Lena Dunham has dropped out of directing a film about the Polly Pocket dolls, saying she didn’t think she could replicate what Greta Gerwig achieved with Barbie.

The actor and director told The New Yorker: “I’m not going to make the Polly Pocket movie. I wrote a script, and I was working on it for three years.”

Dunham, who created and starred in US TV comedy Girls, was enlisted to direct the Polly Pocket film in 2021.

It was also announced that Emily In Paris star Lily Collins would play the lead doll.

Robbie Brenner, the producer who runs toy company Mattel’s film division, told Variety last year that the script was “great” and Dunham “is so collaborative and rolls up her sleeves and really likes to roll around in notes and listen”.

However, Dunham has now said she would struggle to put her own personal stamp on it in the way Gerwig did with Barbie.

Barbie took $1.44bn (£1.2bn) at the box office, making Gerwig the most successful solo female director ever.

“I think Greta did 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 added.

“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.”

Polly Pocket is just one of the films Mattel has in the pipeline following Barbie’s success.

Other projects include Barney, produced by Get Out actor Daniel Kaluuya, and Hot Wheels, produced by Star Wars and Star Trek director JJ Abrams.

Despite Dunham’s withdrawal, a Mattel spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter they still hope to make the Polly Pocket film.

Dunham is currently working on Too Much, a Netflix series loosely based on her life, with her husband musician Luis Felber.

The plot follows the lead character, played by Megan Stalter, meeting a punk musician, played by Will Sharpe, in London after a break-up in New York.

Dunham said she didn’t want to star in it herself because of the body shaming she experienced after appearing as Hannah Horvath in Girls.

“I knew from the very beginning I would not be the star of it,” she said.

“First, because I had seen Meg Stalter’s work, and I was very inspired by her. She’s unbelievable.

“I also think that I was not willing to have another experience like what I’d experienced around Girls at this point in my life.

“Physically, I was just not up for having my body dissected again.

“It was a hard choice – not to cast Meg, because I knew I wanted Meg – but to admit that to myself.”

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