Despite the critical and commercial success that would come, Baumbach revealed during a Writers Guild of America Q+A that he was initially sceptical about a live-action adaptation before eventually being convinced on the project by Gerwig.
“I thought it was a terrible idea and Greta signed me up for it,” he recalled (via Variety). “I was just like, ‘I don’t see how this is going to be good at all.’ I kind of blocked it for a while and every time she’d bring it up, I’d be like, ‘You’ve gotta get us out of this.’”
Gerwig, who directed the film, arrived at the event to discuss her version of events, divulging on the reasons behind Baumbach’s trepidation: “[He said] ‘There’s no character and there’s no story, so why do you want to do this? There’s no entry point.’ And he’d do side calls to try to get us out of it.”
“It was Barbie waking up in her Dreamhouse and coming out to her backyard and meeting somebody who was sick and dying,” said Baumbach of the moment where his opinion changed.
“I read these pages and thought, ‘I understand now what this is.’ The movie is about embracing your mortality and about the mess of it all, so it was exciting.
“It was the most fun I think either of us have ever had. At a certain point, I was like, ‘I think this is the best thing we’ve ever written.’ I know enough always just to follow what Greta says, so even in my bellyaching and revolting, I kind of knew, ‘Well if she really believes it, then there’s something there.’"
Barbie is available on DVD and Blu-ray now.
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