are you there god it's me margaret cast

God has finally answered the prayers of Judy Blume fans with the casting of the two main cast members of the Lionsgate adaptation of Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. The feature film, which will be directed by The Edge of Seventeen‘s Kelly Fremon Craig, has cast Ant-Man and the Wasp star Abby Ryder Fortson in the eponymous role of the inquisitive Margaret, who will be guided through adolescence by her mother, played by Rachel McAdams.

Entertainment Weekly broke the news that Fortson will be asking the big questions as Margaret Simon, the eponymous heroine of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. A sixth grader going through puberty, Margaret was a literary icon for many girls growing up since Judy Blume’s beloved coming-of-age novel was published in 1970, which puts a lot of pressure on the 12-year-old Fortson. But she knows a thing or two about icons, having played the daughter of one in the Ant-Man films. Fortson has also starred in HBO’s Togetherness, but this will be her first lead role.

“Margaret and I are really similar,” Fortson told EW. “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.”

McAdams (who is sadly not playing God), has been cast as Margaret’s mother Barbara, who guides her young daughter through many an adolescent obstacle. The rest of the Simon family will be cast soon, per EW.

“My readers are always fantasy-casting my books, but I’ve never done that,” Blume said. “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.”

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret was a literary sensation when it was published in 1970, testing the boundaries of books for teen girls by tackling issues of sexuality, religion, and puberty. It was considered groundbreaking for its frank discussion of these topics, and has faced censorship and banning since its publication. Here is the synopsis for the novel Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret:

Margaret Simon, almost twelve, likes long hair, tuna fish, the smell of rain, and things that are pink. She’s just moved from New York City to Farbook, New Jersey, and is anxious to fit in with her new friends—Nancy, Gretchen, and Janie. When they form a secret club to talk about private subjects like boys, bras, and getting their first periods, Margaret is happy to belong.

But none of them can believe Margaret doesn’t have religion, and that she isn’t going to the Y or the Jewish Community Center. What they don’t know is Margaret has her own very special relationship with God. She can talk to God about everything—family, friends, even Moose Freed, her secret crush.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is set to go into production in April, with Blume set to be a part of the process. The author has been famously resistant to past offers to adapt her books, but was won over by Craig and her Edge of Seventeen producing partner James L. Brooks. Blume gave her blessing and appears to have no more reservations about her classic being adapted to the big screen. “It will be fine,” she told EW, “because the book is the book — and it always will be the book.”

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