Ever since Simu Liu was announced to be in the upcoming live-action “Barbie” movie, fans wondered where he’d fit into the world of the Mattel dolls – most recognizable by their classic blond hair and blue eye features. Is the world ready for an Asian Ken?
As it turns out, the upcoming film is taking notes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that Liu broke out in as its first Asian superhero, Shang-Chi. A multiverse is coming to Barbie, and it will involve three separate Kens, according to New York Times’ Kyle Buchanan, who divulged new insights from the Cannes Film Festival to Twitter on Wednesday.
And yes, Liu is one of them.
The other two
variants versions of Ken will be played by Ryan Gosling and Ncuti Gatwa. Margot Robbie, who is set to play Barbie, won’t be the only one either, with Issa Rae and Hari Nef taking on two other versions of the character.
In reality, the concept of multiple Kens and Barbies isn’t too far-fetched given the line of variations Mattel has created in recent years in an attempt to push for inclusivity.
“Oriental Barbie” appeared in the 1980s — which, despite the pejorative name and stereotypical features, does count as the first of several Asian iterations of the classic dolls.
The “Barbie” film, co-written by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, features a star-studded cast that includes America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Ariana Greenblatt, Alexandra Shipp, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Emma Mackey, Michael Cera, Rhea Perlman and Will Ferrell. Others rumored to join the ensemble include Saoirse Ronan and singer Dua Lipa.
Not much else has been revealed about the upcoming Warner Bros production, though Liu recently hinted at a possible dance number and teased fans at just how “wild” and “unique” the film is.