When you talk about coming-of-age stories written for young girls, many think of Judy Blume’s massive success, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Published in 1970, the book’s 11-year-old titular character struggles with all the little moments of girlhood that we cringe at when we think back to our Middle School years. It’s boys, bras, and the dreaded first menstruation. It follows young Margaret as she has to move states away and start fresh making new friends, all while puberty looms over her.
Despite winning awards and recognition ever since it was first published, Are You There God?… was heavily censored and banned by many thanks to exploring sexuality, young women’s changing bodies, and inherit questioning of religion. With this rich history, it’s surprising that the book is only now getting a film adaptation over 50 years later thanks to Lionsgate–and it’s coming out soon. Here’s what we know about the movie so far:
It’s got heavy-hitters like Kathy Bates and Rachel McAdams.
The first thing you run to when you want to know if a movie will be good or not is the cast list. For Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, you’ve got two heavy-hitters on the cast. Best Actress Oscar winner Kathy Bates (Misery) stars as Margaret’s sassy grandmother, Sylvia. Judging by the trailer–which we’ll get into later–she’s channeling some classic grandmother guilt-trip energy.
Oscar-nominated powerhouse Rachel McAdams plays Margaret’s stressed-out, long-suffering mother. Considering her range, from Mean Girls to The Notebook, we’ve got our hopes up high that she’ll be the right fit.
It stars familiar face Abby Ryder Fortson as Margaret.
The filmmakers didn’t go for some unknown when it comes to filling the role for Margaret. You might recognize Abby Ryder Fortson from a few places. She played Paul Rudd’s funny daughter in the Marvel Ant-Man movies as well as Billy in the romantic drama Forever My Girl. She said on a recent red carpet:
“I think the thing that really drew me to the project was the feeling that we can all connect to the story of Margaret, because we are all going through that time in our lives–most of us still are–where we’re trying to figure ourselves out and trying to build the pieces of ourselves together.”
The filmmakers flew out to Key West to get Judy Blume’s blessing.
The source material was first published back in 1970, so what took so long for it to finally be adapted into a feature film? Apparently author Judy Blume has been very hesitant to have her story made into a movie. What changed this time? Producer James L. Brooks (Jerry Maguire) and writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig (The Edge of Seventeen) ended up flying out to Key West, Florida to talk to Blume and her husband in person about their vision for the adaptation. Brooks said in an exclusive interview with Deadline:
“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.”
James L. Brooks, Deadline
It’s such an adorable scene, picturing this small group of creatives hugging while on a beach in Key West. It sounds like Judy Blume finally found the right people to tell her story, which bodes well for how it’ll turn out.
It’s got a spring 2023 release date.
You aren’t going to have to wait too long to watch all the pre-teen angst on the big screen. Despite only just getting a first-look trailer, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is coming out April 28, 2023. It looks like it’ll have a typical theater release.
The trailer just dropped.
Getting excited about Are You There God?… yet? Check out the trailer below.