U.K. Indie Monumental to Adapt 'How to Build a Girl'

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Alison Owen, who set up Monumental Pictures with Debra Hayward

The best-selling novel by U.K. author Caitlin Moran, which was recently released in the U.S., will get the film treatment

Monumental Pictures, the U.K. outfit recently set up by Academy Award-nominated and multi-BAFTA-winning producer duo Alison Owen and Debra Hayward, has made its first acquisition. The new shingle has bought the screen rights to author and columnist Caitlin Moran’s acclaimed novel How to Build a Girl.

The semi-autobiographical book, which has sold more than half a million copies and recently landed on shelves in the U.S., is a coming-of-age story about a teenager called Johanna Morrigan who moves to London, reinventing herself as a sexually adventurous music critic.

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"Caitlin Moran is the wittiest writer on the planet, and her creation, Johanna Morrigan, stands alongside Elizabeth Bennet and Bridget Jones as one of the great female literary icons," said Owen, whose production credits include Elizabeth, Saving Mr Banks, The Other Boleyn Girl and the Emmy award-winning Temple Grandin. Owen is currently in postproduction on 17th-century romance Tulip Fever, starring rising names Alicia Vikander and Jack O’Connell, for The Weinstein Company and the Meryl Streep-starring Suffragette for Pathe.

"We want to make commercial movies and television with strong female characters. We can’t wait to bring Johanna to the big screen," she added.

Caitlin Moran will adapt her book with John Niven, the screenwriter and author of crime thriller Kill Your Friends, which is being is being made into a film starring Nicholas Hoult and is currently in postproduction.

Alongside How to Build a Girl, Owen is also exec producing an updated version of Little Women for ABC, to be written by Jordan Roberts (Big Hero 6). The 13-part series, to be set on a U.S. naval base, will star Natasha McElhone (Californication).

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