The Most Censored YA Novel Is Becoming A Netflix Series

Judy Blume's young adult novel, Forever, is becoming a Netflix series.

By Chad Langen | Published

Netflix has announced that it has ordered a series based on the controversial young adult novel by Judy Blume titled Forever. According to Deadline, Mara Brock Akil (Being Mary Jane) will serve as showrunner and executive produce the series as her first project under her overall deal with the streaming giant to create scripted content. The forthcoming show is currently in pre-production and no premiere date has been set at this time.

Brock Akil praised Judy Blume’s Forever in a recent statement, commending the award-winning author for her ability to capture the genuine feelings we encounter throughout our adolescence. She also asserted that some of her own choices in life and her creative voice were influenced by Blume. Regarding her upcoming adaptation of Forever, she said she is ecstatic to have the chance to work with the renowned author and to bring her story to Netflix.

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Judy Blume’s Forever novel centers around two black high school students in Los Angeles who navigate first love and intimacy while dealing with social and parental pressures. Forever was extremely controversial when it was released in the ‘70s, and it’s been frequently challenged and banned in various schools and libraries because of its storylines focusing on teen sexuality. Having said that, Blume took home the Margaret Edwards Award back in 1996 for breaking new ground in her straightforward portrayal of the book’s characters, where their love and sexuality are in an open, plausible manner with considerable compassion.

Although CBS previously adapted the Judy Blume Forever novel as a made-for-television film that was released on January 6, 1978, it didn’t really do the source material justice due to content restrictions, which were far stricter back then than they are now. The made-for-TV movie saw Stephanie Zimbalist playing the character of Katherine Danziger and Dean Butler portraying the character of Michael Wagner, the novel’s primary protagonists. John Korty directed the adaptation of Forever from a screenplay by AJ Carothers.

In addition to serving as showrunner on Netflix’s adaptation of the controversial book by Judy Blume, Mara Brock Akil will also executive produce Forever under her Story27 Productions banner. Known for creating the show Girlfriends, which ran for eight seasons between 2000 and 2008, Akil has built up quite an impressive resume since the series concluded. She’s had a hand in projects like Being Mary Jane starring Gabrielle Union, The CW’s superhero series Black Lightning and Love Is for the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Judy Blume will also serve as a producer on the upcoming adaptation of Forever alongside Susie Fitzgerald and Erika Harrison. Blume also produced and co-wrote the screenplay for the acclaimed motion picture adaptation of her best-selling novel Tiger Eyes, which was released in 2012 and stars Willa Holland, Amy Jo Johnson, Gwen Goldsmith, Lucien Dale, Cynthia Stevenson, Forrest Fyre, and Mike Miller. The movie, which was helmed by Judy’s son Lawrence Blume, who also co-penned the script, won Best Film awards at both the American Indian Film Festival and the Palm Beach International Film Festival.