Lionsgate has won the film rights to Judy Blume’s classic novel “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret,” the distributor announced on Monday.
The script was written by Kelly Fremon Craig, who will also direct and produce alongside producer James L. Brooks and his Gracie Films banner, reuniting following their collaboration on the film “The Edge of Seventeen.”
Julie Ansell, Richard Sakai, Amy Brooks and Blume will join Craig and Brooks as producers. Meredith Wieck and Chelsea Kujawa are overseeing the project for Lionsgate.
Lionsgate plans to market the film as an event-going movie for women of all ages. From the day the project became available, the studio aggressively pursued the rights.
“This title was an anthem when we first read it as teens, and it remains timeless and relevant because nothing has captured the coming-of-age experience with the same authenticity, truth and respect,” President of Production Erin Westerman said. “For that reason, Judy Blume is a beacon for women and girls. Kelly Fremon Craig is a filmmaker we have adored and chased for years, and James L Brooks is a hero to us all. Together, they delivered an adaptation that captures all the scope and potential of the title; the themes of identity, loneliness, confidence and kindness are urgent, ageless and more necessary today than ever before. We are honored they heard our passion and have chosen Lionsgate as their home. This will be the movie event of the year for women and girls. And you know what? Men will love it too!”
Craig added: “I could not be more honored to bring ‘Margaret’ to the screen alongside my two biggest heroes, Jim Brooks and Judy Blume, and the fiercely passionate team at Gracie Films. Lionsgate swept us away with their resounding passion for this book and what it has meant to generations, and I am thrilled to lock arms with Erin Westerman, Nathan Kahane, Joe Drake, and the rest of their exceptional team to bring this film to life.”
The book was published in 1970 and follows a sixth grader who moves from the city to the suburbs, and prays to God to watch over her and help her through puberty. The book was on Time magazine’s list of the top 100 works of fiction since 1923.
Craig made her directorial debut with “The Edge of Seventeen” from her original script, and Brooks acquired the project in 2012. Brooks is a three-time Academy Award winner and 20-time Emmy Award winner. His credits include “Terms of Endearment,” “Spanglish,” “As Good As It Gets” and “Jerry Maguire.”
Blume’s other famous books include “Superfudge,” “Blubber: Then Again Maybe I Won’t” and “Here’s to You Rachel Robinson.” She has received over 90 awards for her writing.
Dan Freedman is overseeing the deal for Lionsgate. Fremon Craig is represented by UTA, Kaplan/Perrone and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller. Brooks and Blume are represented by WME.
Read original story Lionsgate Wins Rights to Judy Blume’s ‘Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret’ At TheWrap