Lionsgate Wins Film Rights for 'Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret'

Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

'Edge of Seventeen' helmer Kelly Fremon Craig will direct, with James L. Brooks set to produce.

Judy Blume's beloved novel Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret is officially getting the feature film treatment.

Lionsgate, which committed to a green light on the movie, won a heated bidding war for the film rights to the property, which will be adapted by Edge of Seventeen filmmaker Kelly Fremon Craig.

Fremon Craig will also direct the pic, which will be produced by James L. Brooks' Gracie Films, which was behind Fremon Craig's directorial debut. Julie Ansell, Richard Sakai, Amy Brooks, Fremon Craig and Blume will also produce.

It’s Me, Margaret follows a sixth grader who moves from the city to the suburbs and prays to God to watch over her and help her through her anxieties, including puberty and its changes to her body and her emotions.

Blume has 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.

Meredith Wieck and Chelsea Kujawa are overseeing the project for Lionsgate.

"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," Lionsgate president of production Erin Westerman said Monday in a statement. "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.”

Added Fremon Craig, “I could not be more honored to bring Margaret to the screen alongside my two biggest heroes, Jim Brooks and Judy Blume, and the fiercely passionate team at Gracie Films. Lionsgate swept us away with their resounding passion for this book and what it has meant to generations, and I am thrilled to lock arms with Erin Westerman, Nathan Kahane, Joe Drake and the rest of their exceptional team to bring this film to life.”

The news of Lionsgate adapting It's Me, Margaret comes less than a week after one of Blume's other beloved YA books, Summer Sisters, was 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.

Dan Freedman oversaw the dealmaking for Lionsgate. Fremon Craig is repped by UTA, Kaplan/Perrone and Hansen Jacobson. Brooks and Blume are repped by WME.