Simu Liu on ‘subversive’ Barbie movie: ‘How the hell did they get Mattel to sign off on it?’

·1-min read

Simu Liu has teased the upcoming Barbie movie, saying he thinks it’ll “surprise a lot of people”.

The 33-year-old Marvel actor stars in director Greta Gerwig’s romantic comedy, which is based on the famous doll, alongside Margot Robbie as the titular character and Ryan Gosling as Ken, Barbie’s boyfriend.

“It’s one of the best scripts I’ve ever read,” Liu said on a recent episode of Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. “I think it’ll surprise a lot of people because I think a lot of people get cynical when they see Mattel or they see Barbie.

Mattel is the toy company that manufactures the fashion doll, which originally launched in 1959.

“The first thought I had after reading the script was how did the hell did they get Mattel to sign off on this, because this is not the kind of movie that corporate overlords sign off on,” he continued.

“This is the type of movie that I love, unabashedly. It’s smart, it’s subversive, and it’s meta, and it makes fun of itself.”

While plot details of Gerwig’s live-action film have been kept under wraps, news reports have indicated that multiple actors will play different versions of Barbie and Ken.

Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken in ‘Barbie’ (Warner Bros.)
Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken in ‘Barbie’ (Warner Bros.)

Other confirmed cast members include Emma Mackey, Ncuti Gatwa, Issa Rae, America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Michael Cera, Rhea Perlman, Emerald Fennell, Scott Evans, and Hari Nef.

“How did they understand it enough to green light it?” Liu added. “I think that’s props to not only Greta but also to Margot Robbie and Tom Ackerley who produced it.”

Barbie is slated for a theatrical release on 21 July 2023.