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Judy Blume’s coming-of-age novel, “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret,” was first published in 1970, but its timeless themes have made it a beloved classic for girls and women across generations. The book explores universal issues faced by adolescents, including puberty, menstruation, dating, sex and religion.
Now, nearly 50 years after its debut, the young adult novel is being adapted for the big screen.
Blume has granted the adaptation rights to producer James L. Brooks and writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig. Fremon Craig, who wrote and directed 2016’s “The Edge of Seventeen,” will write the script as well as direct. A studio is not yet attached to the project.
“Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret” follows sixth grader Margaret Simon as she navigates friendships, crushes, family life and more. She forms a secret club with her peers — Nancy, Gretchen and Janie — where they discuss all the major changes in their lives that adolescence brings.
“It is this rite of passage for women and girls,” Fremon Craig told Deadline. “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 that at that age, it felt like a life raft at a time when you’re lost and searching and unsure,” Fremon Craig continued. “This book comes along and tells you you’re not alone.”
In the past, Blume has been hesitant for her books to be turned into movies, but she tweeted in August that she was open to the idea, and asked her followers which of her books should be adapted because “the time has come.”
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
Although the book takes place in the era in which it was written, Fremon Craig stresses that its topics are timeless and that the film will be relatable for today’s young girls. “What I’m going to need,” she told Deadline, “is a great 12-year-old actress to play Margaret.”
Blume has written dozens of books for children, adults and young adults. She’s most well-known for her novels from the ’70s including “Freckle Juice,” “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing,” and “Superfudge.” Blume’s son, Laurence, turned one of her young adult novels, “Tiger Eyes,” into a 2012 film. A TV series, “Fudge,” based on Blume’s young adult novels, aired from 1995-1997 on ABC and then CBS.
Are you excited for this movie adaptation?