Lena Dunham Is No Longer Directing the ‘Polly Pocket’ Movie

Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images
Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images

Looks like Barbie won’t be getting a silver screen little sister anytime soon—at least, not one dreamed up by Lena Dunham.

The Girl alum revealed in a new interview with The New Yorker that she is no longer attached to direct Mattel’s Polly Pocket movie, explaining that she decided to pull out after seeing Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.

“I think Greta managed this incredible feat, which was to make this thing that was literally candy to so many different kinds of people and was perfectly and divinely Greta,” Dunham said.

“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.”

The Polly Pocket adaptation was announced back in 2021, with Dunham tapped to write and direct and Emily in Paris’ Lily Collins set to star and co-produce. The project is just one of several based around Mattel’s toys that the company spun up in the wake of Barbie’s bombshell box office success.

“I wrote a script, and I was working on it for three years,” Dunham told The New Yorker. “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,” she continued. “And Nora Ephron, too, who was such a mentor to me, but always said, ‘Go be weird. Don’t kowtow to anyone.’”

A Mattel spokesperson told Entertainment Weekly that the project is still in active development. “We look forward to sharing updates on the project soon,” the spokesperson said. “Lena is a remarkable writer and creator and we wish her all the best!”

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So what’s next for Dunham, if not Polly? She’s focused on post-production for her semi-autobiographical Netflix series Too Much, which will hit screens in 2025. Starring Hacks standout Megan Stalter, Too Much concerns the trials and travails of “a thirtysomething American woman who moves to London and (surprise!) falls in love with a British musician,” according to The New Yorker.

Dunham told the magazine that, despite the show being in lockstep with her own life, she shied away from casting herself in the lead role. It was partly because Stalter—“a little Meryl Streep”—was so good, but there was another factor.

“I was not willing to have another experience like what I’d experienced around Girls at this point in my life,” Dunham explained. “Physically, I was just not up for having my body dissected again.”

The 38-year-old shared that she’s also developing a collegiate spy series for streaming, too.

“There is a spy show that I’m creating for Netflix. It’s based on the idea that organizations like the CIA and MI6 are tapping college students in, earlier and earlier,” she said. “So it’s, basically, what happens when a group of college kids, who have all the issues, pains, and fears of college kids, are tasked with an agenda of national protection?”

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