The following year, Robbie was announced as Barbie's lead actress, as well as producer. Fast forward to 2021, and Greta Gerwig signed on as director and co-writer. Everything had fallen into place.
This web of powerful women feels like a rarity for Hollywood. Plus, before the film, it seemed the world had fallen out of love with Barbie. In 2015, Mattel’s sales were down three years consecutively, and Barbie was seen by many as an anti-feminist hangover from previous generations.
While deeply cemented in culture for just over six decades, Barbie hasn’t always been in step with the cultural zeitgeist. The business’s sales struggled in the first decade or so of the 21st century; in 2015, its sales were down three years consecutively.