‘Barbie’ screenplay considered adapted, not original

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Say goodbye to the original Barbie storyline.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has determined that the screenplay for last summer's hit film “Barbie” will be considered a suitable screenplay for this year's Oscar voting, which begin on Thursday January 11.

The Writers Branch executive committee made the decision because “Barbie” is based on existing characters and intellectual property, and because the film's legal billing credits Mattel, according to the Academy.

Warner Bros. would have campaigned to have the film's screenplay, written by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, considered as an original screenplay at the Academy Awards.

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“Barbie”, which won more than $1.4 billion at the box office, tells the story of stereotypical Barbie (Margot Robbie) who travels from Barbie Land to the real world and faces a number of existential crises, while also battling the rise of Kens (led by Ryan Gosling). Although the film is not based on any particular book or film based on Barbie (there is a multitude of DVDs and TV shows about the doll), it is based on a consumer product and intellectual property.

Many “Barbie” fans on social media have wondered why the Academy would consider it an adapted screenplay since it is not based on a specific project. According to Variety, several storylines with pre-existing characters end up being considered adapted storylines, such as “Toy Story 3” and “Borat 2” (both of which are sequels based on original storylines, featuring characters that appeared in other projects). The film's credits included text that read “based on Mattel's 'Barbie'.”

It is unclear whether “Barbie” will receive the same designation at other upcoming awards shows, as different voting groups and associations have their own voting rules. The Writers Guild of America, which did not respond to a request for comment, could designate the film as having an original screenplay for its WGA Awards, as could the British Film Academy Awards, which will announce their nominations in January. The Critics Choice Awards nominated “Barbie” for best original screenplaywhile he is nominated for best film screenplay at the Golden globeswhich take place on Sunday.

Whatever its designation, the scenario was widely distributed and famous. It is available for purchase in a 138-page book titled “Barbie: the scenario” published by Faber & Faber, which includes color photos from the film and an introduction by Gerwig and Baumbach.

In April 2023, Robbie said she was initially unsure whether the studio would make the film based on the script.

“The first time I read the script for “Barbie,” my reaction was, “Ah! It's so good. What a shame it will never see the light of day,” she said. BAFTA. “Because they’ll never let us make this movie.” But they did it.

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