Why Was Barbie Co-Creator Originally Dead Set Against the Movie?

Why Was Barbie Co-Creator Originally Dead Set Against the Movie?
Image credit: Warner Bros., Legion-Media

In the end, he was adamant it was the best thing he'd ever written.


  • The success of Greta Gerwig's Barbie remains unmatched four months after its premiere.
  • One of Barbie's co-creators didn't see any potential in the film.
  • It took him time to realize the depth of the story.

As it's been over four months since Barbie premiered to become this year's highest-grossing picture, you may already be aware of the film's complicated history. Before its enormously successful debut, the production had been in the works for over a decade, moving through three studios and numerous scripts before finally landing in the hands of Greta Gerwig.

With a staggering $1.44 billion at the box office, Barbie has proven to be the biggest hit of 2023 and one of the few non-franchise productions to achieve such success. However, it seems that the film might not have been made in the first place. While Gerwig was very eager to take up the job, her co-writer and life partner Noah Baumbach was very reluctant to work on Barbie.

Lack of Belief

Because Noah Baumbach is a member of the WGA union, he couldn't attend pre-release conferences this summer, unlike Barbie's stars – Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, Issa Rae and Kate McKinnon – and the film's director, Greta Gerwig. As a result, Baumbach was only recently able to talk about the hit production after both the writers' and actors' strikes were over.

In his recent interview, Noah admitted that he didn't have much faith in Barbie when he started working on the movie. Naturally, he was not happy with the job.

'I thought it was a terrible idea and Greta signed me up for it. I was just like, "I don't see how this is going to be good at all." I kind of blocked it for a while and every time she'd bring it up, I'd be like, "You've gotta get us out of this." And then the pandemic happened…' the writer shared.

The Watershed Moment

Fortunately, Noah Baumbach eventually came to see the genius of his partner and co-writer Gerwig, who'd put everything into the production in question. Remarkably, there was one particular moment in the script that opened his eyes to the entirety of Barbie and convinced him to work on it.

'It was Barbie waking up in her Dreamhouse and coming out to her backyard and meeting somebody who was sick and dying. I read these pages and I thought, "I understand now what this is…" The movie is about embracing your mortality and about the mess of it all, so it was exciting,' N. Baumbach said.

Indeed, Barbie turned out to be a very thought-provoking picture wrapped in seemingly superficial and nonsensical comedy. And it worked perfectly well for the film – thanks to Gerwig's determination and Baumbach's open-mindedness.

Source: Vanity Fair.

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