Shang-Chi star Simu Liu joins Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in the cast of the Barbie movie. Oscar-nominated Ladybird director Greta Gerwig is helming Barbie and co-writing the script along with The Squid and the Whale scribe Noah Baumbach.
Obviously given the talents of awards-certified Gerwig and Baumbach it’s a safe bet this Barbie movie will not be a straight-forward toy tie-in film. Indeed, the presence of Robbie and Gosling at the head of the cast reinforces the notion that Barbie the movie will have a lot more on its mind than just satisfying the famous doll’s legion of fans. And recently the film’s cast added another intriguing name, bringing America Ferrera onboard in an undisclosed role.
In fact much remains undisclosed about Barbie and its story (no surprise given the amount of secrecy that veils all major projects these days). One more piece of information on the film has come to light however, as THR reports Liu has joined the cast in yet another mystery role.
Liu of course is a certified international superstar after heading up the MCU blockbuster Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. It’s almost certain that Liu’s Shang-Chi will be returning to the MCU at some point in the future, but in the meantime he’s taking advantage of his new-found fame to sign on for other interesting projects. In addition to Barbie, Liu has also lined up Arthur the King, teaming him with Mark Wahlberg in a family-friendly story about an adventure racer and his dog. Liu will also appear in the romantic One True Loves.
Barbie of course has been in the works for a long time – so long in fact that Cannon Films was once reportedly interested in making a live-action Barbie way back in 1986. Amy Schumer later was tapped to play Barbie in a twist on the doll’s story that would’ve seen the “perfect” toy exiled to the real world as a normal woman. Anne Hathaway then took on the lead role before herself dropping out. Robbie was announced as the lead in early 2019 with Gosling announced as Barbie’s boyfriend Ken in October 2021.
It’s obviously still a mystery what spin the Gerwig-Baumbach team will place on Barbie (though with that pair writing it’s likely the film will be set in New York). Clearly the table is set for a film that conveys many positive messages while presenting a quirkier take on the iconic lead character than one might anticipate getting from a studio film interested only in marketing tie-ins. A big part of the movie’s agenda is obviously to assemble as strong a cast as possible, with Liu and Ferrera now joining Robbie and Gosling. It will be fascinating to see what other names join the cast as Barbie gets set to go before cameras, with early 2023 being targeted for the movie’s release date.
More: WB Really Wants You To See Their Barbie Movie
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