This A-lister was originally cast as Barbie before Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie stars as Stereotypical Barbie in Greta Gerwig's Barbie
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Barbie movie has dominated the headlines from day one, with Greta Gerwig's Hollywood blockbuster breaking box office records over the summer. And now that awards season is underway, with Barbie already winning big at the Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Awards, news of Barbie Easter eggs, special meanings behind scenes and America Ferrera's viral speech have of course resurfaced.

The most talked-about element of Barbie has undoubtedly been the cast. 

The star-studded film sees Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling lead as Barbie and Ken, with an absolute knockout supporting ensemble. We're talking Simu Liu, Emma Mackey, Ncuti Gatwa, Will Ferrell, Michael Cera, America Ferrera, Emerald Fennell, Nicola Coughlan, Dua Lipa and Helen Mirren to name but a few.

The casting is inspired, but with the project having been in the works for over seven years, and changing hands multiple times, it has been a process. In fact, the movie is completely unrecognisable from its original concept, with a different director, writer, plot and cast. 

Greta Gerwig signed onto the project in 2021, after Warner Bros. took on the concept (it had previously been optioned by Universal Pictures, and then Sony). And Margot Robbie only came onboard in 2019, with a completely different A-lister originally supposed to play the titular character.

The original Barbie in question? Amy Schumer. 

Amy Schumer

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Schumer was originally cast as Barbie back in 2016 when the film was a completely different project, co-written by Schumer herself. But she walked away from the film months later citing "scheduling conflicts".

She later explained however that she actually stepped away from the project due to a difference in vision.

"They definitely didn’t want to do it the way I wanted to do it, the only way I was interested in doing it,” Schumer explained to The Hollywood Reporter.

The difference in vision reportedly involved Barbie's job, with Schumer writing Barbie as an inventor. But when the studio reportedly wanted Barbie's invention to be a pair of high heels made of jelly, or "Jell-O", Schumer was reportedly concerned.

The nail in the coffin was supposedly a gift from the studio after Schumer was formally announced as Barbie, with the actor receiving a pair of Manolo Blahnik heels as a surprise.

The gesture however didn't sit well with Schumer who reportedly didn't like "the idea that that’s just what every woman must want". Ultimately Schumer walked away from the project, recalling: "Right there, I should have gone, ‘You’ve got the wrong gal.’"

Well that's that.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.