Blume, Startz to bring kidbook faves to film and TV

Titles eyed as potential series, direct-to-video releases

Producer Jane Startz (“The Mighty”) has partnered with bestselling author Judy Blume to develop and produce film and television projects based on Blume’s popular books dealing primarily with adolescent growing pains.

Startz will work in association with Gotham-based neighbors Judy and Lawrence Blume through their newly formed Tashmoo Prods.

Two titles are being eyed as potential series, and five others as direct-to-video releases. First to go will be a pilot based on the characters featured in Blume’s “Just As Long As We’re Together” and its follow-up, “Here’s to You, Rachel Robinson.”

Stephanie Simpson is penning the script, which chronicles the lives of a trio of seventh-grade girlfriends. Episodes will be told from the varying p.o.v.s of each pre-teen. Simpson will also serve as producer. Startz and Tashmoo hope to go into production shortly after the new year.

“For homevideo, we’re looking at books that over the years kids have continued to care very much about,” Blume said. Enduring favorites include “Blubber” (1974), “Then Again, Maybe I Won’t, (1971), “Iggie’s House”(1970) and “It’s Not the End of the World” (1972).

“I’ve waited a long time to adapt my books into film,” said Blume, “and finally, with two partners whose ideas and taste I respect, I feel confident and excited about the possibilities.”

Blume will oversee all the adaptations.

Startz, who has a history rooted in family-friendly programming (she co-founded and served as exec veepee of Scholastic Prods. prior to launching her own company), also gravitates toward literary adaptations, producing 1997’s “The Indian in the Cupboard” and last year’s “The Mighty.”

She is currently in development on a teen comedy for New Line based on the novel “Burger Wuss.”

Blume, who received a degree in education from New York U., has published 21 books for both children and adult readers (“Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” “Superfudge,” and “Forever”), and is the recipient of more than 90 literary prizes. Her latest novel, “Summer Sisters,” aimed at adults, was published last year, holding a spot on the New York Times bestseller list for 22 weeks.

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