‘Girls’ Creator Lena Dunham to Adapt YA Novel for the Big Screen
Lena Dunham revealed her plans to adapt Karen Cushman’s 1994 YA novel “Catherine, Called Birdy” for the bigscreen at the New Yorker Festival on Friday night. The coming of age story follows a 12-year-old trying to scare off potential suitors.
“I’m going to adapt it and hopefully direct it,” Dunham told the crowd and New Yorker staff writer Ariel Levy. “I just need to find someone who wants to fund a PG-13 Medieval movie.”
Dunham will develop the film with production partner and “Girls” exec producer Jenni Konner. This is one of several upcoming historical works from their A Casual Romance production company — or as Dunham descibed it, “projects that sort of aren’t set in the here and now.”
“This is actually my first time talking about it publicly,” Dunham said about the film. “I’m very excited about it. I’m not sure when
it’ll happen, but I’m in the process of [working on it].”
Dunham also said that she’s been interested in the book from a young age.
“[She] gets her period and her father basically says, ‘Well, it’s time for you to get married,’ and she’s like, ‘Uh, no,’” Dunham told the audience about the book’s titular protagonist. “But it’s hyper realistic and really pretty and it’s full of incest and beatings, but it’s a child’s story. I’ve been obsessed with it since I was a kid.”
Book synopsis – The hilarious diary of Catherine (called Birdy) in the year 1291. Catherine is 14. It’s high time she was married – or that’s what her father thinks. But Catherine is going to do everything she can to get rid of Shaggy Beard, the most disgusting suitor, ‘whose breath smells like the mouth of Hell, who makes wind like others make music, who is ugly and old’. And she has no intention of becoming the perfect medieval lady like her mother wants, either. Whether she’s grappling with spinning, or giving tips on flea removal, Catherine’s fight for freedom is as funny as it is poignant. But can she find a better life for herself?