‘Barbie’ Oscar Dilemma: Warner Bros. Weighs Original or Adapted Screenplay Consideration
Clayton Davis Senior Awards Editor “Barbie” is a box office smash, along with its acclaim from critics and audiences alike. If you follow the social media chatter and the general feeling from most pundits, it could be a viable awards contender for Warner Bros. One category being debated is where the screenplay by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach would be able to compete — whether in original or adapted screenplay. The answer lies in how the WGA classifies it and whether the Academy could or would overrule that choice. Variety confirms there are ongoing conversations with strategists and Warner Bros regarding where “Barbie” would compete at next year’s ceremony. On the title cards, it reads “Based on ‘Barbie’ by Mattel,” which is, of course, a toy company. At the same time, there have been multiple CGI films and TV series featuring the fashion doll since its debut in the late 1980s (42 to be precise). This would point to an “adapted” run. However, take the case of Pixar’s inaugural feature “Toy Story” (1995), which picked up an original screenplay nom (Joss Whedon, Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow, John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Joe Ranft). In that case, it offers a pathway for original. The CGI classic features characters such as Mr. Potato Head, a Hasbro product, and other toys such as Etch A Sketch, Magic 8 Ball and even parts of Barbie herself. Part of the Mutant Toys, which are creations of Andy’s sadistic kid neighbor Sid, he has one called “Legs” — which are a pair of Barbie doll legs attached to a green toy fishing rod.