Barbie doesn’t hit theaters for another month-and-a-half and many things about it still remain a mystery. But one thing’s for sure: It is going to be one seriously pink movie. Margot Robbie’s living Mattel doll lives in a world where just about everything is pink. And it’s not CGI: They really built a giant set on the Warner Bros. lot in London, with pink props and pink clothes and pink everything. Indeed, there was so much pink that it caused a paint shortage.
In a profile of the forthcoming film by Architectural Digest, director/co-writer Greta Gerwig told her team to go over-the-top, saying, “Maintaining the ‘kid-ness’ was paramount.” She added, “I wanted the pinks to be very bright, and everything to be almost too much.”
So production designer Sarah Greenwood did just that, to the point that the fluorescent shade they got from the company Rosco ran dry. “The world, Greenwood said with a laugh, “ran out of pink.”
Or did it? Los Angeles Times pressed Greenwood on the matter, and she admitted it wasn’t as simple as she’d claimed. When Barbie was in principal photography last summer, Rosco was still dealing with the global supply chain being mucked up by the pandemic. On top of that the freak winter storm that hit Texas in 2021 damaged some of the materials the company used to make paint.
“There was this shortage,” Proud explained, “and then we gave them everything we could — I don’t know they can claim credit.”
Still, it sounded like it was worth it. From the sight of it Barbie creates one of the cinema’s great ludicrious houses, with Gerwig citing as an influence the house from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and Gene Kelly’s cramped apartment in An American in Paris.
“I wanted to capture what was so ridiculously fun about the Dreamhouses,” Gerwig told AD. “Why walk down stairs when you can slide into your pool? Why trudge up stairs when you take an elevator that matches your dress?”
Barbie hits theaters on July 21.