EXCLUSIVE: The newly formed Monumental Pictures has signed on for the big-screen adaptation of Caitlin Moran’s bestseller How To Build A Girl.

Alison Owen and Debra Hayward’s new London-based production company Monumental Pictures is planning a big-screen version of Caitlin Moran’s bestselling novel How To Build A Girl.

The deal marks the first acquisition for Monumental.

Famed columnist Moran tells a somewhat autobiographical story in the tale of Wolverhampton-born teenager Johanna Morrigan, who moves to London and reinvents herself as an adventurous, sexually adventurous music critic.

Moran and John Niven are adapting the book.

“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.”

The film’s development is backed by Film4, and has been championed by head of development Rose Garnett.

Owen, whose credtis include The Other Boleyn Girl and Saving Mr Banks, is also in post-production on Tulip Fever for The Weinstein Company and Suffragette for Pathe.

She is also producing Little Women, written by Jordan Roberts, as a 13-episode series for ABC, updated to be set on a US naval base. Natasha McElhone leads the cast.

Hayward’s credits including Les Miserables, Atonement and Bridget Jones’s Diary.