Sharon Stone: I pitched a Barbie movie in the 90s and got laughed at

One of the highlights of this awards season so far has been America Ferrera receiving the See Her award from the Critics Choice. At this point I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say (except perhaps to Kevin Costner) that America’s monologue on the expectations put on women is the linchpin of the film. It’s the beating heart underneath all the technicolor high jinx we see play out in Barbie Land and the State of Los Angeles. And America delivers it beautifully, so it was especially nice to see her recognized with the See Her award given that she’s looking more and more like a dark horse for a supporting actress nomination, but we’ll know for sure on Tuesday. America posted a video of her acceptance speech to her Instagram — yes girl, celebrate yourself! — and Sharon Stone chimed in with a very unexpected congratulations: in thanking the Barbie team for their “courage and endurance” in making the film, Sharon revealed that she tried to pitch a Barbie movie back in the 90s… only to be laughed out the door. Le sigh, the patriarchy.

Sharon Stone has revealed that she once attempted to pitch a “Barbie” movie to a Hollywood studio during the 1990s and was laughed out of the room. What a difference a couple of decades makes, as Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie’s “Barbie” opened last year and earned a staggering $1.4 billion to become the top-grossing film of 2023 and the biggest earner in Warner Bros.’ studio history.

“I was laughed out [of] the studio when I came [with] the Barbie idea in the ‘90s [with] the support of the head of Barbie,” Stone wrote in a comment to America Ferrera on Instagram, where the latter shared her powerful acceptance speech from the Critics Choice Awards. “How far we’ve come. Thank you ladies for your courage and endurance.”

Ferrera is a supporting actor in “Barbie” and was honored with the See Her award at the Critics Choice Awards. During her speech, she paid tribute to Gerwig and thanked her “for proving through your incredible mastery as a filmmaker that women’s stories have no difficulty achieving cinematic greatness and box-office history at the same time, and that unabashedly telling female stories does not diminish your powers, it expands them.”

Stone is far from the only actor to try and fail to get a “Barbie” movie off the ground. Before Gerwig and Robbie perfected their take at Warner Bros., both Amy Schumer and Anne Hathaway attempted a “Barbie” movie at Sony Pictures.

[From Variety]

I mean, am I surprised to hear that studios didn’t want to make a Barbie movie back in the 90s, no. Not surprising, but still infuriating. When I think of all the iterations we’ve seen of Batman over the decades, and in essentially the same costume each time, I want to fake hurl like the Barbies do at Margot Robbie’s flat feet. Yes, I know that Batman debuted 20 years before Barbie. Batman is coming up on 85 years old in May, and by a conservative estimate has around 12 live action films. Barbie, by contrast, will be 65 on March 9 and has… one film.

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Photos credit: Xavier Collin / Image Press Agency / Avalon and Getty

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29 Responses to “Sharon Stone: I pitched a Barbie movie in the 90s and got laughed at”

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  1. Lolo86lf says:

    Although I sympathize with Ms. Stone for getting laughed at, I can understand why they rejected her idea of a Barbie movie, it was 30 years ago! The audiences were not yet ready for a Barbie movie back then. On a side note, grey hair is not doing Ms. Stone any favors. She should color her hair again.

    • DMG says:

      The woman is 65 years old, let her live.

      • KeKe Swan says:


      • nutella toast says:

        @DMG Agreed. I takes a lot of guts to go grey when you’re a public “sex symbol”. No one cares if I do or don’t dye my hair, and I still feel anxiety about it. I WISH I had that kind of confidence!

    • Ms single malt says:

      I’m super glad that Sharon Stone, Pamela Anderson and Andi McDowell are making their own decisions about make up, grey hair and their appearance that doesn’t have to appeal to anyone but themselves. I’m 54 and embracing my silver highlights. I watched Sharon Stone discuss her artwork on NBC yesterday – she has evolved as an artist. Good for her.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      Grey hair isn’t doing any favour to me either but I completely cut my dyed 3-feet-long mane and embraced a grey buzzcut (my hair is one inch long at the moment).

      I love it and I felt free, from society’s norms too. And I love this for her too.
      It’s nice to see celebrities who embrace aging.

    • Thinking says:

      weirdly, I didn’t even notice the grey hair. I just thought she looks good as usual haha.

      I don’t even like her that much, but I generally think she looks well put together.

    • Wednesday Addams says:

      I love all the women I see who are embracing their silver hair. I quit dying my hair almost 20 years ago because I would see other women who had embraced their silver and was so inspired to join them. I think Sharon looks great!

    • Elsa says:

      I don’t know what you are seeing, but I see a stunningly beautiful and confident woman.

    • Mimi says:

      She looks great. Let’s normalize gray hair (or whatever the color one wants to wear).

    • Kittenmom says:

      I was actually thinking that she’s aging very well.

