For a film that isn’t set to hit theaters until the summer of 2023, Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie film has managed to drum up a surprisingly notable amount of press. The casting announcements have been seemingly constant, to the point that it feels like every working actor in Hollywood has signed on to join Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, who star, respectively, as Barbie and Ken. (Just a sampling of names: Will Farrell, Issa Rae, Michael Cera, Kate McKinnon, America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Emerald Fennell, Kingsley Ben-Adir, and Hari Nef.) And yet, Gerwig has otherwise shared next to nothing about what she and her partner and cowriter Noah Baumbach have in store. It wasn’t until Tuesday that we even learned the release date—July 21, 2023—and what a director known for her indie and mumblecore films’s version of Barbie looks like.
At its CinemaCon presentation on Tuesday, Warner Bros. revealed that Robbie’s Barbie looks, well, exactly like Barbie. The image features the 31-year-old actor flashing a megawatt smile and seated in a bright pink convertible. She wears a white and blue halter top, polka dot headband, and, naturally, a light blonde head of hair. In other words, the character looks worlds away from Robbie’s last, the tatted supervillain Harley Quinn. She looks perfect in the extremely conventional sense, despite the film’s synopsis reading “a doll living in ‘Barbieland’ is expelled for not being perfect enough and sets off on an adventure in the real world.”
It may seem like Warner Bros. is ahead of schedule in sharing a first look at the film, but we’ve been waiting to see what Robbie looks like as Barbie since 2019. (Not to mention Amy Schumer and Anne Hathaway, who had both signed on for the role in the many years of its rocky road to production.) “It comes with a lot of baggage!,” Robbie told British Vogue of adapting the franchise last year. “And a lot of nostalgic connections. But with that come a lot of exciting ways to attack it. People generally hear ‘Barbie’ and think, ‘I know what that movie is going to be,’ and then they hear that Greta Gerwig is writing and directing it, and they’re like, ‘Oh, well, maybe I don’t...’” So far, it looks like Gerwig is sticking to conventions, but whether or not that’s actually the case remains to be seen.