Barbie: The Release Date, Cast, Trailer And Other Things We Know About The Margot Robbie Movie

Margot Robbie as Barbie
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Barbie has long been one of the most popular and recognizable toys, but unlike many other dolls and action figures introduced in the time since its 1959 launch, there has not been a live-action movie based on the property. That will all change this summer when the Barbie movie opens in theaters. Margot Robbie will bring the iconic figurine to life alongside a supporting cast that includes Ryan Gosling as her longtime companion, Ken.

But, the movie, which is being directed by Greta Gerwig, doesn’t sound like it will be your standard toy-to-movie adaptation. In fact, the whole affair sounds like something completely different and much more powerful than all those straight-to-DVD animated films featuring Barbie in her dream home. Below is everything we know about Barbie so far, including its release date, cast, and what we can expect to see on the big screen.

What Is The Barbie Release Date?

Margot Robbie as Barbie in the Barbie trailer standing as a giant doll above lots of girls.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

During CinemaCon 2022, Warner Bros. Pictures, which is distributing the movie, announced that Barbie will open in theaters on July 21st.This also happens to be the same day Christopher Nolan’s star-studded historical drama, Oppenheimer, begins its theatrical run, and memes about seeing the two movies as a double feature are amazing. Talk about an incredibly busy month at the box office. 

Margot Robbie And Ryan Gosling Lead The Barbie Cast

from left to right: Ryan Gosling as Ken holding roller skates and Margot Robbie driving the car as Barbie

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

When Barbie opens in theaters it will see two-time Oscar nominee Margot Robbie taking on the titular role. Robbie, who is also a producer on the film, has been attached to the project since October 2018, and officially signed on to star in January 2019. She's already been praised for her work on Barbie by Greta Gerwig, who called the actress "magic." 

As for Ryan Gosling, he signed on to portray Ken in the Barbie movie in October 2021, after extensive talks with Mattel Films and Warner Bros. Pictures. According to Deadline, Gosling initially "doubted [his] Ken-ergy," and turned down the offer to play Barbie’s longtime male companion, but he decided to sign on for the project following multiple delays during the pre-production stages. We all got a look at Gosling’s extremely blonde and ripped Ken with the first reveal in June 2022, and we cannot wait to see his "Ken-ergy" on screen this summer.

But the Barbie cast doesn’t stop there. In fact, there are nearly two dozen other A-listers attached to appear in the movie. Joining the Barbie movie will be John Cena (of all people), America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, Emerald Fennell, Issa Rae and Michael Cera and several other notable stars. Many of the film's stars have shown their enthusiasm about being involved, including Liu who spoke about going from Marvel to Barbie, and how much he loved the Barbie world. While we don't know who these actors are playing, we do know that Will Ferrell will be playing the CEO of Mattel.  

Some may be surprised to not see Saoirse Ronan on this list. The actress, who has starred in Gerwig's other two films Lady Bird and Little Women, mentioned she was "gutted" to not be in Barbie. The reason Ronan won't appear has to do with scheduling, but she did say she was supposed to have a cameo as another Barbie.

While we won't see Ronan, the movie is set to have a stunning young cast, along with its A-listers. This includes Sex Education's Ncuti Gatwa and Emma Mackey.   

The Barbie Trailer Showcases Life In Barbie Land And Oh So Many Kens

Bright pink barbie dream world with Barbie waving in a pink plaid dress.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

In December 2022, Warner Bros. Pictures gave everyone an early holiday present in the form of a brief Barbie teaser trailer that offered a glimpse into the colorful, plastic, and flashy world in which Margot Robbie’s titular character lives (oh, and a nice look at Simu Liu’s Ken). But, four months later, the studio gave the world a full trailer for Barbie showcasing what life is like in Barbie Land and more Kens. Oh, so many Kens. Take a look:

The trailer, which clocks in at a little under two minutes, is full of even more Kens, played by Ryan Gosling, Liu, and several others, as well as a whole gang of Barbie dolls living their best lives in the Barbie dreamworld. Overall, this trailer gives us a small glimpse into Barbie's world, but a lot still remains a secret, as many actors, including Issa Rae, have to dodge spoilers frequently. However, as the final seconds tease, we’ll be seeing a whole other side of Barbie this summer.