    • HillaryIsAlwaysRight says:

      I think looking at “boy’s toys” would be a better analogy. Transformers were released in the US in 1984 and by 2007 they had their first movie. GI Joe toys started in 1964 and by 2009 had its first movie. He Man / Masters of the Universe started in 1983 and their movie came out in 1987. I’m sure there are other examples of live action films based on toys, but I can’t think of any, other than Barbie, that were based on toys marketed to girls.

      • Barnabus says:

        Care Bears: toy 1981, movie 1985
        My Little Pony: toy 1981, movie 1986
        Powerpuff Girls: show 1998, movie 2002

        I know you’re talking about live action, but it’s interesting to note that girls toys and female audiences have been recognized in Hollywood to some degree

    • Jaded says:

      Grey hair rocks. I stopped dying my hair a decade ago and I love my grey streaks. I’ve earned every last goddam one. Sharon Stone doesn’t have to rely on dying her hair, getting pulled and injected and turned into a pathetic Madonna-like woman desperate to look young. She looks gorgeous aux naturelle.

  2. Yup, Me says:

    I’ve been remembering a lot recently, how vile Hollywood films were in the 80s, with at least one major sex scene in every action and so many actresses having to be nude.

    It’s not surprising that, just a decade (or so) later, execs weren’t Imaginative enough to see how they could make and market a Barbie film.

    As an aside – batty boy has an alternate meaning you may want to be aware of (if you aren’t already).

    • Hannah says:

      Thank you @ Yup, Me

      I’m a gay woman. So I was a bit confused to read this on this site 🏳️‍🌈

    • Holly says:

      I think that’s a very insightful point – 80’s movies sexualized and used women as props more than anything else I don’t think a Barbie movie in the 90’s would be anywhere near what it is now.

      Do also please consider editing the term “batty boy” from this article. It is a slur.

    • Celebitchy says:

      Kismet and I were not aware of this and have removed this term.

      • Hannah says:

        Hi Kismet & CB, all good. Please don’t stress. I’m sorry Kismet if I caused you any trouble. I appreciate that you addressed this. We live. We learn. We grow. We’re all just human muddling our way though this thing called life trying our best to be mindful of different cultures and lifestyles. Thank you 💖

  3. Barnabus says:

    Was this 90s Sharon Stone before, during, or after Basic Instinct and Sliver?

    • Nicole says:

      I’m gonna guess this was after her Oscar nomination and her later stroke and divorce. She was definitely different after those events in her life. She was out of F’s to give.

      • Barnabus says:

        Her stroke and divorce happened in the early aughts. Even with her Oscar nomination, Sharon Stone was not taken seriously then or now. She could have pitched any number of ideas and been laughed out of the room. Amy Schumer had planned to make a movie about Barbie in 2016 but it fell through. Things may not always happen when we want but I’m always grateful when they do.

      • Mimi says:

        I think Margot’s Barbie hits different because she looks like the stereotypical Barbie (as noted in the movie). So for her to have such deep insight into what’s wrong for the world was refreshing. Not that beautiful people aren’t deep, but they’re often not depicted that way.

  4. Christina says:

    Mary Pickford was the draw and main character in many films and was the lead in creating United Artists. Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor lead films with woman-focused stories. Studios made those films because they made money.

    Misogyny has always been central to Hollywood’s culture, but today’s studio heads have no sense of history when it comes to what drives half of the world’s population to pay to see movies. Women driven movies are radical nowadays, which is dumb. We are here! Everything Everywhere All At Once was a woman driven storyline and made bank.

  5. Robert Phillips says:

    I’m sure people are going to get upset about this comment. But what was the storyline of the movie she pitched? I could pitch a unicorn movie. And it might be good. And it might be horrible. Just because hers was about Barbie. Doesn’t mean it wouldn’t suck. Even today. How many movies about toys are going to be coming out now. After Barbies success? And how many of them are going to suck? It’s the story that’s important. Not the character.

  6. Eurydice says:

    It’s definitely men vs women. But I don’t think Batman is the right analogy. Batman isn’t a toy, although there are action figures – he’s a fictional character with an established backstory, a developed world and decades of storytelling. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to come up with another Batman story. The shorthand is right there, especially for those decision-making men who may have grown up experiencing Batman stories – how he looks, the villains, the other characters, the world around him.

    But Barbie is a toy and toys aren’t supposed to have established personalities and storylines – their world and “lives” are determined by the imagination of each individual person who plays with them. Greta did original work by defining who is each character, how they think and where their lives will go. Ken was pretty much groundbreaking. It would take a lot of imagination on the part of male studio execs to envision what a Barbie story would be, especially in Hollywood 30 years ago.

  7. K says:

    If they do a sequel. Greta Gerwig should cast SS as God. Do it.

  8. Truthiness says:

    Sharon Stone’s experience underlines how important it is to have women producers. Men can’t laugh at an idea that they never heard. Margot Robbie is smart to go into producing and I hope it becomes a trend.

    • Barnabus says:

      Reese Witherspoon, Drew Barrymore, Demi Moore, Cate Blanchett, Eva Longoria, Elizabeth Banks, Salma Hayek all have production companies. And these are just off the top of my head. It’s not a trend, it’s a reality.