ShareThis Page
Margot Robbie to star in Mattel’s live-action Barbie movie |

Margot Robbie to star in Mattel’s live-action Barbie movie

| Tuesday, January 8, 2019 12:35 p.m

After more than a decade of trying, Mattel Inc. is making another run at taking Barbie to the big screen.

A live-action film based on the toymaker’s biggest brand will star Margot Robbie, who was nominated for an Academy Award last year for her role in “I, Tonya.” Mattel Films — a division created last year — and Robbie’s LuckyChap Entertainment Banner will co-produce the movie. Warner Bros. Pictures is the distributor.

The deal comes after a series of failed attempts to turn the almost 60-year-old brand into a film franchise — a strategy that rival Hasbro used with Transformers and My Little Pony to help it overtake Mattel in revenue.

Mattel has struggled to get Barbie projects off the ground: Most recently, a film to star comedian Amy Schumer was scrapped in 2017. But when Ynon Kreiz, a Hollywood veteran, became Mattel’s CEO last year, he vowed to create more entertainment around Mattel’s intellectual property.

“Mattel Films is on a path to demonstrate the enormous potential of our brand portfolio,” Kreiz said in a statement.

The movie, which doesn’t have a public release date, will be a chance for Mattel to keep updating the brand to deal with parents’ preferences. The El Segundo, California-based company wants to counteract criticism that Barbie promotes negative stereotypes and presents children with images of impossible body proportions.

Mattel has addressed those complaints by releasing new dolls sizes — including curvy — and refocusing content on Barbie’s many careers and being a savvy older sister. This has helped Barbie rebound after years of decline, with the brand posting four straight quarters of revenue gains.

Mattel’s shares rose as much as 6.2 percent to $11.90 on Tuesday, on track for a third straight day of gains.

The new year has been kind to Mattel investors, with the stock gaining about 17 percent. Last year, it fell 35 percent. On Monday, Mattel said it will create a toy line inspired by the seven-member Korean pop group BTS.

Categories: AandE | Movies TV
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.