Ask any woman in her thirties or forties if there was a pivotal book in her childhood and Judy Blume’s name will definitely come up. She was the original queen of YA fiction—and such a part of so many of our pasts. Now, the book is coming to life in a movie starring Rachael McAdams, Kathy Bates, and Abby Ryder Fortson as Margaret. The movie was set to premiere on September 16, 2022.
Are You There, God fans will now have to wait until April 28, 2023.
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But today, Lionsgate released some cast info and images—and the developments are exciting! “For over fifty years, Judy Blume’s classic and groundbreaking novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. has impacted generations with its timeless coming of age story, insightful humor, and candid exploration of life’s biggest questions,” the release begins. And we have a trailer!
“In Lionsgate’s big-screen adaptation, 11-year-old Margaret (Abby Ryder Fortson) is uprooted from her life in New York City for the suburbs of New Jersey, going through the messy and tumultuous throes of puberty with new friends in a new school. She relies on her mother, Barbara (Rachel McAdams), who is also struggling to adjust to life outside the big city, and her adoring grandmother, Sylvia (Kathy Bates), who isn’t happy they moved away and likes to remind them every chance she gets. The film also stars Benny Safdie (Licorice Pizza, Good Time) and is written for the screen and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig.”
Kathy Bates? Rachel McAdams? Sign. Us. Up.
The book was published in 1970, and follows a girl, Margaret, going through so many of the recognizable milestones puberty and growing up as a tween brings. Margaret Simon is an 11-year-old girl who moves to a new town. As she struggles to understand her developing body, changing emotions, and navigating life at a new school, she reaches out to “God”—but with a Christian mother and Jewish father, the “God” figure isn’t attached to any particular religion, just a source of comfort to her as she questions all the changes going on around her and within her.
In the decades since its publication, the book has topped the list of banned books—and with the recent resurgence of banned books lists, it’s gotten a lot of attention. Anyone who has read the book and had it play such an important part in their early understanding of the changes we all go through at that age can attest to just how damaging keeping books from children is.
Judy Blume is a hero to so many of us, and I personally can’t wait to share this movie with my own young children, along with the book, to let them know it’s always okay to talk about what you’re going through and seek more information.
With Amy Brooks and James L Brooks on the Margaret set. pic.twitter.com/LJPve1RKAT— Judy Blume (@judyblume) June 5, 2021