Greta Gerwig's Barbie Film Welcomes Ariana Greenblatt To The Dreamhouse

With every new casting announcement for Greta Gerwig's "Barbie" movie starring Margot Robbie, I get closer and closer to cracking the code and figuring out the plot details since Gerwig and co-writer Noah Baumbach have been holding out on us. We know that Ryan Gosling will be playing Ken, and the duo will be joined by America Ferrera, Simu Liu, and Kate McKinnon in unnamed roles. (Don't worry, I've fantasy booked them all in their respective announcements.) Today's big casting news, admittedly, has thrown me for a loop. The live-action film from Warner Bros. is bringing the teenage performer Ariana Greenblatt to the Barbie Dreamhouse. Just as the other non-Barbie and Ken roles have gone unnamed and undescribed, Greenblatt is no different.

Greenblatt is absolutely a young talent to watch, cast alongside Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, and Jamie Lee Curtis as the infamous Tiny Tina in Eli Roth's upcoming film adaptation of the "Borderlands" video game series. She has also been featured in "In the Heights," "Bad Moms Christmas," "Love and Monsters," "Boss Baby: The Family Business," and was featured as Young Gamora in "Avengers: Infinity War." 

As the first non-adult actor announced for the Barbie film, I have a sneaking suspicion that Greenblatt is going to be the protagonist in the Barbie World, a young girl learning lessons and going on adventures with Barbie and friends. Between Gerwig's history as a director and Robbie's LuckyChap production company highlighting oft-misunderstood women like in "I, Tonya," there's no way this is going to be a shallow Barbie movie.

Let's talk about Life-Size

With Greenblatt joining the cast, I can't help but think about the 2000 made-for-television movie, "Life-Size" starring Lindsay Lohan and Tyra Banks. The film centers on a young girl named Casey who performs a pagan ritual in an attempt to resurrect her dead mother (No, I'm serious), but accidentally brings to life the fashion doll "Eve" that her dad's new girlfriend bought her for her birthday. What follows is a sweet movie about Eve having to learn what it means to be human, and for Casey to learn how to properly grieve the loss of her mother. It's a surprisingly deep film for a TV movie about a not-calling-it-Barbie-so-we-don't-get-sued doll coming to life, and a seminal favorite for many millennials of a certain demographic.

While obviously, Gerwig is not going to straight-up remake "Life-Size," I think if anyone could breathe some fresh life into the "young girl makes friends with doll come to life" idea, and allow it the nuance and depth that it deserves. Greenblatt is a fantastic talent and surrounded by a crew of A-listers, the Barbie movie just keeps getting better and better. The film is due to begin production in London sometime in 2022 for a projected release in 2023.