Sony has brought on Diablo Cody (Juno) to write the next draft of their live-action comedy based on the Barbie toy franchise, according to Deadline. Jenny Bicks (HBO’s Sex and the City) wrote the first draft of the script for the project.
Cody is an interesting choice for the movie. The writer’s projects haven’t lived up to the hype set by 2007’s Juno, which broke open her career and earned her a screenwriting Oscar. Sony appears set on making sure the story has a strong woman’s perspective, likely to combat the public’s perception of the brand as being dated and anti-feminist. Cody will likely add some of her irreverent humor and perspective to the project. Producer Walter Parkes (Flight, Catch Me If You Can) is enthusiastic about bringing Cody on to the project.
Diablo’s unconventionality is just what Barbie needs. It signals we’re going for a legitimately contemporary tone. We’re bringing her on because she had great ideas, but even more importantly, she truly loves Barbie.
Sony and Image Nation will hope that the film finds the same success that last year’s The Lego Movie brought Warner Bros., however because the Barbie brand appeals almost exclusively to girls, they may have a more difficult time reaching the widespread audience that gravitated towards the animated brick-based adventure. It remains to be seen if Cody’s quirky sense of humor will pay off.
Cody’s latest project, the Jonathan Demme-directed drama Ricki and the Flash is currently in post production and set to be released later this year. It stars Meryl Streep (Into the Woods) as a musician who returns home to make amends with her family.
No director or cast has been announced for Barbie. We’ll have more on the project as it develops.