Thursday, September 24, 2009

Waylon Smithers to shit solid-gold brick

According to Variety, Universal has made a deal with Mattel for a live-action "Barbie" movie:

No matter what else comes of it, this will almost certainly be the film with the widest gulf between how interesting it's development is versus how interesting it could ever be to watch. They never really felt the need to give this franchise a "narrative" (that I know of... ladies? Am I correct as to this?) so the question of "WTF is a movie of this even about?" is more paramount than even for also-optioned stuff like "Battleship" or "Monopoly."

Seriously: Turn off the "this is stupid" instinct for a minute and consider what the people who have to hammer a MOVIE out of this are in for. Is this a movie about this "character" as an actual person? In which case, is it actually a movie about a 5'9, 36-18-33 blonde with seemingly unlimited wealth and about 500 full-time careers? In which case... wouldn't the ONLY way that'd work be to make it something akin to a spoof? Even if so, Mattel isn't likely to let that be the direction - they guard the Barbie brand about as jealously as you'd guard an ACTUAL woman with those measurements. On the other hand, if it WAS a spoof it'd be an eerily perfect vehicle for Anna Faris (if it was a parody) or Jessica Simpson (if it was a comedy and they feel like going straight-to-DVD.)

That is, of course, assuming they want a major star - they might go looking for an unknown. Dear God, can you IMAGINE an open casting-call for "Barbie?" I picture a MASSIVE line of statuesque blonde women in wonderbras and heels wrapped around six blocks in downtown LA. And y'know what? People will be PAID to conduct those auditions. PAID!


Klara said...

On the narrative thing, there are the three bazillion CGI movies with Barbie inserted into various fairytales ("Barbie is Cinderella", "Barbie in the Nutcracker"...) and as I child I fondly remember reading a Barbie comic involving Barie and Ken.

So yeah, not exactly Shakespeare (if there's not a "Barbie is Julia in Romeo & Julia" or "Barbie is Hamlet", which there could be) but at least it's main character at least closely resembles a human being, as opposed to The Racecar or The Thimble.

David said...

The barbie movie should be easy. take sex and the city and make it G rated.

All it boils down to is vacuous endlessly affluent wasps spending vast sums of money on atrociously ugly clothes and generally being consumer whores.

There are dozens of movies like that already. To put it another way, take the self aware satire out of clueless.

tyra menendez said...

i also picture the drag queens showing up for an open casting call like that.
and i still can't help but think of that robot chicken sketch with hungry, hungry hippos when i'm reminded that monopoly has been optioned.

Bob said...

To be fair, some of the early (possibly bullshit, granted) pitches for Monopoly I was hearing sounded GREAT - basically Wall Street (possibly set during or before the Depression) but with five or six different ultra-wealthy business owners using property wars to joust with one another, oblivious to the fact that this is causing the entire system to collapse around them. The only "visual" cues to the game would've been some of the street/railroad names and each of the baddies corporate offices would have a big silver statue version of one of the game-pieces (iron, thimble, car, shoe, etc) as their symbol, i.e. the Merril Lynch Bull.

Mark Carr - ADD@Work Reviews said...

Parody really does seem like the only way to approach a Barbie live-action movie. I'm only assuming this would be marketed toward much younger kids so I'm not really sure this is anything to worry about.

The only thing that does worry me is that we're digging into any character we find to get a movie out of it. I heard a few months ago we have an American Gladiator movie is the works. Can Hollywood not think of any new ideas?

דניאל said...

It could be okay if they based Barbie on the Barbie character from The Sandman, and this movie on A Game of You.

RocMegamanX said...

You know, at least Clue has a storyline: Rich guy gets killed and they had to find out who did it. And they already had characters.

They could even make a kids movie about Candy Land.

But...Barbie? Are they kidding?

Barbie has no flaws. How would people, other than young girls and collectors, relate to her, other than the fact that she's attractive? That's called a "Mary-Sue".

I don't know who would play Barbie either. Who exactly has a 36-18-33, 5'9", ageless figure in the real world?

Bob said...


Plotwise, people have been pitching Mattel on a movie for this for decades. If there'd been an internet back then, movie-rumor sites would've been full of them.

Supposedly the reason they never went for the majority of them was because they were set up as spoofs, where the title character was actually a supporting role and the main character was, alternately, a less-than-flawless girl who was either her friend or nemesis OR a boy obsessed with her (so, kid-comedy versions of "Mean Girls" or "There's Something About Mary," basically.)

Mykal said...

Well this is going to have to be the female equalivant of G.I.Joes. There where there could be more to talk about it then there really is. Barbies in general were use to symbolism females in America so they could go a lot of routes with this.

Barbie over the years have spoken for what a girl could be. Hell there is a fair amount of evidence that Barbie is the reason why the blonde statuesque woman since that was what they played with as girls. Hell as far as I understood the daytime soap operas came from playing with Barbie and Ken.

So this could go a lot of ways.The problem is they are going to do with it is boil it down to what will sell the most just like Transformers. I will bet good money it will be as bad if not worse then Transformers.

The sad thing of it all is, Barbies' history over the years as a toy could make for a good movie. Heck even some of the parinomial theroyies of turning generations of woman bit by bit into (fill in the blank) would make a better movie then it will be.