Live-action Barbie movie reportedly features more diverse versions of Barbie and Ken

Greta Gerwig’s live-action Barbie movie will reportedly include multiple, diverse versions of Barbie and Ken, according to New York Times reporter Kyle Buchanan. 

While the film is set to star Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken, Buchanan claims on Twitter (opens in new tab) that there are multiple versions of the iconic characters. Cannes gossip suggests that Issa Rae (Insecure) and Hari Nef (Transparent) also play Barbie, while Simu Liu (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) and Ncuti Gatwa (who was just announced as the new Doctor in Doctor Who) also play Ken. 

All four actors were previously confirmed as supporting cast members for the Barbie film, but if the rumors are true this could be a huge shake-up for the canonically white and cis-presenting characters. Issa Rae is black and of Senegalese descent, Hari Nef is an openly transgender woman, Simu Liu is Chinese-Canadian, and Ncuti Gatwa is Rwandan-Scottish. Diverse versions of iconic characters are always great to see, so it’ll be interesting if these rumors are true.

The other supporting cast members include Will Ferrell (who is playing the CEO of a toy company, because of course he is), Michael Cera, America Ferrara, and Emma Mackey. 

We don’t have any plot details, but we know that Gerwig (Lady Bird, Little Women) has written the script alongside Noah Baumbach. The pair have worked together several times before on films like Greenberg, Frances Ha, Mistress America, and White Noise. 

In April 2022, The Hollywood Reporter reported (opens in new tab) that the film would include a “meta element” that could very well explain the multiple versions of Barbie and Ken. Welcome to the Barbieverse; I, for one, can’t wait to find out more.

The live-action Barbie movie is due out on July 23, 2023. It just shot to the top of our list of most exciting upcoming movies

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