The Most Beloved YA Book Of All Time Is Becoming A Movie

Judy Blume's greatest book, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret is being adapted into a major film and the first trailer captures the spirit of the novel.

By Phillip Moyer | Published

Judy Blume’s novels have been popular with children and young adults for more than 50 years. While her works have never risen to the same height of popularity as Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, stories like Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Blubber have continued to remain popular. Her most famous book, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, is slated to become a film, with a recently-released trailer giving us our first look. 

The book follows sixth grader Margaret Simon and deals with common early-adolescent issues such as bras, boys, and periods. Judy Blume’s frank portrayal of these anxieties resulted in The New York Times selecting it as Outstanding Book of the Year in 1970. It was also selected by publisher Scholastic for its list of 100 greatest books for kids, and Time Magazine listed it as one of the All-Time 100 Novels in 2010.

Of course, a book that covers these subjects will always be the source of controversy. According to the American Library Association, the book was the 60th-most-challenged book of the 1990s. It was also the 99th-most-challenged book of the 2000s, though it disappeared from the ALA’s most-challenged lists in the 2010s.

The upcoming adaptation of Judy Blume’s landmark novel will star Abby Ryder Fortson, whose most famous role is that of Cassie Lang in both Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp. Rachel McAdams, who plays Christine Palmer in both Doctor Strange and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, will play Margaret’s mother. Benny Safdie, who starred in Licorice Pizza and co-directed Uncut Gems, will play Margaret’s father.

Abby Ryder Fortson in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Besides the starring roles belonging to Marvel actresses, Judy Blume’s book has one other slight connection to the Marvel universe. Specifically, the book’s title (and connection to menstruation) was parodied in the 2016 Deadpool movie, with Deadpool saying “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” as he cuts off his own hand and splatters Colossus with blood. 

The movie is being directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, who so far only has one other directing credit to her name. She directed the 2016 coming-of-age film The Edge of Seventeen, starring Hailee Steinfeld. The film made $19 million against a $9 million budget and received a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 

While Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is by far Judy Blume’s most famous work, but it’s actually not her first work to get a film adaptation. Her 1981 novel Tiger Eyes, which follows a teenage girl who is dealing with the violent death of her father, was adapted to film in 2013. Before that, her novels Forever and Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great were adapted as TV movies, and Fudge-a-Mania was adapted into a TV series. 

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret will be the first Judy Blume novel to get a wide theatrical release, however. It’s set to release in theaters on April 28, 2023 — the same day that George Foreman biopic Heart of a Lion and martial arts film Polite Society are set to release.