Judy Blume: Judy Blume, one of the world's best loved authors (Are You There God? It's Me Margaret, Blubber, Superfudge, and Deenie, among others), filmmaker Lawrence Blume, and renowned producer Jane Startz have entered into a multi-picture deal with The Walt Disney Studios to develop and produce films based on Judy Blume's bestselling books for young people, it was announced today (3/9/04) by Nina Jacobson, president of the Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group. Under the terms of the deal, the Blumes' Tashmoo Productions Inc. and Jane Startz Productions, Inc. will adapt several of Blume's books, beginning with "Deenie," Blume's acclaimed bestseller about a young woman's struggles to define herself independently from the dreams and expectations her parents have for her.

Buena Vista Montion Picture Group's Senior Vice President of Production and Development Karen Glass brought in and will oversee the project for the Studio. Jane Startz, Judy Blume, and Tashmoo's president, Lawrence Blume, will produce. Gillian MacKenzie, Jane Startz Productions' Vice President, will co-produce.

Commenting on the announcement, Jacobson said, "The name Judy Blume is synonymous with great young adult literature. Everyone discovers her books in fifth grade and grows up with her -- she strikes a chord with humor and heart while never preaching. Jane Startz is a great match -- she's such a capable and smart producer that I know these books are in the best possible hands. And I can't think of anybody more qualified than Karen Glass to see these projects through the development process -- she's proved time and again that she can provide just the kind of quality entertainment that young people -- and their parents -- are looking for."

Startz added, "I think Disney is the perfect home for Judy's beloved classics. Nina Jacobson, Karen Glass and their colleagues know how to make movies that work incredibly well with Judy's core audience and I know from firsthand experience how mindful they are about maintaining the integrity of an author's work."

Judy Blume said, "I'm grateful for Karen Glass's steadfast enthusiasm for this project. We've all waited a long time for this moment and are excited by the possibilities. Can't wait to get going!"

Lawrence Blume commented, "I'm excited to have the opportunity to work on the adaptation of such wonderful stories with two great partners in Jane Startz and Disney. My mother and I made one film together, 'Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great,' many years ago and I am thrilled to be collaborating with her again."

Blume has a phenomenally large and loyal following, including not only today's young readers (who send her thousands of letters each year) but the millions of the twenty- and thirty-somethings who grew up on her books. More than 75 million copies of Blume's books have been sold in the United States and countless foreign markets in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Six of her titles are among the top ten all-time, best-selling children's books. Her word has been translated into 26 languages. Her long awaited Double Fudge, the fifth book about Fudge Hatcher and his family, was published last summer and spent months on best-seller lists.

Producer Jane Startz has received over fifty awards in the arena of family films and television programming. Jane Startz's producer credits include the upcoming "Ella Enchanted" for Miramax Films, "Tuck Everlasting" for Walt Disney Pictures, "The Mighty" for Miramax Films, "The Indian in the Cupboard" for Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures, and "The Baby-Sitters Club" for Columbia Pictures. Her television credits include the multi Emmy-award winning series "The Magic School Bus" for PBS; "The Lawrenceville Trilogy" for "American Playhouse"; "The Truth About Alex" for HBO; and "The Great Love Experiment" for ABC.

In addition to his responsibilities as president of Tashmoo Productions, Lawrence Blume is also a producer and director. His most recent film, the festival-winning comedy, "Martin and Orloff," will be released this fall. Previously he was co-owner of the post-production company, Postworks New York.

Brian B.