Ryan Gosling as Ken in the New Barbie Movie is a Masterpiece in Casting | Movie


WWe live in troubled times. The Internet has reduced us all to thousands of ultraspecific tribes, all sitting in angry, staunch opposition to one another. At worst, it feels like humanity may never agree on anything again. But this week a miracle happened. Two photos were published on the Internet; two photographs that immediately united the whole world in a generally accepted opinion. And that opinion is this: The Barbie movie looks pretty good.

Although there was already a consensus that Greta Gerwig will direct from a screenplay she co-wrote with Noah Baumbach, the photos of the two leads leave no doubt. Margot Robbie, who plays Barbie, is instantly as Barbie-esque as you can imagine, with blonde hair and a smile and a bright pink car. Your Barbie will look like a version of Robbie’s Sharon Tate or Robbie’s character from The Wolf of Wall Street. The cast is perfect.

And then there’s Ryan Gosling. Gosling will play Ken in Barbie, and again it’s a role he was born to play. His hair is peroxide blonde, as in The Place Beyond the Pines. His abs and arms are on display like they were in Crazy, Stupid, Love. He has a blank expression on his face, as he has done in most of the Blade Runner films. Add to that his outfit – which apart from the underwear is made entirely of stonewashed denim – and there’s a very good chance that this will be his defining role.

Margot Robbie.
As Barbie-esque as you can get… Margot Robbie. Photo: Jaap Buitendijk

In fact, the casting is so perfect that movie adaptations of toy franchises might require rethinking. Until now, the instinct has largely been to either drown everyone in a disjointed CGI sludge (Transformers) or just cast the next A-lister regardless of their suitability for the role (The Rock in GI Joe: Retaliation).

So let’s start now. Given the internet-crushing power of the Gosling and Robbie Barbie photos, the smartest thing we could do is attach the following stars to these as yet unmade toy movies asap.


For a time, Barbie slowed down to Bratz dolls; a series of tacky and uncomfortably sexualized fashion dolls. In 2007 there was an attempt to make a Bratz movie, but the movie fell through for all sorts of reasons, not least because the stars weren’t (and aren’t) famous enough. If Bratz is to succeed at the box office, it needs leads that — like the puppets — have been worn and neglected since their heyday in the early 2000s. That’s why Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Tara Reid have to star.

Stretch Armstrong

A perennial favorite thanks to his gel-filled limbs, Stretch Armstrong has yet to be translated into movies. God knows Hollywood has tried to cast Tim Allen, Taylor Lautner and Danny DeVito in several failed adaptations. The problem, you suspect, is that they haven’t found the right stretch yet. Stretch Armstrong is blond and sturdy, friendly but athletic. It takes a very special person to play him, which is why I would suggest literally any Hollywood actor named Chris.

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake was an extremely popular greeting card mascot that became a toy sensation in the 1980s. Although she still exists as an IP – most recently in Netflix’s animated Strawberry Shortcake: Berry in the Big City – she has yet to get the full Barbie treatment. The best way to achieve this is to put a big hat on Emma Stone and let her do as she pleases.

the next He-Man, Kyle Allen.
Too young… the next He-Man, Kyle Allen. Photo: Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images


Readers of a certain age will remember Sindy as Barbie’s British rival. Less famous and slightly inferior to her American counterpart, Sindy nonetheless drew the ire of Barbie’s creators, Mattel, who promptly filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against their makers for allegedly tearing down their more famous creation. So it seems only fair that a Sindy film should star Robbie after a botched round of cosmetic surgery and multiple disastrous dental procedures.

he man

A Masters of the Universe movie is actually being made, and filming will begin next year. The lead role has already been cast and He-Man will be played by West Side Story’s Kyle Allen. But that feels like a mistake. Judging from all the photos of Allen on the internet, he looks too young and mild-mannered to play the defender of Eternia. Instead, we need someone a little older, with bleach blonde hair and wavy abs, and a skin tone just short of radiation exposure. That’s right, He-Man was supposed to be played by Ken from the Barbie movie – Ryan Gosling.

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