CULVER CITY, Calif., April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Pictures Entertainment, Mattel and Parkes+MacDonald/Image Nation today announced a partnership on a live-action comedy featuring the beloved and dynamic icon Barbie. The studio sees this as its next big, global franchise and plans to go into production by the end of the year. Written by Jenny Bicks and produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, the film will be executive produced by Parkes+MacDonald's president Marc Resteghini alongside Julia Pistor, who will executive produce for Mattel's Playground Productions. From princess to president, mermaid to movie star, Barbie® has done it all – through her more than 150 careers, she has gained valuable experiences and shown her fans that anything is possible for a modern woman. In her live-action big screen debut, Barbie will inhabit many of these roles, utilizing her personal and professional skills to inspire change in the lives of everyone around her. This comedic and contemporary film marks the second collaboration between Sony Pictures and Mattel, which are currently developing a film adaptation of Masters of the Universe, based on Mattel's popular action figures. Commenting on the announcement, Hannah Minghella, Columbia Pictures' president of Production, said "We've always thought that the Barbie story had great potential, but a universe of possibilities opened up when Jenny, Walter and Laurie brought us their unexpected, clever, and truly funny concept. It captures everything that has made Barbie a classic for generation after generation while also standing on its own, establishing Barbie as a truly original screen character. We're confident that Barbie will delight audiences, no matter where her adventures take her." Parkes and MacDonald added, "While it's an overused word, Barbie truly is a legend, a cultural symbol whose career choices have been as unlimited as her wardrobe. She is about empowerment, but never at the expense of fun. Our hope is to capture all of these aspects of Barbie in a modern take of the character that can appeal to moviegoers of all ages."