James L. Brooks to Bring 'Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret' to the Big Screen

The filmmaker behind 'As Good as It Gets' has finally gotten Judy Blume's consent to adapt the 1970 young adult novel into a movie, revealing that the rights deal 'happened so quickly.'

AceShowbiz - Judy Blume's famous novel "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" is finally being given the big screen treatment.

The novel, about a sixth-grade girl with no religious affiliation who prays to God in her own words, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020, a milestone that will now be marked with a movie from Hollywood heavyweight James L. Brooks and budding screenwriter Kelly Fremon Craig.

After spending decades declining offers to turn her 1970 story into a film, 80-year-old author Judy has finally granted the rights to "Terms of Endearment" writer and director James, who'll produce under his Gracie Films banner, and "The Edge of Seventeen" 's Kelly, who'll be directing, producing and also helping adapt the book.

"It is this right of passage for women and girls," Kelly told 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."

Judy will also act as producer, alongside Julie Ansell, Richard Sakai and Amy Brooks, James' daughter.

Sharing his excitement, triple Oscar winner James explained how naturally the deal came about.

"I've never quite had an experience like this one. From the moment Kelly called me, to the completion of this (rights deal), it all happened so quickly," he smiled. "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."

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