Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret casting announcement from Lionsgate




SANTA MONICA, Calif., February 19, 2021 – Global content leader Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) announced today that 12-year-old Abby Ryder Fortson, best-known for her scene-stealing performances in Marvel’s Ant-Man series, will play Margaret Simon and Academy Award® nominee Rachel McAdams will play Margaret’s mother, Barbara, in the studio’s highly anticipated adaptation of Judy Blume’s classic novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. The announcement was made today by Erin Westerman, Lionsgate’s president of Production.


The film, which begins production in April, is written and will be directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, who is re-teaming with legendary Academy Award®-winning producer James L. Brooks and his Gracie Films banner, following their collaboration on the acclaimed film The Edge of Seventeen. Julie Ansell, Richard Sakai, Amy Brooks, Fremon Craig, and Blume will join Brooks as producers.

A best-selling and beloved classic that has transcended decades and been embraced by generations as they approach adolescence comes to the big screen with Lionsgate’s adaptation of Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. In this timeless, coming-of-age story, Margaret Simon, a sixth-grader who is questioning everything about adolescence and puberty, is searching the universe for whatever answers she can find. With her mother and grandmother trying to guide her through a time when everything is changing, they too find that you never stop questioning your path and defining what is meaningful in your life. From writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig (The Edge of Seventeen) and Gracie Films’ Academy Award®-winning producer James L. Brooks comes a new movie for everyone who has ever wanted to fit in or felt left out. You are not alone.

Fortson’s character, Margaret, is one of the true beacons of young people’s literature. Since its publication in 1970, Blume’s frank, loving narrative has struck a chord with generations of readers, and the book was on Time magazine’s list of the top 100 works of fiction since 1923. (As a special badge of honor, the book and its legion of fans have also beaten back several attempts to ban it from libraries over the years.) For decades, Blume has famously refused adaptations of her published work, especially Margaret; after changing her mind recently, she sparked to the filmmaking team led by Brooks and Fremon Craig.


Fremon Craig said, “Abby is the kind of extraordinarily rare talent that comes along once a generation. The minute she walked in the room, she knocked us off our feet with her humor, vitality, and instantly lovable presence. We knew we’d found Margaret.  Together with Rachel McAdams’ exceptional talent for creating indelible characters that make you laugh out loud, bawl your eyes out, or both — there couldn’t be a better combination to bring Judy Blume’s much-beloved characters to life on screen.”


Westerman said, “The reason Margaret has struck a chord for fifty years is that her emotions are universal and timeless. Abby is an accomplished and gifted actress, but after reading many young actresses it was clear to us that Abby IS Margaret – she has, innately, the same wit, sincerity, and relatability as our heroine and will make Judy Blume proud. We’re thrilled that she’ll be paired opposite Rachel McAdams as Barbara, Margaret’s mother and a woman navigating her own place in the world. Rachel has a resume filled with iconic characters and with every warm, vulnerable performance, she cracks the audience open. As Barbara, generations of mothers – who rarely see themselves depicted holistically and authentically – will see themselves in her portrayal.”

Judy Blume added, “As the cast comes together my excitement grows.  Abby is funny and tender, strong yet vulnerable.  She IS Margaret.  And Rachel – wow! – does it get any better? A funny, loving, sexy, real woman who is also a mom. I can’t wait to see these two playing mother and daughter. It all began with trusting Kelly and Jim and they’ve proven how much this project means to them, which means everything to me.” Meredith Wieck and Chelsea Kujawa are overseeing the project for the studio.


ABBY RYDER FORTSON is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Cassie Lang, the daughter of Ant-Man, in her scene-stealing roles opposite Paul Rudd in Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp. Named one of The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 30 Stars Under the Age of 18, Fortson also recently re-teamed with famed director Mark Romanek, starring in the pilot episode of the Amazon Prime series “Tales From The Loop” after first acting for the director in the first season of the television series “The Whispers.” Her other credits include A Dog’s Journey, Forever My Girl, the Duplass brothers’ shows “Togetherness” and “Room 104” for HBO, and the award-winning series “Transparent.” She will next star in the feature film Rated, written and directed by John Fortson, based on his award-winning short film, with filmmaker Mark Pellington producing through his company Prolific Content. She is represented by Wendi Green at Atlas Artists and attorney Alex Kohner.


RACHEL McADAMS most recently starred opposite Will Ferrell in Netflix’s comedy Eurovision Song Contest. She also starred in the hit Game Night, which took in over $100 million worldwide. She will next reprise her role as Dr. Christine Palmer in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. McAdams received an Oscar® nomination for her performance in the Best Picture winner Spotlight. She is represented by WME, Magnolia, and Hirsch Wallenstein.


Combining the STARZ premium global subscription platform with world-class motion picture and television studio operations, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) brings a unique and varied portfolio of entertainment to consumers around the world. Its film, television, subscription and location-based entertainment businesses are backed by a 17,000-title library and the largest collection of film and television franchises in the independent media space.  A digital age company driven by its entrepreneurial culture and commitment to innovation, the Lionsgate brand is synonymous with bold, original, relatable entertainment for the audiences it serves worldwide.



Kelly Fremon Craig

Based on the book by Judy Blume



Kelly Fremon Craig


Abby Ryder Fortson, Rachel McAdams

Opening Date

April 8, 2020

tmc.io contributor: ShariK.Green tmc
I'm the Sr. Film Writer and Community Manager for tmc.io. I write, direct and produce short films with my production company, Good Stew Productions. I'm now working on my first feature film which is a lot of work but a lot of fun! Though it's hard to answer this questions when asked, I'd say my favorite movie is “The Big Chill.” I enjoy photography, poetry, and hiking and I adore animals, especially elephants. I live in Arizona and feel it's an outstanding and inspirational place to live.

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Always meant to read this book and never did. Love McAdams in nearly everything I've seen her in. This is on my radar.
@peepso_user_28973(markkeyser) Read the book!!!! But, same. I can't wait to see it!!
1 month ago