So thank goodness for a clip from the film that Warner Bros. released Wednesday in an unprepared public – a photo of a certain Ryan Gosling as Barbie’s tanned, toned and plastic friend Ken. (CNN and Warner Bros. Pictures share parent company Warner Bros. Discovery.)
Gosling fans, cinephiles and the occasional Twitter user all have a visceral reaction at the image of the Canadian actor starring alongside Margot Robbie’s Barbie. It’s the first official image of Gosling as the character that rose to fame in the toy department.
Based on the photo, Gosling has transformed into the quintessential Ken: his skin is tinted orange, and he sports an eight-pack abs and bleached blonde hair. His underpants are inexplicably emblazoned with his own name, and he’s rocking a sleeveless shirtless denim vest against a Pepto-Bismol pink backdrop. His Ken is a Malibu boy through and through.
But story-wise, all we need is the photo (plus a photo of Robbie posing in his character with a pink convertible). Is Barbie getting tired of Ken’s shirtless, shallow ways? Will Ken prove to his beloved Barb that there’s more to him than an absurd amount of abs? Or will Ken conspire against Barbie and become the villain of her story?
The sizable cast adds to the mystery of what the film could possibly be about – it includes comedians like Issa Rae and Will Ferrell, as well as rising stars Hari Nef and Ncuti Gatwa. It is rumored that some of the many cast members will be playing alternate versions of Barbie and Ken. But will one of them be a skipper?
Fans will have to wait until July 21, 2023, when the film is released, to find out what Barbie, Ken and Will Ferrell are up to.