Protagonist To Handle Worldwide Sales On How To Build A Girl, Starring Beanie Feldstein

How To Build A Girl, based on the best-selling Caitlin Moran novel will start shooting in summer with UK production powerhouse Monumental Pictures. Worldwide sales will be handled by Protagonist Pictures.

Beanie Feldstein (recently seen in Greta Gerwig’s award-winning movie Lady Bird) is confirmed to play the lead role of Johanna Morrigan. 

Also confirmed for the project is Coky Giedroyc, whose TV credits include episodes of The Killing, The Hour, The Sound of Music Live, Harlots, and Good Behaviour, and who will be directing from a screenplay by Caitlin Moran.

It’s 1990. Johanna Morrigan is sixteen, smart, opinionated and overweight. Hormones raging, she is desperate to get out of her home town and make a name for herself – which she does, reinventing herself as Dolly Wilde, bad-ass music critic. Gaining notoriety as an enfant terrible, she has finally figured out how to build a girl – but is this the girl she wanted to build?

The producers describe the lead character as“one of the great female literary icons” on a par with Elizabeth Bennet and Bridget Jones.

Monumental Pictures developed the project with Film4, who also co-finance the film alongside US financier Tango Entertainment. The comedic coming-of-age story will shoot in July on location in the UK.

Oscar-nominated duo Alison Owen (whose extensive list of credits includes Elizabeth, Saving Mr. Banks, The Other Boleyn Girl, Suffragette) and Debra Hayward (Les Miserables, Mary Queen of Scots, Bridget Jones’s Baby) will produce. 

Alison Owen says: “We could not be more excited for Johanna Morrigan to burst onto the big screen. We searched high and low for a girl who could match the boundless wit, sparkle and big heart of Caitlin’s super-heroine and feel incredibly lucky to have found her in the effervescent Beanie Feldstein.”

“How To Build A Girl, will be outrageously funny and utterly affecting, even heart-breaking,” adds Debra Hayward. “With Coky Giedroyc at the helm of Caitlin’s swashbuckling script, we are blessed to have a director who can deliver all this in spades.” 

An international best-seller, How to Build a Girl is the fourth book from broadcaster, TV critic and The Times columnist Moran, published in the UK by Ebury Press and by Harper Collins in the U.S. The book was recently chosen for Emma Watson’s feminist book club, Our Shared Shelf.

Feldstein is represented by WME and Brillstein Entertainment. Giedroyc is represented by UTA in the US and Independent Talent in the UK.