BARBIE Writers Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach Tease the Potential of a KEN Spinoff Movie — GeekTyrant

Now that we are in the midst of December, I think we can safely say that Barbie was the movie of the year. The film knocked it out of the proverbial park with a $1.4 billion box office take home that blew everyone away. The movie followed the classic doll, played by Margot Robbie, who suddenly faced feelings of existential dread, leading her to the real world where she could sort out what it meant to be a woman. It was a beautiful story that spoke to so many people, which of course means the studio wanted to know if they could make a sequel out of it.

Robbie has spoken out previously about the possibility, not ruling it out, but making it clear that a sequel was never considered as they made the film, which very much told a complete story. Though no one had really been asking if that meant a Ken movie was out of the question.

The film’s director, Greta Gerwig, and her writing partner, Noah Baumbach, who co-authored the script, recently sat down with 60 Minutes at CBS, and they addressed just that. First, Baumbach was asked what he thought of the idea of the Barbie movie when Gerwig first approached him about it. He explained:

“I couldn’t even fathom it. And Greta wrote these pages…and I thought, ‘I can write this Barbie movie. I totally understand what this is.'”

Gerwig explained that the film begins “very mechanically…like a clock” with Barbie and friends enjoying a picture-perfect day in Barbie Land. And then suddenly, there’s an existential crisis: Barbie asks, “Do you guys ever think about dying?”  

That moment in the movie is the end result of a writing process that began with Gerwig penning a few early pages for the script and showing them to Baumbach. In those early pages, Barbie meets an old woman in her backyard and is confronted by the idea of her own mortality. Gerwig explained: 

“Noah immediately understood what I was doing and was like, ‘You know, this is exciting and there’s a movie in here.'”  

The writing duo also revealed how their writing process informs their approach to directing. Both Gerwig and Baumbach said they prefer to stick to exactly what was written in the script with no substitutions on set when the movie is filmed.  

Gerwig said that in the films Lady Bird and Little Women, everything was scripted, down to each “you know” and “um.” She says this level of detail is important to retain the rhythm of a conversation that’s been written and read aloud hundreds of times before the first frame is shot.  

“Once we have something that feels more like a script, then we start reading the whole thing out loud. We vetted the language ourselves, so we can hear if there’s a joke that’s repeated or a rhythm that’s off.” 

Baumbach and Gerwig said that when writing the Barbie script, they always had Ryan Gosling in mind to play Ken, even writing his full name next to Ken’s lines in the first draft. When writing for the role of Ken, Baumbach and Gerwig came up with a wealth of ideas they couldn’t fit into their final draft. In an earlier version of the script, they further explored the “Ken effect” in the real world and wrote a scene for the movie in which Ryan Gosling plays himself.

“We had way too much material for Ken. We would write, and write, and write,” Gerwig explained. Baumbach interrupted and told Gerwig not to “give it away.” When asked by the CBS correspondent, “Would there ever be a Ken Movie?” Gerwig laughed and said she couldn’t comment on that, but she didn’t rule it out completely. “I mean, the truth is, you know…I guess we’ll see,” she said with a smile.

Just like in Barbie, I don’t think anyone had really been thinking about Ken! But his character has a lot he could still work through. If they end up making that movie, I will absolutely be there for it.

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