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The 'Polly Pocket' Movie Has Fallen

By Mike Redmond | Celebrity | July 9, 2024 |

By Mike Redmond | Celebrity | July 9, 2024 |


The second Barbie started making a bajillion dollars at the box office, Hollywood did what it does best and immediately got to work trying to bleed as much as it can from that stone: Enter a Polly Pocket movie from Lena Dunham.

At the time, it seemed like everyone was thrilled about the project. Dunham would play the part of Greta Gerwig by writing and directing while Lily Collins would star as the tiny little doll that lives inside plastic jewelry cases that contain various scenes inside.

“First of all, they are two of my favorite ladies ever,” Mattel Films head Robbie Brenner told Variety in July 2023. “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.”

Yup, so incredible that she’s quitting.

In a lengthy interview with The New Yorker published this morning, Dunham revealed that she walked from the Polly Pocket movie. While she does go down a slightly pretentious route of equating herself with Nancy Meyers and Nora Ephron, Dunham is self-aware enough to realize the daunting task of trying to compete with Barbie:

I’m not going to make the Polly Pocket movie. 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 fucking 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 [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. 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.”

Did everyone’s eyes bleed from reading that? Oh, sure. But again, Lena Dunham actually has a point. *watches curtains burst into flames* Greta Gerwig pulled an incredible rabbit out of a hat by making a movie that could’ve very easily been nonsense-fluff cashing in on an IP. Instead, Gerwig delivered a fun, weird little film that somehow had heart beneath its plastic exterior thanks in no small part to Margot Robbie’s infectious charm.

Barbie was a delicate balancing act, and if Dunham was feeling like it’s leaning too far into the studio notes direction, bailing is the right move. Dunham is already a polarizing figure as it is, so the last thing she needs is her name on what could very easily be an embarrassing box office bomb. Barbie is a pop culture icon that has stood the test of time. Polly Pocket was one of the eight million random toy lines carpet-bombed on kids in the ’80s. No good can come of this, but I’m sure they’ll have better luck with KerPlunk: The Movie.

(Via The New Yorker)