By Ava Gilchrist

There’s a New Doll in Tinseltown, and Her Name Is Polly Pocket

On the (arched) heels of 'Barbie', Mattel are exploring a live-action adaptation of the tiniest toy of them all.
Lily Collins will play Polly Pocket in the upcoming life-action adaptation (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

The real-life Mattel executives—not the oafish rollerblading bigwigs played by Will Ferrell and his band of merry imbeciles in Barbie—operated under a high-risk, high-reward mentality when it came to Greta Gerwig’s live-action adaptation of the doll’s universe.

The saccharine and slightly existential film shattered the rose-coloured glass ceiling. The film defied expectations to become the biggest opening weekend ever for a movie directed by a woman and the biggest debut of the year with a USD$155 million return at the box office.

Now, Mattel is taking cues from fellow entertainment conglomerate Marvel by laying down the silicon foundation for a plastic-fantastic cinematic universe. Aside from the speculation surrounding a rumoured Barbie sequel—a film Oppenhiemer’s Cillian Murphy tongue-and-cheekily expressed interest in playing Ken—Mattel has set their sights on a contemporary retelling for another doll in their wheelhouse.

Indeed, the pint-sized Polly Pocket doll is reportedly getting the silver screen treatment, with big names like Lena Dunham and Lily Collins attached to the project in some capacity.

With the film set to appeal to late 90s and early 2000s babies who grew up preferring the miniature fashion doll compared to her bigger contemporary, a Polly Pocket movie could certainly prove to be a blockbuster. If the costume designer looks to LOEWE’s deliciously chewable doll-like dresses from the luxuriate’s Fall/Winter 2023 collection, that is.

While Polly Pocket certainly doesn’t suffer the same ‘bimbo’ reputation as Barbie, and thus won’t have to overcome the same trials of defending itself against the patriarchy like Gerwig has, the film will certainly take a feminist perspective to reintroduce the doll in a new light.

Below, behold everything we know about the Polly Pocket movie so far.

Will There Be A Polly Pocket Movie?

Short answer, yes. Long answer, in 2021, Mattel confirmed the production of a real-life Polly Pocket adaptation, with the news first reported by VarietyAs per the publication, the Polly Pocket film is just one in a slew of toy-to-movie adaptations proposed by Mattel, with American Girl and Hot Wheels joining Barbie and the unnamed Polly Pocket film. 

Who Is Cast In The Polly Pocket Movie?

Helming the project as the titular doll is none other than Emily In Paris’ Lily Collins. Though the brunette actress hasn’t divulged whether she’ll be sporting Polly Pocket’s signature blonde ponytails for the film, the 34-year-old took to Instagram to share a heartfelt message on what her casting means.

“Little Lil, big news. As a child who was obsessed with Polly Pockets, it’s a real dream come true to announce this project,” Collins captioned an Instagram post of herself as a toddler welding a pink Polly Pocket case.

“I am partnering with the most inspiring powerhouse team — Robbie Brenner, @lenadunham, @mattel and @mgmstudios — to reintroduce Polly to the world in a fun, modern way… bringing these tiny toys to the big screen,” she added.

“Truly so excited to be coming on as both a producer and Polly herself! Can’t wait to dive into this pastel world…”

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As Collins mentioned in her post, Lena Dunham has also joined the production as the film’s director. Both Dunham and Collins will produce the movie. “Polly Pocket was responsible for countless hours of childhood escapism for me – Polly gave me a tiny world of magic and autonomy to narrate, so it’s pretty poetic to be tackling these same ideas now as a director collaborating with the brilliant Lily Collins, Robbie Brenner, Mattel and MGM,” Dunham explained in a statement.

There’s no telling if the Polly Pocket film will suffer the same cast and creative changes as the initial Barbie film—if you’ll recall, Amy Schumer was originally attached to an original version of the project before dropping out, citing “creative differences”—but with Dunham and Collin’s megawatt talent, we have every reason to expect great things. Well, at least meet the high bar set by Gerwig, Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling with Barbie.

What Is The Polly Pocket Movie About?

Undoubtedly the question on everybody’s lips, especially those who have seen Gerwig’s subversive take on Barbie. According to Variety, the film’s official logline is as follows: “The film will centre on a young girl and a pocket-sized woman who form a friendship.”

Of course, this concept of bringing together a doll and a human is something we’ve already seen explored in Disney’s Life-Sized with Lindsay Lohan and Tyra Banks, but considering the project is coming from the same company whose allowed Daniel Kaluuya to make an “A24-type”, “surrealistic” yet “not R-rated” version of Barney (Mattel owns the IP for the dinosaur), anything really could go. Here’s hoping Barbie’s feminist undertones remain a theme explored in all of Mattel’s doll-to-film movies.

When Will Polly Pocket Be Released?

Given that filming has not begun and Hollywood is currently embroiled in a historic SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild strike, it’s likely we won’t hear any news about Polly Pocket until a deal is reached.

Until then, it’s given us more opportunity to rewatch Barbie, blast the film’s hyper-pop soundtrack and refresh ourselves with Polly Pocket’s source material. Now, if only Mattel we’re planning on making a life-sized version of Pollyworld from the 2006 animated film…

This story first appeared on GRAZIA International.