Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie has been deemed an adapted screenplay rather than an original.
Variety reported on Thursday, January 4, that the Writers Branch executive committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) made the decision that Barbie will be eligible in voting for best adapted screenplay instead of the original screenplay category. Oscar nomination voting begins on January 11 and the results will be revealed on January 23.
Barbie fans took to social media to express their disappointment in the choice made by AMPAS.
“That makes no sense. It wasn’t adapted from anything. Yeah, it was based on the Barbie doll. But this isn’t a remake of a previous movie or screenplay,” one user wrote via X (formerly Twitter) while another retorted, “Adapted from what, toys?”
On the other hand, film buffs agreed with the Academy’s decision.
“I’m confused why anyone thought it would be in [the] original screenplay category to begin with,” another user argued. “If the characters and property already exist it’s an adapted screenplay. She took already existing characters and adapted them for screen. 🤷🏻♂️”
As movies have been campaigning for Oscar categories, Barbie campaigned for best original screenplay instead of an adapted screenplay. Gerwig, 40, helmed the script alongside her writing partner and husband Noah Baumbach for the movie about the iconic doll.
While the Oscars believe Barbie is an adapted piece of work, the Writers Guild of America disagrees. In their own ruling, the WGA designated the 2023 blockbuster as an original. According to the WGA, an original screenplay is “not based on assigned material” while an adapted screenplay is “assigned material written outside of the Guild’s jurisdiction” which includes novels, comic books, graphic novels, plays, articles or other literary material.
So far in the 2024 awards circuit, Barbie has snagged countless nominations across the various awards shows. It earned 18 nominations for the 2024 Critics Choice Awards and nine for the 2024 Golden Globes. At the Globes, which will air on Sunday, January 7, Barbie will compete for best motion picture, screenplay, and more. Stars of the film, Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling are also up for best actress and supporting actor, respectively.
In addition to Barbie not being considered as an original screenplay at the Oscars, Gosling, 43, also delivered bad news about the awards show. He confessed that he hasn’t been asked by the Academy to perform “I’m Just Ken” live on Oscar night.
“Well, I haven’t been invited. And I wasn’t thinking about it until now, and now it’s all I’m going to think about,” he told W magazine in a profile published on Wednesday, January 3, when asked whether an invitation has already been extended. “Do you get paid to sing at the Oscars? Do you have to drive yourself? What kind of scratch is involved? They pick you up at least, right?”