How to Build a Girl, Caitlin Moran’s semi-autobiographical novel of a teenage girl’s self-invention from an impoverished nobody to a plucky and enterprising somebody, is getting the big-screen treatment.
Producers Alison Owen and Debra Hayward, who recently joined forces as Monumental Pictures, will oversee the screen adaptation, the company’s first project. How to Build a Girl follows Johanna Morrigan, a nerdy 14-year-old girl from the economically devastated Midlands, as she successfully launches a writing career as a music critic to help support her family. While still in her teens, she drops out of school and moves to London, remaking herself as Dolly Wild: an urban, sexually adventurous sophisticate.
Far-fetched as it may seem, the story is heavily borrowed from Moran’s early years as a literary wunderkind. Moran and John Niven will pen the script.
“Caitlin Moran is the wittiest writer on the planet and her creation, Johanna Morrigan, stands alongside Elizabeth Bennet and Bridget Jones as one of the great female literary icons,” said Owen. “We want to make commercial movies and television with strong female characters. We can’t wait to bring Johanna to the big screen.”