Sharon Stone has revealed that she once attempted to pitch a “Barbie” movie to a Hollywood studio during the 1990s and was laughed out of the room. What a difference a couple of decades makes, as Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie’s “Barbie” opened last year and earned a staggering $1.4 billion to become the top-grossing film of 2023 and the biggest earner in Warner Bros.’ studio history.
“I was laughed out [of] the studio when I came [with] the Barbie idea in the ’90s [with] the support of the head of Barbie,” Stone wrote in a comment to America Ferrara on Instagram, where the latter shared her powerful acceptance speech from the Critics Choice Awards. “How far we’ve come. Thank you ladies for your courage and endurance.”
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Ferrera is a supporting actor in “Barbie” and was honored with the SeeHer award at the Critics Choice Awards. During her speech, she paid tribute to Gerwig and thanked her “for proving through your incredible mastery as a filmmaker that women’s stories have no difficulty achieving cinematic greatness and box-office history at the same time, and that unabashedly telling female stories does not diminish your powers, it expands them.”
Stone is far from the only actor to try and fail to get a “Barbie” movie off the ground. Before Gerwig and Robbie perfected their take at Warner Bros., both Amy Schumer and Anne Hathaway attempted a “Barbie” movie at Sony Pictures. Schumer was originally tapped to play the Mattel doll but revealed last year that it was “creative differences” that caused her exit. She said Robbie’s movie looked “very feminist and cool,” which her version was not.
Hathaway stepped in to replace Schumer as Barbie in a film about the character getting kicked out of Barbieland for not being perfect enough. Australian filmmaker Alethea Jones, best known for helming the comedy “Fun Mom Dinner,” was in talks to direct Hathaway’s film, which sources described at the time as in the vein of “Splash,” “Enchanted” and “Big.” The movie never got made, and Hathaway isn’t mad about it.
“What’s so exciting about what Greta and Margot and that phenomenal team [did] is they hit a bullseye,” Hathaway said during a recent appearance on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast. “The bullseye caused the entire world to reach this level of ecstasy. Now imagine that version … that much energy, that much anticipation, that much emotion … but it’s not the right version. I actually think of it as a lucky thing [it didn’t get made].”
“Margot is sublime,” Hathaway continued. “The mythic giants they toppled with [‘Barbie’] that have kept certain narratives in place that have not allowed opportunities to develop for so many people … they ran straight through it! Just as a cinemagoer and as a woman in Hollywood since I was a kid, I’m thrilled by the development. If I believed that the version I was attached to could have done that, I might feel differently about it, but I genuinely think their film was the best possible version.”
“Barbie” is now expected to land several Oscar nominations next week, including best picture.
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