The Barbie Movie Will Show What Happens To A Doll Who’s In The Midst Of An Existential Crisis

Margot Robbie as Barbie

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Though Warner Bros. Pictures hasn’t revealed a lot about the Barbie plot at this time, other than Barbie's feet will play a role in the movie, we can look at the brief synopsis, as well as the April 2023 trailer, for hints at the direction of the iconic doll’s first live-action movie. The studio has revealed that “to live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place,” that is, unless you’re either a Ken or in the midst of a “full-on existential crisis,” which appears to be the case for Margot Robbie’s Barbie.

The trailer on display up above also ends with Barbie and Ryan Gosling’s Ken escaping Barbie Land and entering the real world, where unknown adventures, and dangers await.

Greta Gerwig Directed Barbie, Which She Co-Wrote With Noah Baumbach

Greta Gerwig in Mistress Americana

(Image credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Sitting in the director’s chair for Barbie is Greta Gerwig, who explained that the project was "terrifying" to her, which is why she decided to do it. Before Barbie, Gerwig has established herself as one of the strongest voices in Hollywood in recent years with Lady Bird and Little Women. The news was confirmed by Variety (in the same article mentioned above) after word began to spread that the Academy Award-nominated filmmaker was the top choice to lead the production. Not did Gerwig direct the toy-to-film adaptation, she also wrote the screenplay alongside her partner and longtime creative collaborator, Noah Baumbach. 

Their first collaboration was on the film Frances Ha, where they co-wrote the script, with Baumbach directing and Gerwig starring. The duo has worked together on the 2022 release White Noise (which Baumbach directed and wrote, and Gerwig starred in). 

As acclaimed filmmakers, the two were both nominated for different projects at the 2020 Academy Awards. Baumbach was there for his film Marriage Story, and Gerwig was with Little Women, both movies received six nominations. 

Considering previous efforts by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, both together and separately, it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting the standard movie based on an iconic toy line, but instead something unique and fresh.

Margot Robbie Has Described Barbie As ‘Something Totally Different’ From What People Would Expect From The Property

Margot Robbie as Barbie looking into a bright pink mirror.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Ever since her LuckyChap production company got involved with Barbie, Margot Robbie has been championing the movie we still know very little about, at least concerning the plot. During a December 2020 conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Robbie opened up about LuckyChap’s producing strategy that has led to successful movies like I, Tonya and Promising Young Woman in recent years, and how they’re taking that approach with Barbie:

And we like the things that feel a little left of center. Something like Barbie where the IP, the name itself, people immediately have an idea of, ‘Oh, Margot is playing Barbie, I know what that is,’ but our goal is to be like, ‘Whatever you’re thinking, we’re going to give you something totally different — the thing you didn’t know you wanted.’

Later on, when asked if hiring Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach to pen the story would help subvert expectations, Margot Robbie explained that the goal is to both honor the Barbie property while also surprising people and provoking thoughtful conversations. In an interview with WSJ, Gerwig noted that Robbie and LuckyChap back their projects "all the way." So, between Gerwig's direction, LuckyChap's track record, and the 2001: A Space Odyssey-inspired Barbie teaser I'm sure we're in for a wonderfully wild ride. 

The Barbie Movie Will Have A Message Of ‘Female Empowerment’ As Well As A Diverse Cast

From left to right: Ncuti Gatwa, Issa Rae and Simu Liu in the Barbie Teaser Trailer

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

This diverse cast includes wildly talented actors of color and from the LGBTQ+ community. This includes Simu Liu, Ncuti Gatwa, Alexandra Shipp, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, America Ferrera and more. According to Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz they have pledged to have diverse casts on their projects.

Along with its diverse cast, the movie will also have a message of “female empowerment” according to one of its producers. During a panel at Fortune’s 2019 Brainstorm Tech conference, Robbie Brenner, the executive producer of Mattel Films explained that the movie, which was still very early in development at that point, would have a message that you can make all your dreams come true and that it’s important “to push the boundaries.”

We'll have to wait a little longer to see the movie that Simu Liu said has the best script he's ever read, but while we wait to see what Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie have in store for Barbie, why not check out all the 2023 new movie releases in the meantime.

Philip Sledge
Content Writer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.