Lena Dunham Exits Polly Pocket Movie: Challenges of Replicating Barbie’s Success

Director and actor Lena Dunham has decided to step away from directing the Polly Pocket film, citing the difficulty of replicating Greta Gerwig’s success with Barbie. Dunham, who spent three years working on the project, shared her decision in an interview with The New Yorker. She acknowledged that while she wrote the script and was deeply involved, she didn’t feel she could achieve the same level of unique personal touch that Gerwig brought to Barbie.

Reason for Departure

Dunham compared her challenge to those faced by directors like Nancy Meyers and Nora Ephron, noting that Gerwig managed to make Barbie a hit by blending her unique style with broad audience appeal. Dunham felt that unless she could similarly infuse Polly Pocket with her distinct vision, it would be better to step aside. She emphasized the importance of making a film that only she could make and believed others could effectively take on Polly Pocket.

Production and Future Plans

The Polly Pocket film, announced in 2021, was set to star Emily in Paris actress Lily Collins. Mattel Films’ head, Robbie Brenner, had previously praised Dunham’s collaborative spirit and script. Despite Dunham’s departure, Mattel remains hopeful about moving forward with the project.

In the meantime, Dunham is working on a Netflix series titled ‘Too Much,’ loosely based on her life. The series stars Megan Stalter and Will Sharpe and explores a romantic story set in London.

Challenges and Industry Response

Dunham’s exit underscores the complexities of adapting beloved toy brands into successful films. Gerwig’s Barbie set a high bar, grossing $1.44 billion and becoming the most successful film by a solo female director. Dunham recognized the unique challenge and chose to focus on projects that align more closely with her artistic vision.

The Polly Pocket movie’s development continues to spark interest. How will the new director approach this challenge? Can Polly Pocket achieve the same success as Barbie? These questions highlight the ongoing excitement and anticipation in the film industry.