Good News: Lena Dunham Will Not Direct Polly Pocket Movie

Lena Dunham has dropped out of Mattel's "Polly Pocket" – here's why.

By Meredith Evans2 min read
Getty/Sebastian Reuter

A Polly Pocket movie, based on the iconic miniature dolls discontinued in 2012, is next on Mattel's list following the success of Greta Gerwig's Barbie.

Girls' Lena Dunham was initially set to write the script and direct the film but she has dropped out, citing the impossibility of replicating the monumental success achieved by Barbie, which raked in 1.45 billion U.S. dollars worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film in 2023. Many shared their fears of a Dunham-made movie becoming "feminist garbage," as quoted by Ben Shapiro.

Others were concerned over the Treasure star's past. "So now that we know Lena Dunham is directing the new polly pocket movie, I’d like to remind everyone that she is exceedingly racist, misogynistic, & sexually abused her younger sister. She’s kept a low profile for a while now but the internet always remembers," wrote an X/Twitter user after Dunham was announced for the Polly Pocket film.

“I’m not going to make the Polly Pocket movie,” Dunham announced recently. “I wrote a script, and I was working on it for three years. But I remember someone once said to me about Nancy Meyers: the thing that’s the most amazing about her is that the movie she makes or the movie she would be making with or without a studio, with or without notes — that somehow her taste manages to intersect perfectly with what the world wants. What a f*cking gift that is. And Nora Ephron, too, who was such a mentor to me, but always said, ‘Go be weird. Don’t kowtow to anyone.'”

“I think Greta [Gerwig] managed this incredible feat [with Barbie], which was to make this thing that was literally candy to so many different kinds of people and was perfectly and divinely Greta,” she continued. “And I just — I felt like, unless I can do it that way, I’m not going to do it. I don’t think I have that in me. I feel like the next movie I make needs to feel like a movie that I absolutely have to make. No one but me could make it. And I did think other people could make Polly Pocket.

Just a year before Barbie girl Margot Robbie hit our screens, Mattel Films boss Robbie Brenner told Variety she was "enthusiastic" about Dunham's Polly Pocket script, calling it "great."

“First of all, they are two of my favorite ladies ever,” Brenner said of Lily Collins, who will star in Polly Pocket, and Dunham. “It’s been an amazing collaboration. Lena is so collaborative and rolls up her sleeves and really likes to roll around in notes and listen. She’s incredible. Lily is so smart and so specific and so productorial. It’s just been an incredible collaboration, so we are thrilled about it. Hopefully, we’ll be making that at some point in the future.”

Mattel will obviously have to start from square one again with Polly Pocket, while Dunham is currently in post-production of a Netflix series called Too Much. And she doesn't want to be a main character any time soon in her shows to avoid comments about her body. “I was not willing to have another experience like what I’d experienced around Girls at this point in my life,” she said. “Physically, I was just not up for having my body dissected again. It was a hard choice, not to cast Meg [Stalter] — because I knew I wanted Meg — but to admit that to myself. I used to think that winning meant you just keep doing it and you don’t care what anybody thinks. I forgot that winning is actually just protecting yourself and doing what you need to do to keep making work.”

Dunham's departure from Polly Pocket isn't too disappointing for many, especially since people were already opposed to her directing it. Let's hope Mattel takes notes from Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie's Barbie and hires someone who will stay true to Polly Pocket's spirit and make the girlies happy.

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