Acclaimed screenwriter Diablo Cody has discussed details of her scrapped Barbie movie plans in a recent interview.
Diablo Cody is best known for her sparkling script for 2007’s Juno, for which she won an Oscar. Since then, she has penned a variety of features, from Jennifer’s Body and the terrific Young Adult to Ricki And The Flash and her underrated directorial debut Paradise.
One project that didn’t quite get off the ground was Barbie, or at least Cody’s version of it. In a new interview with GQ Magazine, Cody discussed her vision of the film and how it all unravelled.
Cody explained that “When I was first hired for this, I don’t think the culture had not embraced the femme or the bimbo as valid feminist archetypes yet. If you look up ‘Barbie’ on TikTok you’ll find this wonderful subculture that celebrates the feminine, but in 2014, taking this skinny, blonde, white doll and making her into a heroine was a tall order”.
On the casting of comedian Amy Schumer, Cody said “that idea of an anti-Barbie made a lot of sense given the feminist rhetoric of ten years ago. I didn’t really have the freedom then to write something that was faithful to the iconography; they wanted a girl-boss feminist twist on Barbie, and I couldn’t figure it out because that’s not what Barbie is”.
Schumer would eventually drop out and the role would go briefly to Anne Hathaway before Margot Robbie entered the frame.
Reflecting on why her script never got off the ground, Cody cites the huge success of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s The LEGO Movie, explaining how “I heard endless references to The LEGO Movie in development, and it created a problem for me because they had done it so well. Any time I came up with something meta, it was too much like what they had done. It was a roadblock for me, but now enough time has passed that they can just cast [The Lego Movie antagonist] Will Ferrell as the antagonist in a real-life Barbie movie and nobody cares”.
Despite this, Cody is as in demand as ever, writing several projects including horror comedy Lisa Frankenstein and the currently untitled Madonna biopic.
Barbie will be in UK cinemas from the 21st July.
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