Trailer for new Barbie movie features multiple Canadian Kens

Apr 4 2023, 8:40 pm

A newly released trailer for the movie Barbie — one of 2023’s most anticipated films — is blowing up online today as Warner Bros. finally reveals key character details that actors have been keeping under strict wraps for what feels like 64 years now.

Published by Warner Bros. in Canada just after noon on Tuesday, “Barbie: Teaser Trailer 2” gives fans a first real look at what we can expect from Greta Gerwig’s forthcoming flick based on the iconic Mattel toy.

Aside from some previously leaked shots of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling rollerblading together in retro neon tights (and a vague December trailer featuring only Robbie on a beach), little had been shared before today regarding what actually happens in the film, which is set to be released on July 21, 2023.

We’ve known since last summer that Robbie plays the film’s titular character (obviously) and that Gosling plays the role of Ken, but additional cast members — of which there are many with boldface names — have been tight-lipped about their involvement.

Today’s new trailer confirms rumours that Robbie isn’t the only Barbie in the flick, and that Gosling isn’t the only Ken — nor even the only Ken portrayed by a Canadian actor.

Mississauga-raised Simu Liu (stock photo model-turned-breakout sitcom star-turned-Marvel superhero) appears in the trailer released by Warner Bros. on Tuesday as another Ken to Robbie’s Barbie, notably fighting with Gosling at one point over her affections.

Brampton-born Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Superbad, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, etc.) also appears in the trailer, though it’s not clear how his character relates to Barbie.

Both Cera and Liu were evasive when asked about their respective roles while filming Celebrity Jeopardy! last year.

Liu is now listed in the film’s IMDB registry as one of several Kens, while Cera appears as “Allan,” a likely nod to the long-discontinued Mattel character introduced as one of Ken’s friends in 1964.

In total, the Wikipedia entry for Gerwig’s Barbie (written by the director herself alongside partner and acclaimed filmmaker Noah Baumbach) lists 10 different variations of the Barbie character, played by performers including Issa Rae, Kate McKinnon and Dua Lipa.

Four Ken characters are listed in addition to Gosling: Liu, British actor Kingsley Ben-Adir, Rwandan-Scottish actor Mizero Ncuti Gatwa, and American actor Scott Evans (brother of Chris).

By all accounts, the newly dropped trailer suggests that Gosling and Liu are rivals in the film, though it’s hard to say what we can actually expect from a Barbie flick written by the same couple who brought us Frances HaGreenberg, and White Noise, among other decidedly dark or absurdist comedies.

Lauren O'NeilLauren O'Neil

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