Not content to sit around and wait for Hollywood to develop projects for her, Reese Witherspoon has been picking up one adaptation after another to produce and possible star in. Let’s not forget she backed previous hits like “Wild”, “Gone Girl”, and the unfortunate “Hot Pursuit”, and now she’s picked up the rights to tell the origin story of the world’s most popular doll, Barbie.
According to a story from The Tracking Board, Witherspoon is producing through her Pacific Standard banner a film based on Robin Gerber’s book, “Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her”. Published in 2009 it tells the true story of Barbie creator Ruth Handler, who set out to create a sturdy, functional doll for her daughter to play with, rather than the paper doll she had been accustomed to. Turning to her husband, who happened to run toy company Mattel, she was able to produce the doll and unveil it at the 1959 International Toy Fair.
So despite Witherspoon resembling a real-life Barbie doll this isn’t a fictional tale of the toy’s adventures playing dress up in the Barbie Dream Home. Sony already has a live-action Barbie movie in the works that will take care of that. Witherspoon’s film, which could see her taking on the role of Handler, is described as “a fascinating account of how one visionary woman and her product changed an industry and sparked a lasting debate about women’s roles.” Witherspoon basically dressed just like Barbie in “Legally Blonde” so at least we know she can accessorize if called upon to do so.
Between this film and next month’s “Joy” there seems to be a renewed interest in the stories of enterprising women, and given Witherspoon’s track record as a producer this project could be a perfect fit.