Stanley Kubrick’s Estate Approves ‘2001’ Nod in ‘Barbie’ Teaser: ‘Sincerest Form of Flattery’

Stanley Kubrick’s estate is keeping their eyes wide open for the “2001: A Space Odyssey” homage in the viral “Barbie” teaser.

The highly anticipated “Barbie” film, co-written by director Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, introduced the beloved Mattel doll thanks to a voiceover by Helen Mirren and swapped the “Space Odyssey” caveman’s bone for a battered baby doll.

“They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!” the official Kubrick Twitter page posted. “Even Barbie is a Kubrick fan…”

The teaser begins with Mirren narrating the origin story of Barbies.

“Since the beginning of time, since the first little girl ever existed, there have been dolls,” Mirren says in the teaser as the “2001: A Space Odyssey” score plays. “But the dolls were always and forever baby dolls…until…”

Enter Margot Robbie as a giant woman doll, prompting one of the bespectacled little girls to smash her baby doll against a rock. A montage shows Ryan Gosling in a “Cobra Kai”-esque Ken outfit poised for a fight, Simu Liu getting ready to dance, and Issa Rae leading a group of pink jumpsuit-wearing women.

Co-star Will Ferrell, who is rumored to be playing a Mattel executive in the film, revealed that “Barbie” is a deft mix of high and low art, wrapped up in a winking high-concept homage to consumerism while offering a meta take on branded feminism.

“It is, in my humble opinion, the ultimate example of high art and low art,” Ferrell told WSJ Magazine. “It’s a loving homage to the brand and, at the same time, couldn’t be more satirical — just an amazing comment on male patriarchy and women in society and why Barbie’s criticized and yet why every little girl still wants to play with Barbie. Boy, when I read it, I was like, ‘This is fantastic.’”

Of course, with the Kubrick estate’s seal of approval, “Barbie” is definitely high art.

And Kubrick isn’t the only late cinema icon whose estate is weighing in on new films: Marilyn Monroe’s estate, overseen by Authentic Brands Group (ABG), applauded Andrew Dominik’s reimagining of the “Some Like It Hot” star’s life and legacy with “Blonde.”

“Marilyn Monroe is a singular Hollywood and pop culture icon that transcends generations and history,” Marc Rosen, president of entertainment at Authentic Brands Group (ABG), which owns the Marilyn Monroe Estate, said earlier this year of Ana de Armas’ casting. “Any actor that steps into that role knows they have big shoes to fill. Based on the trailer alone, it looks like Ana was a great casting choice as she captures Marilyn’s glamour, humanity, and vulnerability. We can’t wait to see the film in its entirety!”

For all the details on “Barbie,” click here.

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