‘Barbie’ Originally Had A ‘Fart Opera,’ But the Studio Made Greta Gerwig Cut It

Gerwig has been trying to sneak fart jokes into her movies for years — ‘Barbie’ was the closest she’s come to success
‘Barbie’ Originally Had A ‘Fart Opera,’ But the Studio Made Greta Gerwig Cut It

A small handful of recent, 11th-hour editing decisions have sadly stood between a filmmaker and their true vision, forever altering the history of cinema for the worse. Cats had the butthole cut. Barbie has the “fart opera.”

Though none of us likely had the phrase “fart opera” on our Barbie Bingo cards before the blockbuster launched its campaign of box-office brilliance last Friday, earlier this week, director and screenwriter Greta Gerwig revealed that we, the audience, have been robbed of our right to a chorus of cheese cutting — a flurry of flatulence jokes were filmed and then unjustly omitted from the final cut of the Mattel megahit. On the most recent episode of the podcast IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit, Gerwig revealed that she had shot “a whole fart scene” dedicated solely to gas gags, but with Gerwig tragically lacking Final Cut Privileges, the studio decided against the smelly symphony, and her fart opera dreams were dashed.

Could one of the striking unions please add “Give us the Barbie Fart Opera!” to their list of demands?

On the podcast, Gerwig was accompanied by Nick Houy, her long-time collaborator and the editor of all her most lauded films from Lady Bird to Little Women to, of course, Barbie. The duo revealed that, ever since they broke into the mainstream, they’ve been trying to sneak comedic flatulence into the final cut, only to be foiled by their producers at every turn. “In every movie we’ve made together, we’ve always tried to get in, like, a proper fart joke, and we’ve never done it,” Gerwig lamented.

Houy said that the attempt typically “dies like two-thirds of the way through editorial,” though they had more hope for success in the recent fart scheme than on past projects. “We had a lot of fart jokes in this one, so I thought there was a chance we would get one in. Much higher chance of it being in Barbie than Little Women,” Houy joked. 

“We really put together this giant fart opera, and I thought it was really funny,” Gerwig added. “That was not the consensus.” Neither Gerwig nor Houy explained exactly who was doing the farting and for how long the opera would last — only that it failed to impress the suits upstairs.

Hopefully, we’ll soon hear about how Christopher Nolan tried to sneak a poop joke into Oppenheimer — probably along the lines of how a successful nuclear test caused a somber scientist to drop a bomb in his slacks.

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