Barbie: Greta Gerwig Had to Fight to Keep “I’m Just Ken” in Movie

Barbie definitely became one of the most-buzzed about parts of this year’s pop culture, showcasing the iconic Mattel doll’s world with a blend of whimsey and sincerity. One of the most unconventional moments of the film may have been the “I’m Just Ken” sequence, which rendered the plight of Ken (Ryan Gosling) through an elaborate song and dance number. As Barbie director and co-writer Greta Gerwig revealed in a recent discussion at the BFI London Film Festival (via Variety), she had to fight to keep the scene within the film, as studio executives initially weren’t able to understand its purpose.

“It just said in the script, ‘And then it becomes a dream ballet and they work it out through dance,'” Gerwig revealed. “There was a big meeting that was like, ‘Do you need this?’ And I was like, ‘Everything in me needs this.’ They were like, ‘What do you even mean? What is a dream ballet?’ And I was like, ‘A dream ballet? Where do I begin!'”

“I was like, if people could follow that in Singing in the Rain, I think we’ll be fine. I think people will know what this is. So that was the big reference point,” Gerwig continued. “Even though everything felt right to me and was giving me so much joy in the way we were doing it, it was also like, ‘Oh no, this could be just terrible, but now I’m committed.'”

Why Did Ryan Gosling Join Barbie?

Gosling has openly praised director Greta Gerwig and star and producer Margot Robbie’s pitch for the Barbie movie, calling the script the best he has ever read. The actor has also teased the impact that he hopes the film will have.

“This has been coming my whole life,” Gosling told Variety back in 2022. “I think a lot of Kens will feel seen when they see this. Gotta do it for the Kens of the world. Nobody plays with Kens!”

Will There Be a Barbie Sequel?

Given Barbie’s smash success, fans have wondered if a sequel to the film will be in the cards. According to a recent report from The Hollywood Reporter, there are currently no options or deals in place for Gerwig, Gosling, and Margot Robbie to return for a Barbie sequel. Robbie, in particular, is reportedly not obligated to return to her role of Stereotypical Barbie, but could return as a producer on a Barbie sequel if she wanted to.

As the report outlines, Warner Bros. Pictures “made overtures” about Gerwig possibly returning to direct a Barbie sequel, but her team delayed those talks until the first film’s debut. With negotiations around new projects on hold until the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes are over, there’s a chance that Gerwig, Robbie, and Gosling could return for a new Barbie movie — but they would probably have to negotiate much more lucrative contracts, in response to the film’s box office performance. Gerwig has indicated that she currently does not have any ideas for a sequel film.

“At this moment, it’s all I’ve got,” Gerwig revealed. “I feel like that at the end of every movie, like I’ll never have another idea and everything I’ve ever wanted to do, I did. I wouldn’t want to squash anybody else’s dream but for me, at this moment, I’m at totally zero.”

What Is Barbie About?

In Barbie, to live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken. From Oscar-nominated writer/director Greta Gerwig comes Barbie, which hit theaters on July 21st. Barbie stars Oscar-nominees Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken, alongside America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Michael Cera, Ariana Greenblatt, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman, and Will Ferrell. The film also stars Ana Cruz Kayne, Emma Mackey, Hari Nef, Alexandra Shipp, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Simu Liu, Ncuti Gatwa, Scott Evans, Jamie Demetriou, Connor Swindells, Sharon Rooney, Nicola Coughlan, Ritu Arya, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Dua Lipa and Oscar-winner Helen Mirren. Gerwig directed Barbie from a screenplay by Gerwig & Oscar nominee Noah Baumbach, based on Barbie by Mattel.