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Will the Polly Pocket movie still be shown? Statement on Lena Dunham’s exit

Lena Dunham has turned down her role as director of the Polly Pocket movie, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she won’t continue with the Barbie hunter.

Polly Pocket, one of Mattel’s award-winning ponies starring in a new film following the success of Barbie, is bound to have a hard time living up to the standards set by Greta Gerwig.

Development of the film began with a strong selection of personnel to give it the best chance. Lily Collins was hired to star and produce, and Lena Dunham was hired to write the screenplay and direct.

However, the landscape around stories about children’s toys and their pop cultural legacy has changed drastically. Since summer 2023, announcements have waned, and Dunham left the project in July 2024 after investing three years in it.

The film is still running

Despite the loss of its director Warner Bros. and Mattel have not canceled the Polly Pocket movie.

Polly Pocket Instagram post by Lily Collins.

“I’m working with the most inspiring powerhouse team – Robbie Brenner, @lenadunham, @mattel and @mgmstudios – to reintroduce Polly to the world in a fun, modern way” – Lily Collins on Instagram

The project was conceived before Dunham came on board, so it wasn’t her original idea. This means the studio will be looking for a new filmmaker to direct.

It’s not surprising that some creative strings are pulled behind the scenes during pre-production. After all, audiences’ expectations for a movie about dolls are very different in a post-Barbie world.

Before Robbie was doing her best work—pop culture iconography and platinum-blonde locks personified—the idea of ​​a Mattel film about nostalgic plastic seemed a surefire failure. Today, a Polly Pocket movie carries the weighty expectation of subversion, or a metascript that goes beyond the hollow-sounding conceit.

Perhaps those in charge are currently debating which approach will produce the biggest box office hits: a confident take on the Polly Pocket brand or a summer film for children that doesn’t attempt the same tricks as Barbie?

Why Dunham left

Lena Dunham dropped out because “The next movie I make has to feel like a movie I absolutely have to make. No one else could make it but me. And I thought other people could make Polly Pocket.”

“I wrote a script and worked on it for three years. But I remember someone once saying to me about Nancy Meyers…that her taste somehow manages to harmonize perfectly with what the world wants,” she told The New Yorker.

“I don’t think I have it in me,” the Girls creator admitted, her comments suggesting the studio may have tried to force her vision into a Gerwig-shaped box.

The studios undoubtedly want “the next Barbie,” just as they wanted the next MCU. We’re in an era where blockbusters go through several directors before they’re finally made because their outlines have been defined in advance by the shifting opinions of Hollywood.

Perhaps this wrinkle didn’t fit Dunham’s creative process, which came from working on more flexible projects (Girls, Catherine Called Birdy, Sharp Stick).

In addition, Barbie’s achievements cast a large shadow, creating uncomfortable pressure when the responsibility for Polly Pocket remains with you.

Who could take over

A replacement director has not yet been announcedbut it will almost certainly be a woman.

The trend is to hire a relatively inexpensive indie director (Disney did this for “Blade,” “The Eternals,” and “The Marvels”) rather than someone with a blockbuster filmography.

Warner Bros. will probably also be looking for a screenwriter to refine Dunham’s original or write a completely new script.

We have to wait and see if this movie or Barbie 2 gets made.

Also check out our team’s lists of the best movies of all time and new movies on streaming. Or find out how to watch Barbie.

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