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Children’s and young adult literary juggernaut Judy Blume will be the subject of an untitled feature documentary from Amazon Prime Video and Imagine Documentaries, Variety has learned exclusively.
Framed as a coming-of-age tale of Blume and the generations of readers who have sparked to her work, the film will cover 50 years and many of her bestselling titles including, “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” “Blubber,” “Superfudge,” “Tiger Eyes,” “Wifey,” “Forever…,” “Summer Sisters” and more. It will also examine her impact on pop culture at large, and the occasional controversies over Blume’s frankness about puberty and sex. In total, her 29 books have sold more than 90 million copies and have been printed in 32 languages.
Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok, the team behind the Emmy-winning doc “Semi Serious,” will direct and produce the project with Sara Bernstein, Justin Wilkes and Marcella Steingart of Imagine’s documentary unit. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard will executive produce. The film comes on the heels of the successful launch of “Lucy and Desi” on Prime Video. That documentary, also from Amazon Studios and Imagine, premiered to acclaim earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.
“As lifelong Judy Blume fans, we are honored that Judy entrusted Imagine, Davina, and Leah with her legacy. We are excited to bring Judy’s prolific personal story, the inspirations behind her beloved iconic works and her enduring, trailblazing spirit to the Amazon audience and to a new generation of readers,” Bernstein told Variety.
Blume said that from her “first meeting with Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok, I knew I’d found a team who were passionate about this project. It can be scary to open your life and work to strangers. Once Imagine Docs came aboard I felt it all come together. ‘OK,’ I thought, ‘maybe this was meant to be.’
Julie Rapaport, the newly-minted head of film at Amazon Studios, called Blume “one of the world’s most iconic and adored authors, and like many, her books were such an important part of my youth. After our wonderful collaboration on ‘Lucy and Desi,’ we could not be more thrilled to work with Imagine Documentaries to bring Judy’s extraordinary journey to screen and share it with her fans and our customers around the world.”
With contemporary scenes from Judy’s life running a bookstore in Key West, extensive materials from her personal archive including decades-long correspondence with fans and intimate interviews with writers and celebrities influenced by her unfiltered portraits of childhood and adolescence, the film tells the story of the woman whose radical honesty changed the way millions of readers understand themselves, their sexuality and what it means to grow up.