Lena Dunham Steps Away from Polly Pocket Movie: ‘I Don’t Think I Have That in Me’

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Lena Dunham has stepped back from her involvement in Mattel’s Polly Pocket movie adaptation, citing a departure from her vision for the project after three years of development.

In a candid interview with The New Yorker, the Girls alum revealed her decision, acknowledging the creative challenge of aligning her distinct style with a project like Polly Pocket, similar to Greta Gerwig’s approach with Barbie. Reflecting on influences like Nancy Meyers and Nora Ephron, Dunham expressed admiration for filmmakers whose personal tastes seamlessly resonate with broader audience desires.

“I’m not going to make the Polly Pocket movie,” Dunham stated. “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.”

Dunham emphasized the importance of authenticity in her creative endeavors, explaining, “What a f—ing 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.’ And I think Greta 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.”

The filmmaker expressed that unless she could approach Polly Pocket with the same level of creative conviction, she didn’t feel compelled to proceed. “Unless I can do it that way, I’m not going to do it,” Dunham asserted. “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.”

Initially, Mattel Films had announced Dunham’s involvement in writing, directing, and producing the film adaptation, with Lily Collins also set to star and co-produce. The project was described as focusing on the relationship between a young girl and a tiny woman from the Polly Pocket world. Despite Dunham’s withdrawal, a Mattel spokesperson confirmed the movie remains in active development, expressing confidence in Dunham’s talents and wishing her success in future endeavors.

Mattel Films has expanded its cinematic universe with adaptations of iconic toys, building on the success of Barbie. The 2023 film, directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie, grossed $1.4 billion globally and earned acclaim, including multiple Academy Award nominations and a win for Best Original Song.


As Dunham continues to navigate her creative path, her decision reflects a commitment to projects that align closely with her artistic vision and personal storytelling ethos.

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