Let’s hope there’s enough room in the Barbie Dream House, as the cast for Warner Bros. Barbie film has gotten much larger. Per Deadline, Kingsley Ben-Adir (One Night in Miami), Rhea Perlman (Cheers), Ncuti Gatwa (Sex Education), Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), Sharon Rooney (Dumbo), Scott Evans (Almost Love), Ana Cruz Kayne (Painkiller), Connor Swindells (Sex Education), Ritu Arya (Red Notice), and Jamie Demetriou (The Afterparty) have all joined the film. Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird, Little Women) directs from a screenplay she co-wrote with her partner, Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story).
All of these join a cast that will be headlined by Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken. Other cast members include Kate McKinnon, Simu Liu, America Ferrera, Ariana Greenblatt, Alexandra Shipp, Emma Mackey, and Hari Nef. The most recent additions prior to this massively talented new group included Issa Rae, Michael Cera, and Will Ferrell, who is expected to be playing the CEO of the toy company in the film. Plot details at the moment are thin, but with this level of talent cast and Gerwig‘s track record, a very special movie is in store.
These casting additions are also a major sign of promise towards diversity, with several of the actors coming from different backgrounds. For instance, Rooney is of Scottish descent, Gatwa is Rwandan-Scottish, and Arya is English. That’s not to mention previous additions like Liu and Rae, who are Chinese-Canadian and African American, respectively. While it will ultimately come down to the screenplay and characters, creating a diverse cast like this is a very promising sign.
Hollywood has been trying to get a Barbie film off the ground ever since the massive, unpredicted success of 2014’s The Lego Movie. Sony originally had a claim on the project, with Diablo Cody (Juno), Amy Schumer, and Anne Hathaway all attached at different points. In October 2018, Sony‘s option on the project expired and Warner Bros. grabbed it, with Robbie quickly signing on. Patty Jenkins was initially viewed as a director until July 2021, when Gerwig signed on to direct. Previously, she was only attached to write the film.
Barbie began filming last month in the United Kingdom, and is expected to release in theaters next year.