Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie

Mattel's Film Chief Robbie Brenner is adamant the upcoming 'Barbie' film will be "very positive" and will show what an "empowering" toy the doll is for girls all over the world

The 'Barbie' film will have a "very positive" message for women and show what a great influence the iconic doll has been since her creation, Mattel Film Chief Robbie Brenner has said.

Margot Robbie has been cast to play Mattel's most famous ever toy, who celebrates turning 60 this year, in the upcoming live-action film which will follow Barbie as she is expelled from Barbie Land for failing to live up to the expectations of its residents.

Brenner accepts that some people will want to complain that a film is being created around Barbie, who has been criticised by some commentators for portraying unrealistic beauty standards and outdated gender roles, but the female executive insists critics are completely misunderstanding what Barbie stands for.

When asked about the "inevitable backlash" surrounding the 'Barbie' movie, Brenner told The Hollywood Reporter: "Barbie is turning 60 this year. But if you go back to the root of Barbie and who created Mattel ... Ruth Handler created Barbie because she wanted her daughter to have something amazing to play with and her husband created Hot Wheels for their son.

"[Barbie] was actually way ahead of her time if you go back and look at all of the amazing things that she did way beforehand.

"Now she embodies what the world looks like today with all the different body types and ethnicities. It is a very inclusive and empowering doll, and that's what we want to come across.

"For the people who want to hate and come down on it, they were going to do that anyway. The movie will be very positive."

Ruth was inspired to create Barbie after watching her daughter Barbara playing with paper dolls as if they were adults.

With the help of her husband Elliot – who worked for toy manufacturer Mattel – she developed and launched Barbie in 1959 and instantly had a hit on their hands which has lasted to this day.

Despite criticism that Barbie promotes sexist gender stereotypes, the titular doll has held many jobs; in the 60s she was a nurse, a ballerina and became an astronaut, whilst in more recent years Barbie has been an architect, a teacher and video game developer.

The 'Barbie' film will be produced through Margot's Lucky Champ production company, Mattel and Warner Bros. Pictures.

'Mary Queen of Scots' star Margot, 28, has previously admitted it is an honour to portray the iconic toy who she believes has promoted empowerment and "self-discovery".

She said: "Playing with Barbie promotes confidence, curiosity and communication throughout a child's journey to self-discovery.

"Over the brand's almost 60 years, Barbie has empowered kids to imagine themselves in aspirational roles from a princess to president. I'm so honoured to take on this role and produce a film that I believe will have a tremendously positive impact on children and audiences worldwide. I can't imagine better partners than Warner Bros. and Mattel to bring this film to the big screen."


  • 2023
  • US
  • 1h 54min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Greta Gerwig
  • Cast: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman, Will Ferrell

To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you're a Ken.