Lionsgate just secured the rights to Judy Blume‘s legendary YA novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret after the author finally agreed to a film adaptation. But the studio isn’t stopping there when it comes to YA adaptations.
They’re re-teaming with Justin Baldoni (Five Feet Apart), who will direct an adaptation of Katie Khan‘s novel Hold Back The Stars.
Christy Hall will write the screenplay, while 21 Laps’ Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen will produce. The novel focuses on a young man and woman who revisit memories of their doomed love affair on a utopian Earth while trapped in the vast void of space with only 90 minutes of oxygen left.
Baldoni makes total sense for this project, as Five Feet Apart – which made an impressive $91.5 million at the box office on just a $7 million budget – was a well received kind and romantic drama. Lionsgate will be hoping for a similar box office performance from Hold Back The Stars.
Lionsgate president of production Erin Westerman said: “We’re huge fans of Justin and what he accomplished with Five Feet Apart. He’s incredibly talented at capturing the romance, tragedy and buoyancy of young love. He will further elevate material we are already very excited about”.
Baldoni himself added: “I’m thrilled to be working with my friends at Lionsgate and 21 Laps on this unique and exceptional story. As a firm believer that love has the power to unify and conquer all, I deeply connected with Hall’s unique take on the ‘star-crossed lovers’ story. With its thrilling action, deep-rooted romance, and powerful message, I couldn’t be more excited to bring this story to life”.
Baldoni isn’t the only one to profit from the success of Five Feet Apart. The screenwriters of that film, Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis, are also re-teaming with Lionsgate.
They will work on the adaptation of the Five Feet Apart follow-up novel, All This Time, which was written by Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott. Lionsgate purchased the book for six figures ahead of its October publication.