Margot Robbie oversees a pink wonderland in Greta Gerwig's "Barbie."

Diablo Cody didn’t have the ‘freedom’ to write a great script for ‘Barbie’: the studio wanted a ‘girl-boss’ twist

Diablo Cody is tackling failed ‘Barbie’ script for Sony five years after the fact.

Academy Award-winning screenwriter ‘Juno’ has been contracted to write the script for a meta film ‘Barbie’ ahead of a 2018 release. Cody has been enlisted to rewrite the 2014 Sony script from former ‘Sex and the City’ screenwriter Jenny Bicks. Amy Schumer was initially cast in the lead role before also parting ways with the project. Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach took over the film in 2019 after it moved to Warner Bros.

Cody famously never turned in a script due to creative differences with the studio, as ‘Jennifer’s Body’ writer said GQ.

“I think I know why I shit in bed. When I was first hired for this, I don’t think the culture hadn’t yet embraced the femme or bimbo as valid feminist archetypes,” Cody said. “If you search ‘Barbie’ on TikTok you’ll find this wonderful subculture that celebrates the feminine, but in 2014, taking this skinny blonde white doll and turning her into a heroine was a tall order.”

He added, “There was a lot of pressure not to write the dramatic equivalent of ‘math is hard.'”

Cody noted that Schumer’s casting as Barbie was in line with the themes of the decade, but the story arc was not what he had envisioned for the live-action adaptation.

“The idea of ​​an anti-Barbie made a lot of sense given the feminist rhetoric of 10 years ago,” Cody said. “Back then I didn’t really have the freedom to write something that was faithful to the iconography; they wanted a feminist spin on Barbie, and I just couldn’t figure it out because that’s not what Barbie is.

Schumer departed in 2017, with future Oscar winner Anne Hathaway in talks for the role. Cody left in 2018 after further studio pressure.

“I heard endless references to ‘The Lego Movie’ being developed, and it gave me a problem because they had done it so well,” Cody said. “Every time I came up with something meta, it was too similar to what they had done. It was a stumbling block for me, but now enough time has passed that I could cast (‘The Lego Movie’ actor) Will Ferrell as the antagonist in a real-life ‘Barbie’ movie and nobody cares.

Cody summed up, “I’ve had several swings in IP with ‘Barbie’ and ‘Powerpuff Girls’ and I take full responsibility for the failures of those attempts, because I have a specific voice and POV and haven’t figured out how to modulate it. In the end, you sell toys. I mean, nobody really wants to delve into the lore and myth of Hungry Hungry Hippos. It’s not really an artistic exercise.

Still, Cody is excited for Gerwig’s “Barbie,” which she called “my ‘Joker’” in terms of anticipation.

Former “Barbie” actress Schumer also praised Gerwig’s upcoming film, starring Margot Robbie, who is also producing.

“I can’t wait to see the movie, it’s amazing,” Schumer said on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,” adding, “There’s a new team behind it, and it looks like it’s very feminist and cool, so I’ll see the movie.”

Schumer added of his shelved “Barbie” project: “I think we said it was scheduling conflicts, that’s what we said. But yeah, they were really just creative differences. They definitely didn’t want to do it the way I wanted to do it, the only way I was interested in doing it.

For all the details on the story of the film “Barbie”, click here.