Consider your adolescent prayers answered. Fifty years after Judy Blume published the seminal YA novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret in 1970, a movie version of the book is on the way. After a competitive auction for film rights, Deadline confirmed that Lionsgate would release the film, written and directed by the filmmaker behind The Edge of Seventeen. Below, everything we know about the long-awaited project so far.
When will the movie come out?
There is no word on an official release date. However, Deadline reported that Lionsgate has committed to greenlighting the film with a budget of about $30 million. In a statement, Lionsgate President of Production Erin Westerman said:
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. 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!
Who is involved?
Kelly Fremon Craig (The Edge of Seventeen) will write and direct the movie with James L. Brooks (The Terms of Endearment) producing alongside Julie Ansell, Richard Sakai, Amy Brooks, and Blume herself. According to Deadline, Blume granted rights to Craig and Brooks (who teamed up on Edge of Seventeen) after turning down decades of offers.
“I knew when I met Kelly and Jim I was incredibly lucky to have them heading up Team Margaret,” Blume said in a statement, per Deadline. “With Lionsgate’s early and continued enthusiasm for the project we all feel Margaret has found the right home. After 50 years it’s about time!”
The author’s statement also alludes to the fact that Lionsgate reportedly offered to blindly greenlight the film a year ago. It came after Blume tweeted that she was open to adapting her work in August 2018. (Her novel Summer Sisters is also set to become a Hulu limited series.)
Deadline also noted that a colorful pitch from Lionsgate may have sealed the deal. Per the outlet, the company “transformed their conference room into an 11-year-old girl’s bedroom for their formal meeting with the filmmakers. In the room were personal memory boxes as well as pictures of key executives as 11-year-olds . . .” While there, several execs explained the impact the book had on them in navigating puberty and the complex teenage years.
What is the story about?
If Blume’s novel wasn’t a de-facto guide to your adolescence (gasp!), the story follows a sixth grade Margaret as her family moves from New York City to the suburbs of New Jersey. Over the course of the novel, Margaret consults with a higher power about everything from her first period to her latest crush and every conflict with her parents in between. In 2010, the book was named one of Time‘s top 100 english-language fiction books published since 1923.