According to Deadline, The Edge of Seventeen writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig and producer James L. Brooks of Gracie Films have successfully acquired the screen rights to author Judy Blume’s 1970 coming-of-age novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. This marks the first time that Blume has ever approved the rights to her novel due to her previous strong opposition to having any of her works adapted to the screen. However, last August, she had a change of heart and took to Twitter to share that “the time has come“ for her books to get adapted.
So which of my books, kids and/or adult would you want to see adapted for series or movie? I ask because I’m in LA meeting with many talented people. I think the time has come.
— Judy Blume (@judyblume) August 2, 2018
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret tells the story of Margaret Simon, a sixth grader who moves from New York City to Farbrook, New Jersey. She is being raised by a religiously indifferent Christian mother and Jewish father, she prays to a God she imagines is watching over her. In addition to a search for faith, she is curious about upcoming changes in her own body and forms a secret club with four other girls where they discuss subjects like boys, bras and periods. The novel was beloved by so many women because it talks about the issues and difficulties of growing up as a pre-adolescent girl.
“It is this right of passage for women and girls,” Fremon Craig said. “It’s rare for me to run into a woman or girl who hasn’t read it and every time I’ve mentioned it to a woman, they clutch their heart and let out this joyful gasp. There’s something so timely and full of truth and I remember for me at that age, it felt like a life raft at a time when you’re lost and searching and unsure. This book comes along and tells you you’re not alone. Women remember where they were when they read it. I can’t think of another book you can say that about.”
Fremon Craig will be directing the adaptation and is also set to pen the film’s screenplay. Academy Award-winner Brooks (Terms of Endearment, As Good As It Gets, The Simpsons) will serve as producer through his Gracie Films banner along with Fremon Craig, Blume, Julie Ansell, Richard Sakai and Amy Brooks.
“I got the greatest email from Judy where she said if someone were to make a film of one of her books, she hoped it would have the same tone and feeling that ‘The Edge of Seventeen’ had. It’s maybe the greatest compliment I’ve ever gotten, because she has always been a North star for me as a writer.” Fremon Craig added on how Blume’s works had influence her as a writer and that she believes that novel’s story will still relate to a lot of people today, even if it was published a long time ago. “What’s helpful is that everybody who reads it sees themselves in it. I read it in the late ’80s, and didn’t know it was written in 1970. She captured something universal and timeless enough that it transcends all that. What I’m going to need is a great 12-year-old actress to play Margaret.”
Meanwhile, the outlet has also reported that many studios are already eyeing to become the film’s distributor, but Brooks said that nothing will be decided yet until they’ve properly finished the screenplay.
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