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Lionsgate has tapped Ant-Man star Abby Ryder Fortson and Rachel McAdams to star in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, an adaptation of Judy Blume’s classic novel of the same name.
Ryder Fortson will play Margaret Simon and McAdams will play Margaret’s mother, Barbara, in the studio’s book-to-screen adaptation. The film, which begins production in April, is written and will be directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, who is reteaming producer James L. Brooks and his Gracie Films banner. They collaborated on the film The Edge of Seventeen.
“Abby is the kind of extraordinarily rare talent that comes along once a generation. The minute she walked in the room, she knocked us off our feet with her humor, vitality and instantly lovable presence. We knew we’d found Margaret. Together with Rachel McAdams’ exceptional talent for creating indelible characters that make you laugh out loud, bawl your eyes out, or both — there couldn’t be a better combination to bring Judy Blume’s much-beloved characters to life on screen,” Fremon Craig said in a statement.
Blume’s novel, first published in 1970, tells a coming-of-age story about Margaret Simon, a sixth grader who is questioning everything about adolescence and puberty, and is searching the universe for whatever answers she can find. With her mother and grandmother trying to guide her through a time when everything is changing, they too find that you never stop questioning your path and defining what is meaningful in your life.
Blume famously refused adaptations of It’s Me, Margaret, but met with Brooks and Fremon Craig after they traveled to Key West, Florida, to see her. For its part, Lionsgate transformed a conference room into an 11-year-old girl’s bedroom for its meeting with Fremon Craig and Brooks, and included pictures of executives as 11-year-olds.
The studio eventually won a heated bidding war for the film rights to the property. Blume’s other beloved YA books, Summer Sisters, has already been picked up by Disney-owned Hulu following another bidding war. It will be adapted into a limited series, with Little Fires Everywhere boss Liz Tigelaar attached to write the script.
Julie Ansell, Richard Sakai, Amy Brooks, Fremon Craig and Blume will join Brooks as producers. Meredith Wieck and Chelsea Kujawa are overseeing the project for Lionsgate.
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