Just when all that pre-release Barbie buzz was starting to make hot pink feel monotonous, the movie opened—and delivered that sought-after blend of critical praise, audiences of both lovers and haters (which brought even more buzz), and massive box office success. Mattel executives might not have quite understood director Greta Gerwig’s aim ahead of time, but they 100% understand dollar signs.
Inevitably, when a movie’s a big hit, sequel talk happens; sometimes, even before the movie’s a big hit, those in charge allow themselves to dream big. Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz puts it plainly, speaking to Variety: “At the outset, we’re not saying, ‘Okay, let’s think already about movie two and three.’ Let’s get the first one right and make that a success. And if you do that, opportunities open up very quickly, once you establish the first movie as a successful representation of a franchise on the big screen ... Successful movies lend themselves to more movies. Our ambition is to create film franchises.”
We already know that Mattel has several other toy lines in mind for future adaptations (here’s a recent list of 14, including Barney and the Magic 8 Ball, that are in the queue), but you can’t really blame its executives for hoping to recapture more Barbie magic. “Barbie, as a brand, has many different iterations ... in addition to the main Barbie figure, she has family, she has a lot of elements around in her universe,” Kreiz told the trade.
The Barbie movie explored some of that, but there are certainly more stories in that universe that could be told. Or are there? Speaking to the New York Times, director and co-writer Gerwig—whose unique vision was a driving force behind the movie, as well as her collaboration with star Margot Robbie—said, “At this moment, it’s all I’ve got. I feel like that at the end of every movie, like I’ll never have another idea and everything I’ve ever wanted to do, I did. I wouldn’t want to squash anybody else’s dream but for me, at this moment, I’m at totally zero.”
Head to the New York Times to read the full interview, which includes Gerwig’s reaction to the movie’s success as well as its doll-torching right-wing detractors. Barbie is in theaters now.
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