Mattel CEO Inon Kreutz says Barbie movie will start production next month

Mattel CEO Inon Kreutz told CNBC on Thursday that the upcoming Barbie movie will begin “this March” — the same month that the iconic doll turns 63.

“He has an incredible cast: Margot Robbie plays Barbie, Ryan Gosling plays Ken. We just announced that America Ferrera will be joining the cast,” Kreitz said on Squawk Box. Lady Bird and Little Women director Greta Gerwig is writing and directing Barbie. Mattel is keeping the plot of the film under wraps.

Kreitz said Barbie’s fiscal 2021 sales hit an all-time high, up 24% year-on-year. “Barbie at 63 is still the most diverse doll on the market, she continues to evolve, be more relevant than ever, timeless and timely,” he said. “We expect another year of growth for Barbie in 2022.”

Barbie will also take part in the Super Bowl. commercial featuring actress Anna Kendrick.

Mattel shares jumped more than 9% on Thursday, a day after the publication stronger than expected earnings and revenue for the fourth quarter and bright prospects. Shares are up nearly 15% in 2022 and more than 33% over the past 12 months. Kriez said “the company’s transition is complete” and Mattel is now in “growth mode.”

Mattel also recently reclaimed the license to produce toys based on the Disney princess line, including the popular Frozen franchise. Mattel lost its license to rival Hasbro in 2016, prompting a period of financial trouble for Mattel and high turnover among senior management. Hasbro even approached Mattel about a takeover in 2017, but the deal never went through.

Kreitz, who joined Mattel as CEO in 2018, said the company will start production from film “Masters of the Universe” in partnership with Netflix this summer

Mattel currently produces over 20 TV shows.

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