Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret: Plot, Cast, and Everything Else We Know

Posted 2022/04/20 7 0


Every Judy Blume lover has fervently wished to see Blume’s adored characters come alive on the big screen, and it looks like they are, once again, about to be granted their wish. Blume’s classic novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret has been adapted into a movie by Lionsgate and promises to become a fan favorite. The author of the novel has been actively involved in the film’s production as a producer. Blume was also the one to let fans know that filming had begun via a tweet back in April 2021.

Blume’s 1970 classic novel was a resounding success as many readers were able to form a personal connection with the protagonist, Margaret, as she experienced the highs and lows of young adulthood. With it being more than 50 years since the novel was first published, it’s safe to assume that loyal fans of the novel look forward with bated breath to what is sure to be a nostalgic journey into their younger days. For viewers who will experience the story of Margaret for the first time, the adaptation will no doubt be a close-to-home, relatable journey.

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Here’s everything we know about Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret so far.

All We Know: Plot

The Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret adaptation will closely follow its source material. Those involved in the production process have repeatedly stressed their admiration for the Blume classic. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Lionsgate’s President of Production Erin Westerman expressed her thoughts on the novel, saying:

“This title was an anthem when we first read it as teens, and it remains timeless and relevant because nothing has captured the coming-of-age experience with the same authenticity, truth and respect.”

Talking of director Kelly Fremon Craig and producer James L. Brooks’ take on the adaptation, Westerman further stated,

“Together, they delivered an adaptation that captures all the scope and potential of the title; the themes of identity, loneliness, confidence and kindness are urgent, ageless and more necessary today than ever before.”

As such, viewers can, in all probability, expect a timeless, coming-of-age story where they view Margaret’s journey as she grapples with religion and navigates the concerns of her age, including puberty, crushes, and menstruation. Being born to Christian and Jewish parents, the theme of God and religion is a dominant theme in the novel as Margaret questions her faith and explores her religious identity. Given that the adaptation is set to closely follow the themes of its source material, religious conflict and exploration may occupy a primary space in Lionsgate’s adaptation.

All We Know: Cast

The cast includes Rachel McAdams, Abby Ryder Fortson, Kathy Bates, Benny Safdie, and Elle Graham. McAdams and Fortson occupy central roles in the movie, with Fortson playing Margaret Simon and McAdams portraying Margaret’s mother, Barbara Simon. The legendary Kathy Bates will play the role of Margaret’s grandmother, Sylvia.

For Abby Ryder Fortson, her role in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret will be her first starring role. She has appeared in supporting roles in the Ant-Man films and HBO’s Togetherness. Talking to Entertainment Weekly about her role as Margaret, 12-year-old Fortson said, “Margaret and I are really similar. I love her. She’s so goofy and awesome. She’s all heart and love and just wants to have friends and figure out who she is.” Fortson also expressed her experience of reading the novel, saying, “I loved how it speaks not only to girls, but to everyone, all around the world, because we all go through changes growing up. This book is important because some girls don’t get the chance to talk to anyone about their body and what happens to them when it changes, and this book tells them it’s going to be okay, you’re normal, it just matters who you are inside.”

The casting of both McAdams and Fortson in their respective roles has gotten Blume’s seal of approval. “My readers are always fantasy-casting my books, but I’ve never done that,” said Blume. “But you know it when you see it, and Abby is a natural. And I’m so excited that Margaret got a funny, sexy, sassy mom in Rachel.”

Release Date

The much-anticipated movie is scheduled for its theatrical release on September 16, 2022.

Blume’s Involvement

The adaptation of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is becoming a reality only after many years of resistance by Judy Blume. Despite offering up many of her other novels as options, such as Tiger Eyes and Forever, Blume resisted offers for an adaptation of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret for decades: “I said no, we’re never going to film Margaret because every person comes to it with their own ideas about her.”

However, writer and director Kelly Fremon Craig was finally able to sway the author and make our long-time wish come true. Talking of the Craig and producer James L. Brooks duo, Blume said, “I’m a gut-feeling kind of person, and I fell in love with them both. This is a team who cares about the book and understands it — I thought, let’s do this while I’m still around to enjoy it.”

The cinematic adaptation will undoubtedly differ from its source material in certain aspects — after all, the mediums of novel and film have their own unique features. However, Blume is willing to afford creative freedom in the adaptation. “It will be fine,” Blume told Entertainment Weekly. “…the book is the book — and it will always be the book.”

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