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Kathy Bates Joins Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Oscar winner Kathy Bates has joined the cast of Lionsgate’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret in the key role of Margaret’s grandmother Sylvia, bringing to life a beloved character from Judy Blume’s classic novel. The announcement was made today by Erin Westerman, Lionsgate’s president of Production.

Kathy Bates Joins Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

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. The film also stars Abby Ryder Fortson, best-known for her scene-stealing performances in Marvel’s Ant-Man series, who portrays the lead role of Margaret Simon, and Academy Award nominee Rachel McAdams stars as Margaret’s mother, Barbara.

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.

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, “Kathy Bates has given us so many memorable, iconic characters. Whether it’s comedy or drama, she is perpetually captivating on-screen. I’m thrilled to employ her extraordinary talents on this film I care so much about.”

“We’re thrilled to be working with a talent like Kathy. As she joins Abby and Rachel, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret will be a special multi-generational movie going moment and the kind of entertainment that really creates a chance for mothers, daughters, and granddaughters to celebrate what it means to grow up and come of age,” said Westerman.

Kathy Bates has been nominated for four Oscars, most recently for her performance in Richard Jewell; she won the award for Best Actress for her role in Misery. Bates has also won two Golden Globes from eight nominations and scored 14 Emmy Award nominations, winning twice, including a 2014 award for her work on American Horror Story; she has appeared in six seasons of the anthology series.

She will next be seen opposite Laura Linney and Maggie Smith in The Miracle Club.

Meredith Wieck and Chelsea Kujawa are overseeing the project for Lionsgate. Dan Freedman oversaw the dealmaking for the studio.

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