The First Photo of Margot Robbie’s ‘Barbie’ Has Us Cautiously Optimistic

We thought we knew what to expect, but maybe we don't?

barbie margot robbie
Xingzhe/Visual China Group via Getty Images; Marc Piasecki / Contributor / Getty Images

When we first heard there was a live-action Barbie movie in the works, we were skeptical. It has all the makings for a potential disaster: it’s a movie about a child’s toy, one that has different meanings to kids and adults. It’s pink and girly and could easily go the direction of totally brainless, especially starring adults. And we can’t forget about the dozens of Barbie movies we’ve already watched that are completely cringe. But now that more details are coming out about the upcoming live-action movie – including the first look photo – it might actually be good?

Rumors of a live-action Barbie movie have been swirling for years. And most of us assumed the film would be closer to the awful “Barbie Girl” song by Aqua and would be filled with the Barbie blonde stereotypes. There wasn’t a clear storyline that we could pick out for a full movie, and the places our imagination went were probably common.

However, hearing that the movie was going to be directed by Greta Gerwig, and co-written with her partner Noah Baumbach, which was a twist and an unexpected pairing, it piqued our interest. Now, the Mattel Films and WP project is underway, with Margot Robbie as the lead character, and in the first-look photo, Margot is Barbie. She looks like a real-life Barbie personified while sitting in her pink convertible. But there’s something about her smile in the picture – it’s not overly cheesy and doesn’t have that dead-in-her-eyes look we usually see when someone’s pretending to be the doll.

During an interview in 2021, Margot spoke about taking on the iconic toy, admitting that it “comes with a lot of baggage … and a lot of nostalgic connections.” She continued, “But with that comes a lot of exciting ways to attack it. People generally hear ‘Barbie’ and think, ‘I know what that movie is going to be,’ and then they hear that Greta Gerwig is writing and directing it, and they’re like, ‘Oh, well, maybe I don’t.’”

And she’s right – we don’t know what to expect. So instead of assuming the worst, we’ll patiently wait to see what cool things Greta, Noah, and cast can do with this iconic character.

Barbie will open to U.S. theaters on July 21, 2023.