Barbie Campaigns For Original Screenplay, Prompting Confused Backlash



  • The decision to campaign for the Barbie movie to be considered for Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars has sparked backlash online.
  • Many argue that the film is based on a toy brand, making it difficult to justify its inclusion in the Best Original Screenplay category.
  • Despite its unique take on the Barbie brand, the film is likely to be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay due to its association with the pre-existing franchise.



Barbie is officially campaigning for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, prompting confused backlash online. The film follows Margot Robbie’s Barbie as she escapes Barbieland and tries to find herself in the real world. While the movie features its own original story, the film is still based on the Mattel toy brand of the same name.

Now, Variety reports that Warner Bros. is campaigning for the Barbie movie to be considered for Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars. The decision to campaign for the film to be considered original has sparked confused backlash online, with many pointing out how the film is based on a toy brand. Check out what some people are saying about the campaign below:

The Tumboy points out how the Barbie movie relies on the audience knowing about the doll line in order to see it. This makes it difficult to justify the film as a wholly original product.

Kay points out how Glass Onion, a sequel to Knives Out, was categorized as an adapted screenplay because it reused Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc. This indicates Barbie may end up in the same category despite its campaign.

John DiLillo states how clear it is the film is adapted from the popular doll line. While it may have an original story, the product its based on still existed before the movie was released.

James Preston Poole points out how some original films have been considered adapted screenplays due to certain technicalities. Which highlights how Barbie is unlikely to achieve a Best Original Screenplay nomination.

Kate Hagen points out just how many animated movies and cartoons the toy franchise has. This justifies the idea the live-action film can’t be considered as having an original screenplay.

Does Barbie Count As An Original Screenplay?

Margot Robbie as Barbie

The film’s story features many original elements to it that aren’t seen in any other adaptation of the character. The movie acknowledges Barbie’s role as a doll, using its story as a vehicle for both honoring the toy line and commentating on its history. Barbie‘s box office performance underscores how much the movie has resonated with a wider audience.

Even so, the film is unlikely to get nominated for Best Original Screenplay because it is adapting the toy line of the same name. Despite having a unique take on the brand, the movie is still based on a pre-existing franchise, dampening the chances of its campaign being successful. This means the Academy is likely to instead nominate the film for Best Adapted Screenplay, which it can still do even if Warner Bros. isn’t campaigning the film for that category.

Due to its success, there’s a strong chance Barbie will be nominated for an Oscar. It’s unclear which categories it will be nominated for, but actors could very well find themselves in a variety of categories. Just how many awards the film will win remains to be seen.

Source: Variety; Various (see above)