Pop Culture | Books | 70s

'Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret' Is Finally Getting A Judy Blume-Approved Movie

Flickr - Wonder Woman 0731 / Twitter - Kelly Fremon Craig

Judy Blume is one of those classic authors that creates stories that transcend time. One of her most famous books called Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret was published all the way back in 1970, but it still resonates today.

The story follows young Margaret Simon as she makes her way through one of the most difficult time in her life: puberty.

We've all been there, we all made it through, but we all remember what it was like to go through all of those changes.

Margaret became something of a touchstone for young girls who were dealing with their changing bodies, their new hormones, and of course, the horrible experience of buying their first bras.

It doesn't matter that this book is set decades in the past, because the themes of this book remain relevant. Margaret discussed things in a way that everyone else seemed to be afraid to, making it truly one-of-a-kind.

Given that it's such a popular book, you'd think that there would already be a movie based on the plot. However, Blume has never granted the screen rights to her story, but nearly 50 years after its initial publishing date she has changed her mind.

While the competition for the rights to a story like this was likely pretty intense, Blume has agreed to allow The Edge of Seventeen director Kelly Fremon Craig bring the story to the big screen.

The movie is being produced by James L. Brooks' Gracie Films, with Julie Ansell, Richard Sakai, and Amy Brooks acting as producers.

Fremon Craig is also signing on as a producer, and to show just how confident she is in their vision, Blume herself will be helping create this movie with her own producer credit.

The 80-year-old author has written for TV shows and produced a couple of specials, but it's clear that this will be a big step for her.

Fremon Craig is thrilled that she gets to adapt this iconic book. “It is this right of passage for women and girls,” Fremon Craig said to 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."

"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.”

The author had actually sent out a tweet to her fans asking which of her books she should consider adapting into a movie. She had been holding off for so long that people assumed it would never happen, but she revealed that "the time has come."

She said she had a bunch of meetings scheduled, but when Fremon Craig saw this she knew she had to throw her hat in the ring.

"The strangest and most serendipitous thing happened with Judy’s Tweet, that she was considering opening up her titles to be adapted. I read this at 3 AM, and wrote my reps in the middle of the night: do whatever you can to get this.

Then I wrote a long and passionate email to her, telling her what her books meant to me, particularly Margaret, how it came along at a time when I needed it most.

She was the first author who made me fall in love with books and by extension, film. And then I called Jim Brooks, because I thought if somehow we can get this, nobody else will care – and protect – it more.”

Brooks revealed that the process of making the deal was unlike any of his other deals.

"From the moment Kelly [Fremon Craig] called me, to the completion of this [rights deal], it all happened so quickly.

We went to Key West, and talked with Judy. It was like a working conversation and we lost ourselves in the work.

We got up to go, with this uncertainty of everything happening so fast after we’d just shared each other’s thoughts, and her husband George said, ‘So we’re doing this!’

And then we were all hugging. Judy this week came out to Hollywood, and it takes a little bit of adjustment because she’s this national treasure whose work is so important to people who’ve read it. But she makes it so easy and gets you past that.”

He knows that it's a momentous occasion, and is certain that Fremon Craig is going to do an amazing job. "I can’t quite describe what it is, but I think it must be the feeling of a labor of love, with some depth of emotion that will give us a protective shell.”

As it turns out, Blume's initial hopes for any movie based on her books had ties to Fremon Craig before they had even met.

“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,” Fremon Craig said. “It’s maybe the greatest compliment I’ve ever gotten, because she has always been a North star for me as a writer.

They've now got a big job to do, in adapting the script and casting someone who can handle such an iconic role. "[Blume] 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.”

If you've never read the book, or want to pass it on to any children you know, you can get it here.

Source - Deadline / The Mary Sue

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