Rita Wilson to Produce DREAM DOLL Film About Creator of Barbie
BRON Studios, along with Rita Wilson (Mamma Mia, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 1 &2) and Rare Bird Films (Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie) are set to produce DREAM DOLL, the LIFE STORY of Ruth Handler, who created the Barbie Doll. Academy Award nominee Melisa Wallack (Dallas Buyers Club) is writing the feature film based on Handler's memoir Dream Doll: The Ruth Handler Story. Aaron L. Gilbert will produce for BRON Studios. Along with BRON and Wilson, Cristan Crocker and Andrea Nevins will produce for Rare Bird Films. BRON's Anjay Nagpal and Steven Thibault are executive producers and Solome Williams and Jordan Moldo will oversee development.
Based on the memoir Dream Doll: The Ruth Handler Story, written by Handler and Jacqueline Shannon, the film will chronicle the extraordinary life of toy whiz Ruth Handler as she founds Mattel corporation and creates the now-iconic Barbie doll, the most recognizable toy on the planet. As one of the first women to run a Fortune 500 company, Handler is one of the greatest American success stories of all time. Her experiences inside the company she founded, as well as her personal struggles, speak to everyone who has ever tried to break through a glass ceiling, overcome prejudice, or disrupt an industry. The Ruth Handler story is that of a modern-day hero, a woman who would not take no for an answer and whose accomplishments and determination paved the way for millions of women all over the world.
"The world should know about the phenomenal woman behind the doll. We have chosen to work with Rita Wilson, Cristan Crocker, Andrea Nevins and BRON Studios to bring Ruth's story to life. Working with them on this project seemed like a perfect fit because we feel that they recognize just how inspiring and empowering Ruth was," said Handler's daughter Barbara and granddaughter Cheryl Segal.
"Everyone knows the iconic Barbie, which, after more than sixty years, continues to be one of the most globally successful dolls. But few know the story of the inspiring, innovative, passionate woman who defied odds to create her. Ruth Handler's story awes, empowers, and sometimes infuriates. What an honor it is to be part of the team that will bring Ruth's autobiography to the screen. I am so thankful to the Handler and Segal families for trusting us with this incredible woman's life," said Wilson.
"Melisa Wallack is an incredible storyteller who can handle emotionally complex and rich characters with aplomb and the right amount of humor. She is the perfect screenwriter to add to the team and bring Ruth's story to life," said Gilbert.
Rita Wilson discovered Nia Vardalos' one-woman play, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and produced the 2002 film of the same name, which is the most successful independent movie of all time, having earned $368 million dollars worldwide. She also produced the sequel, My Big Fat Greek Wedding Two, which earned $88 million dollars worldwide.
Rita, after seeing the ABBA musical in London in its third week, pursued and secured the rights to Mamma Mia! and in 2008 executive produced the film, Mamma Mia! Starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried, which took in $609, 881, 238 in worldwide box office. In 2018, its sequel, also executive produced by Rita, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, took in $394,745, 881 in worldwide box office.
Rita's films are female-centric, uplifting, inspiring and elicit joy from audiences worldwide.