Margot Robbie may have been attached to Warner Bros.' Barbie film for two years now, but she has only now found her Ken! Ryan Gosling is in final negotiations to play the world's most famous ascot-wearing fashionista.
Directed by Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird, Little Women), who co-writes the script with Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha, Marriage Story) it's a safe bet that this Barbie won't just be another cash-grab production by the studio. As Robbie herself put it at the time, the project "comes with a lot of baggage! And a lot of nostalgic connections, but with that comes 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.'"
The long-gestating project was originally planned for Sony back in 2009. The studio later lined up Diablo Cody (Juno, Jennifer's Body, Tully) to write the script. In 2016, Amy Schumer was cast as the titular Barbie from a script by Hilary Winston, where it was stuck in development until 2018, when Warner Bros. and Robbie picked it up. Though they originally aimed for Wonder Woman's Patty Jenkins to direct, 2019 saw Gerwig secure the job.
However, it's thanks to these delays that the world will see Gosling as Ken: given his busy schedule, the Blade Runner 2049 actor had initially passed on playing the part when it was first offered to him. According to Deadline insiders however, Warner Bros. remained persistent about him being their first and only choice for the role and, when Gosling found himself with an opening in his schedule (he has just wrapped filming on Netflix action pic The Gray Man, in which he stars opposite Chris Evans with the Russo Brothers directing), the actor was finally convinced to sign on. With Ken now cast, the long-delayed film may finally begin production as early as next year, with sights set on a 2023 release.