Benny Safdie, the acclaimed filmmaker and actor who recently signed on for a role in the series “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” has joined the cast of Lionsgate’s “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret”, based on Judy Blume’s classic novel, in the role of Margaret’s father Herb. The announcement was made today by Erin Westerman, Lionsgate’s President of Production.
The film, which is now in production, is written and 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, Academy Award nominee Rachel McAdams stars as Margaret’s mother, Barbara, and Oscar winner Kathy Bates as Margaret’s grandmother, Sylvia.
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, “Benny has a truly amazing talent for naturalism and I’m elated to have his collaboration on this film.”
“Benny is an incredibly soulful actor and storyteller and a true mensch. We’re honored he’s agreed to join this iconic story as Margaret’s father,” said Westerman.
As an actor, in addition to “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” Benny Safdie will appear in Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film opposite Bradley Cooper. He will also star in Showtime’s TV series “The Curse” with Emma Stone and Nathan Fielder. He recently starred in the feature Pieces of a Woman. As a writer-director, his most recent film, Uncut Gems, starred Adam Sandler, received critical acclaim, and earned $50 million at the box office.
Meredith Wieck and Chelsea Kujawa are overseeing the project for the studio. Safdie is represented by WME, Untitled Entertainment and Lichter Grossman. Dan Freedman oversaw the dealmaking for the studio.
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