Lena Dunham has plans to take a break from the small screen and adapt the YA novel Catherine, Called Birdy into a movie, she said during a talk at the New Yorker Festival last night.
"This is actually my first time talking about it publicly," Dunham told writer and author Ariel Levy during the event. "I'm very excited about it. I'm not sure when it'll happen, but I'm in the process of [working on it]."
The 1994 novel, written by Karen Cushman, is told through diary entries written by a British 12-year-old named Catherine in the year 1290. The book was awarded the prestigious Newbery Medal.
The Girls showrunner has previously said the book is one of her top two favorites (along with Lolita), describing it as "a girl in 1290 who gets her period and her father basically says, 'Well, it's time for you to get married,' and she's like 'Uh, no.'"
She added, "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."
The 28-year-old said she plans to produce the film through the production company she started with Girls executive producer Jenni Konner, A Casual Romance, and said the two are working on a few similar projects.
"It's a really interesting examination of sort of like coming of age and what's expected of teenage girls," Dunham said. "I'm going to adapt it and hopefully direct it, I just need to find someone who wants to fund a PG-13 medieval movie."
Dunham, who recently published a book of personal essays, Not That Kind Of Girl, said the research required for the project is a first for her.
"Nothing I've done so far has required any research of any real kind beyond, like, going to a diner," she said. "So this is a whole other world. But the source material makes me so happy and I'm so excited, because I've been working on Girls [for five years] and I also wrote this book of personal essays. So the idea of engaging with some of these topics that are important to me, which are — surprise — women and feminism, but finding a way to kind of look at them through a historical lens is sort of like where feel myself going."
Rachel Zarrell is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Rachel Zarrell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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