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How Barbie Sets Up A Sequel

Contains spoilers for "Barbie" 

Robert Frost once wrote that "nothing gold can stay," and while he wasn't specifically referring to the fact that a successful movie ends up spawning a ton of sequels that end up earning seriously diminishing returns, it applies here. "Barbie" doesn't officially hit theaters until July 21, but thanks to early screenings and a healthy Rotten Tomatoes score, the movie already seems primed to become a pretty huge success. This is great news when you consider that "Barbie," directed by Greta Gerwig and co-written with her partner and fellow filmmaker Noah Baumbach, is a sly, subversive, over-the-top paean for female equality and against the ongoing threat of toxic masculinity. This is bad news, though, when you consider that Warner Bros. might want a whole slew of sequels from the "Barbie" team when the film is inevitably successful.

So has there been chatter about sequels yet? Have Gerwig and her producer-star Margot Robbie weighed in? And if Warner Bros does insist that Gerwig and her team make a sequel, what could it possibly be about? Here's how "Barbie" could lead to a sequel — and what Gerwig and Robbie have said about the prospect.

Have Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie said anything about a Barbie sequel?

Both Robbie and Gerwig have blithely addressed whether or not a "Barbie" sequel is a possibility, but considering that both of their interviews came out well before "Barbie" did, they both dodged the subject as best as they could so as not to make any firm promises. Beyond that, the "Barbie" publicity tour has come to an end now that the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America are both on strike, so it could be a while until fans know anything concrete about a "Barbie" sequel.

Speaking to Time, Robbie was slightly more conservative in her answer. "It could go a million different directions from this point, but I think you fall into a bit of a trap if you try and set up a first movie whilst also planning for sequels," Robbie said, extremely reasonably — at this point, as previously noted, "Barbie" had barely even been seen by anybody just yet. 

Gerwig, for her part, didn't give a direct answer either, but she was a lot more cheerful about the prospect. When asked by Variety in the fall of 2022 whether or not "Barbie" would end up creating a larger franchise, Gerwig laughed and said, "I can't answer all these questions! I mean, it would certainly be exciting if it was."

If a Barbie sequel was greenlit, what could it be about?

So if there is a "Barbie" sequel someday, let's start by supposing that Gerwig and Robbie return — a sequel really wouldn't be worth it without their shared sensibility and Gerwig's razor-sharp direction and clear vision. In that vein, Gloria (America Ferrera) and her daughter Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt), real-world denizens who end up going to Barbie Land and back with Robbie's Barbie, would also have to come back. At the end of the film, Barbie decides to join the human world and leave Barbie Land behind, and it certainly seems as if she's very close with Gloria and Sasha if she's not staying with them outright .

Barbie's final line in the movie is one of the funniest and most pitch-perfect in recent memory; after Sasha and Gloria drop her off at a huge building in Los Angeles, Barbie enters, introduces herself as "Barbara Handler" — her new chosen name — and proudly announces that she needs to see her gynecologist for a checkup. A sequel would, presumably, build upon Barbie's life as a real human in the real world, but again, it would only truly succeed if Robbie, Gerwig, Greenblatt, and Ferrera, at the very least, decide to return (and that's saying nothing of Ryan Gosling's scene-stealing Ken).

For now, "Barbie" hits theaters on July 21, 2023.