Will there be a Barbie sequel?
It's a question worth asking, with the Greta Gerwig-directed, Margot Robbie-starring, Ryan Gosling-transfiguring film officially crossing the billion mark at the global box office. A simple Google search tells us there are no officially-announced plans for a follow-up, and a recent story provides an interesting, if slightly disappointing update. According to The Hollywood Reporter, neither Gerwig, Robbie, or Gosling have signed on for a second film.
These days, it's commonplace for studios to announce sequels to movies of Barbie's caliber before the first film even hits theaters. Case in point: Paramount Pictures, who announced a sequel to and streaming spinoff of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem on July 26, a full week before the film's release on August 2. Barbie is on track to easily outpace the TMNT, making a lack of sequel confirmation even more surprising. But with the ongoing strike from both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA, we shouldn't expect a deal between Mattel and any of the Barbie stars anytime soon.
So now that we've covered what the talent hasn't said regarding Barbie 2, let's look at what they have said.
Director Greta Gerwig was recently asked if Barbie would be getting a sequel or, to be more precise, if it was the beginning of a franchise. This came from a Variety red carpet interview, and Gerwig's response was less than definite.
“I can't answer all these things! I don't know,” the director said with a giant laugh, “It would certainly be exciting if it was.”
While we agree, that's not much of an answer either way. So if the movie's director can't go too far into sequel talk, what about its star?
Speaking to TIME Magazine for an article published July 27, Margot Robbie confirmed that she has been in conversations about a Barbie sequel. The way she talks about it, however, makes it clear that those conversations have come nowhere near to specifics.
“It could go a million different directions from this point,” the Suicide Squad star tells the magazine, then goes further, “I think you fall into a bit of a trap if you try and set up a first movie whilst also planning for sequels.”
But as franchise history has proven time and again, the real deciding factor as to whether a movie will get a sequel or not doesn't come from its creatives; it comes from its producers. And if anyone has reason to turn the Barbie movie into a series, it's the people who own the IP. In this case, that's Mattel.
The giant in the toy world has big hopes for all of its licensed products to make their mark in cinemas, and "more Barbie movies" are a part of that, CEO Ynon Kreiz tells TIME. For now, that's perhaps the closest thing we have to confirmation of a sequel.
“We’re looking to create movies that become cultural events,” said Kreiz. “If you can excite filmmakers like Greta and Noah [Baumbauch, Barbie's cowriter] to embrace the opportunity and have creative freedom, you can have a real impact.”
Impact, and maybe some giant pink dollar signs.
Barbie this, Barbie that. Is The Meg 2: The Trench getting a sequel???