Ryan Gosling as Ken in new Barbie movie is a casting masterstroke | Movies

OWe live in turbulent times. The internet has reduced us all to thousands of ultra-specific tribes, all sitting in angry and unwavering opposition to one another. At worst, it feels like humanity will never be able to agree on anything again. But this week, a miracle happened. Two photographs were published on the Internet; two photographs that instantly united the whole world in a universally accepted opinion. And that opinion is this: The Barbie movie looks pretty good.

Although this is already the consensus, given that it will be directed by Greta Gerwig from a screenplay she co-wrote with Noah Baumbach, the photos of the two protagonists put it beyond doubt. Margot Robbie, who plays Barbie, is instantly as Barbie as you can imagine, with blonde hair, smiles and a hot pink car. Her Barbie looks like Sharon Tate’s version of Robbie, or Robbie’s character in 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 for. Her hair is peroxide blonde, like in The Place Beyond the Pines. His abs and arms are exposed, like in Crazy, Stupid, Love. He has a totally inscrutable facial expression, like he did in most of this Blade Runner movie. Add to that her outfit — which, underwear aside, is made entirely of stonewashed denim — and chances are that’s her defining role.

Margot Robbie.
As Barbie as you can imagine… Margot Robbie. Photography: Jaap Buitendijk

The casting is so perfect, in fact, that it might need an overhaul when it comes to toy franchise film adaptations. Until now, instinct has largely been to drown everyone in inconsistent CGI sludge (Transformers) or simply toss the nearest A-lister, regardless of their suitability for the role (The Rock in GI Joe : Retaliation).

So let’s start now. Considering how powerful the internet is of Gosling and Robbie Barbie photos, the smartest thing we can do is match the following stars with these yet-to-be-released toy movies as quickly as possible.


For a time, Barbie lost the rhythm of Bratz dolls; a range of clingy, uncomfortably sexualized fashion dolls. There was an attempt in 2007 to make a Bratz movie, but the movie fell through for all sorts of reasons, including the fact that the stars weren’t (and still aren’t) famous enough. If Bratz is to succeed at the box office, it needs prospects who, like the dolls, have grown caressed and neglected since their early 2000s heyday. That’s why it needs to star Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Tara. Reid.

Stretch Armstrong

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

strawberry shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake was a hugely popular greeting card mascot who became a toy sensation in the 1980s. the Big City from Netflix – she has yet to get the full Barbie treatment. This would best be achieved by putting Emma Stone in a big hat and letting her do whatever she wants.

the next Muscle Man, Kyle Allen.
Too young… the next Muscle Man, Kyle Allen. Photography: 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 creators Mattel, who soon filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against its makers for allegedly ripping off their better-known creation. As such, it seems only fair that a Sindy movie should feature Robbie after a failed round of cosmetic surgery and several catastrophic dental procedures.


There’s actually a Masters of the Universe movie in the works, and it starts filming next year. The lead role has already been cast and He-Man will be played by West Side Story’s Kyle Allen. But that looks like an error. Judging by all the photos of Allen online, he looks too young and sweet to play Eternia’s defender. Instead, we need someone a bit older, with bleached blonde hair, rippling abs, and a complexion that’s only slightly radioactive. That’s right, He-Man should be played by Ken from the Barbie movie – Ryan Gosling.

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