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Mattel didn’t want their executive to get shot in ‘Barbie’ beach scene

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Barbie screenwriters Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach have shared some of the notes that toy manufacturing company Mattel gave them on their script.

The husband and wife filmmaking duo were celebrating the record-breaking blockbuster with author Tony Kushner recently. According to Variety, they revealed that during the movie’s beach battle scene between the feuding Kens, a Mattel exec, led there by CEO Will Ferrell, is shot with a fake arrow.

Baumbach (Marriage Story, White Noise) said, “There was a note when we first turned the script. On page 111: ‘Does a Mattel executive have to be shot?’ At the time we were like, that should just be on the ad!’

Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig
Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig on February 01, 2020 in New York City. CREDIT: Getty/Photo by Dominik Bindl/WireImage

But Gerwig weighed in on Mattel’s notes, adding that they were suggestive rather than strict. She added, “All the notes had a question mark at the end. It wasn’t like, ‘This has to happen.’ It was more, ‘But does he have to be?’”

The movie, which highly satirizes and occasionally criticizes Mattel for its mass production, male-led management board and the portrayal of women through Barbie, has made over $1.4 billion at the box office. The movie’s success has also impacted that of Mattel, with Barbie toy sales increasing by 16% between July and September compared to the previous year, according to the BBC.

But this wasn’t the first time the filmmakers had to override one of Mattel’s suggestions. According to Variety, it was revealed on the film’s press tour that Gerwig and Margot Robbie had to convince Mattel President and COO, Richard Dickson, to keep in the scene featuring the character, Sasha, criticising Barbie.

However, Gerwig added that Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz, “really did give us a tremendous amount of trust and freedom. There was a real, ‘If you say this is right, then let’s go.’”

In other news, Gerwig said that this Barbie star should be the next James Bond.

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