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Reese Witherspoon to Produce Movie About Barbie Inventor Ruth Handler

Reese Witherspoon to Produce Movie About Barbie Inventor Ruth Handler

Reese Witherspoon has optioned a biography about Ruth Handler, the creator of the Barbie doll. It is being considered as a starring vehicle for the Oscar-winning actress. 

Author Robin Gerber’s “Barbie and Ruth” chronicles Handler’s meteoric rise in the world of business. The future president of Mattel took inspiration from the fact that her young daughter, Barbara, imagined the lives of women, not babies, when she played with her dolls. Handler famously named her iconic doll after her daughter. 

Handler would later write of her most famous invention, “My whole philosophy of Barbie was that through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices.”

In her later years, Handler developed a line of realistic prosthetic breasts called Nearly Me after her own mastectomy.

Bold Films will finance and produce the project, which it optioned with Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea’s Pacific Standard. Bold chairman Michel Litvak commented, “Ruth Handler’s inspiring true story reveals the triumphs and struggles of the genius businesswoman behind the creation of Barbie.”

Witherspoon, of course, has been on an optioning tear. She will most likely be next seen alongside Nicole Kidman in the HBO miniseries “Little Big Lies.” 

Amy Pascal, meanwhile, is working on her own live-action Barbie-themed movie, to be written by Diablo Cody. 

Here’s the synopsis of Gerber’s book about Handler:

“Barbie and Ruth” by Robin Gerber is the remarkable true story of the world’s most famous toy and the woman who created her. It is a fascinating account of how one visionary woman and her product changed an industry and sparked a lasting debate about women’s roles. At once a business book, a colorful portrait of an extraordinary female entrepreneur, and a breathtaking look at a cultural phenomenon, “Barbie and Ruth” is a must read for anyone who ever owned a Barbie doll — a book Publishers Weekly calls, “a stirring biography… a fine study of success and resilience.”

[via The Guardian]

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