More than 20 years after it was published, ''Tiger Eyes'' taps a ''Gossip Girl'' player to star

By Sara Vilkomerson
February 24, 2012 at 05:00 AM EST

Judy Blume has written more than 25 wildly popular books, with sales exceeding 80 million copies, but none of her novels has ever been made into a feature film — until now. Maybe she was just waiting for the right director? Blume co-wrote the screenplay adaptation of her 1981 YA novel Tiger Eyes with son Lawrence Blume, who also directs the touching coming-of-age story about a teenager (Gossip Girl‘s Willa Holland) who reluctantly moves to New Mexico with her mom and brother after a family tragedy. The Blumes worked closely together throughout the casting process (”Willa is the whole thing. And she is wonderful,” says Judy) and the 24-day shoot. (The film is due to be released later this year.) Lawrence says that Tiger Eyes is his favorite of his mother’s books. ”I first read it when I was 18, and it’s always resonated with me. To do this with her, to be able to turn to her and ask questions, it was an incredible experience,” he says. ”People were like, ‘Oh my God, your mother is sitting next to you on set every day?’ And I was like, ‘Yep! And it was great.”’