Interview with David Hayman producer of the movie 'Barbie', how was the story of the Barbie doll visualized?

The movie `` Barbie '' based on Mattel's fashion doll `` Barbie '' will be released on August 11, 2023. Margot Robbie plays Barbie and Ryan Gosling plays Ken, and although it is a 'Barbie doll movie,' it has a content that you cannot expect from the word. I had the opportunity to talk to Mr. David Heyman, the producer of this work, so I asked him various questions.

Movie 'Barbie' Official Site

Mr. David Heyman, who responded to the interview.

GIGAZINE (hereinafter G):
The movie 'Barbie' will be released in Japan on Friday, August 11, but before that, let's watch both 'OPPENHEIMER' (distributor: Universal Pictures) and this work, which was released in the United States on the same day. A movement called 'Babenheimer' that fans sent out occurred, and because expressions that ridiculed the dropping of the atomic bomb were made in it, Warner Bros. apologized and deleted the post on SNS. there was. As the world is connected to the Internet, how conscious are you as a producer about the fact that movies will be released in countries, languages, and cultural spheres other than the United States? ?

Mr. David Heyman (DH):
First of all, regarding this matter, director Greta Gerwig and I both thought it was important that Warner as a company apologize. As for the film itself, it is a universal story about diverse people accepting their differences.

As a producer, I think that what I am aware of when I am involved in a work is that the presence of the scriptwriter and director is extremely important, and how much the story moves my heart. I'm here. Even if it is true that there are differences between people, I believe that the story that touched my heart should be able to move and move the hearts of people around the world in the same way.

That's why I'm trying to make films that move my heart, and I think that marketing must reflect what the film shows as a work. I don't speak Japanese or Russian, so I can't supervise marketing in each country, but I think it should be done in accordance with the country. However, I believe that the theme of this work 'Barbie' is universal.

The impression I received from the trailer that was first released and the impression I got from actually seeing the main part of this work were very different. Was it a script with such contents from the initial stage of planning? Or did you refine the script over and over again, and did it become what it is now as you revise it?

The script that first arrived to me was revised, and it became the final draft. However, the final draft did not change much from the first draft.

What was the part you emphasized when giving the go-ahead to the final draft?

First of all, I have to tell you that I was not involved in this work from the beginning. This work begins when Margot Robbie (starring and producing) went to Mattel and negotiated to acquire the rights to make it into a movie. She worked on the script with her partner Tom Ackerley, director Greta, and Noah Baumbach.

Barbie played by Margot Robbie

There are many layers in the script of this work. And that's one element, but it's not the only one.

What I love about the movie is that both Barbie and Ken touched me as the story progressed. At the same time, it's a story of a journey in which the dolls come to terms with the fact that real life isn't perfect, that there are parts of life that aren't beautiful. There are many strange things in the journey, but I think it's a wonderful work because there is something moving and moving at the end.

Ken played by Ryan Gosling

You said you weren't involved from the beginning, but how did you feel when you first learned about the project?

I had worked with Margo on 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' and felt that he was a good producer. As for Greta, I have also produced two films, 'Marriage Story' and 'White Noise.' Greta is also an actor and I admire her talent. It was exciting for me to be able to work with these two.

When I saw this work, I was surprised at Mattel's handling during the work. What was Mattel's reaction to the script? Did you show any reluctance? Or was it just lazily?

(Laughter) Mattel, as a company, has given the rights to Margo to make the film. And with Greta directing, I think she knew what kind of work she would make. On top of that, it is certain that they cooperated in the film production as a good partner.

Mattel is the company that continues to make the Barbie dolls we all love. However, I didn't think it was a good idea to show only the good side of Mattel in the movie. If Mattel was portrayed perfectly, I think it would have rather ruined the movie. I think that Mattel laughing and accepting themselves was a plus, and I think there was a part that improved. Of course, we consulted with Mattel on these matters, and Mattel supported us as a good partner.

A quirky Barbie also appeared

While there are plenty of expressions in the work, including Barbie's out-of-print products, there are also many quotes from other movies and songs. Isn't it difficult to deal with rights when including such things?

What helped the movie was that both Margo and Greta were highly respected figures. Of course, the dances and celebrations from John Travolta's 'Grease' that I quoted in the film are not used for fun, but for example, Sylvester Stallone later sent me a video letter saying 'I'm glad' Like, they welcomed being quoted in the film.

As for product placement, in which a real thing appears in the work, there are cases where a usage fee was required, and there were cases where it was not required. For example, Barbie in the film wears clothes from different eras and was designed by Academy Award winner Jacqueline Durand. Some of their costumes are inspired by brands, but Chanel and others wear what they have provided.

Also pay attention to what kind of things are in Barbie Town

Finally, please tell us about the part where you had a hard time as a producer in this work, but it was worth it.

Well... it's hard to narrow down, but for example the dance sequence was filmed in one day. Greta prepared well in advance and took on the challenge, but the pressure of 'shooting in one day' was great. For that reason alone, I think we were able to produce something fruitful both in terms of performance and production. In addition, there were a lot of people in the scene where Barbie and the others came to Venice Beach, and it was difficult to compensate for those who could not do business due to the shooting, but it was a scene that I am glad I did.

I see. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to speak with us.

The movie 'Barbie' will be a national road show on Friday, August 11, 2023.

Movie ``Barbie'' Japanese version notice released on Friday, August 11, 2023-YouTube

Distributor: Warner Bros. Films
©2023 Warner Bros. Ent. All Rights Reserved.

in Interview,   Movie, Posted by logc_nt