Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The trials of Diablo Cody

Diablo Cody's wild ride continues. I find this whole thing terribly interesting.

She came out of nowhere, wrote a solid script that made a successful film, won an academy award, then....

Then she was too famous too fast. I think the last time we saw this happen it was Shane Black and he turned out okay.

I wasn't around the Industry during all that, so somebody tell me, was Shane Black as polarizing after Lethal Weapon as Cody has become?

Jennifer's body is not getting good reviews at all. In fact, some of the reviews have been downright nasty. My favorite was the one that compared Jennifer's Body to a bunch of people covering up cat poop in the litter box.

What interests me most is how often her name is mentioned. Diablo Cody is mentioned as often in the reviews as Megan Fox or Karyn Kusama. How often does that happen?

We complain a lot that the writer doesn't get enough credit when a film is good and to much blame when it's bad, or that the writer's name is never mentioned at all. I think in this case, enough of us have read that script that the responsibility is landing exactly where it belongs. I suppose that's a good thing, but man. I can't help but think it's all so very fascinating to watch her go from media darling to media punching bag. I wonder if this is what she had in mind.


  1. Shane Black didn't become polarizing until he was several scripts in. It was around the time of his huge sales for Last Boy Scout and Long Kiss Goodnight that he said he started to feel a backlash.

    It's partially her fault for the backlash, and partially the media's fault.

    Shane Black is just a brilliant screenwriter. He delivers a fun read every time.

    Cody wrote a decent first script. But it wasn't Chinatown. It wasn't Pulp Fiction. It wasn't Lethan Weapon. Everybody crowned her as the queen of screenwriting, not realizing there are several female writers much better than her.

    That wasn't really her fault. The hype machine is what it is.

    At the same time she fell into the same "believe the hype" trap that caught Tarantino. She appeared on Letterman, talked loudly about her days as a stripper, and wrote an article for Entertainment Weekly.

    The difference between Tarantino and Cody is QT has major chops. Like him or not, he consistently delivers something great for his fan base.

    Cody should stop posing for tattoo rags, slip away from Entertainment Weekly, and just focus on writing some great, original scripts.

    And never write something as awful as "honest to blog" ever again.

  2. I've actually read good reviews about JB. It's a fun, cheesy 80s-style horror movie. It's not a masterpiece and Cody said so herself. I applaud for writing what she wants and giving the finger to the media (and the establishment).

    To be honest, I think people are just jealous and resentful toward her for being female, for having been discovered on the Internet (via her blog) and for using her sexuality to get to the top. Who cares. These haters can go f--k themselves. I love her and I'm excited for her future projects.

  3. I saw this, someone seeking a zombie script, thought I'd send it your way:

  4. Seen this, Emily? Interview with Ms. Cody via Mystery Man's twitter:

  5. The thing about Jennifer's Body is that 1. as I understand it, it was actually Cody's first script she wrote (though Juno got her noticed), 2. there wasn't a lot of re-writing from the first draft to what got produced, and 3. apparently, the director had a more cerebral horror film in mind, more Carrie than Jason.

    I think in comparing Juno and Jennifer you can see that in the former it was much more polished, which likely means, and this isn't a judgment, that there may have been many more fingers involved than just Cody's.

    We'll see where she goes on her third film, this just might be the sophomore slump.

  6. Anonymous10:09 PM

    Shane Black more or less went from gold to platinum after "Lethal Weapon," if memory serves me correctly. He had that small part in "Predator," worked on "Lethal Weapon 2," then, as he put it, "hit the jackpot" with "The Last Boyscout," which was the first spec to sell for over one mil.

    In fact, it wasn't until around '93 that things started going south for Shane with "Last Action Hero." By 94 or 95, the party was definitely over with the failure of "The Long Kiss Goodnight."

  7. That's some pretty good stuff to think about, Jack and Anonymous.

    And JJ I didn't know that about JB being her first script, but it would make since given how quickly she busted it out after Juno.

    Deaf Girl, I can appreciate that.

    And I don't know, Joshua, can you really trust anyone who posts on Craigslist?

    Amy I have not read that - I'll check it out.

  8. "To be honest, I think people are just jealous and resentful toward her for being female, for having been discovered on the Internet (via her blog) and for using her sexuality to get to the top. Who cares. These haters can go f--k themselves. I love her and I'm excited for her future projects."

    Lazy thinking. Pure and simple. The opposite of anarchist thinking.

  9. Trust? Depends on what you mean by it, there are scams everywhere, but I've also run into legit small companies there ... I'd say as long as you have your script registered and protected, it never hurts to inquire ... usually after that is when one finds out whether or not it's worth sending a script.

  10. "Flavor of the Month" syndrome: discovered, displayed, demoted, then flayed.

    My theory is that if you can write one really good script and sell it, then do that, and accept it.

    But if it's your true calling, a real rare writing talent, then others will choose if you stick around and write or polish like Black or Rossio or August.

    I'll settle for either of the two destinies, lol.

  11. Anonymous8:28 AM

    real quick, I think it's worth noting that shane black was ultimately a victim of changing times.

    he was prominent in the Die Hard/Lethal Weapon era, then fell during the "Pulp Fiction" era.

  12. Anonymous11:43 PM

    yeah...the thing about Shane Black was that it was drugs and torpor that hurt him. With Diablo Cody, it's the fact that every time I read anything she wrote, I get a blinding headache from all the 'home-skillet' and 'kill pills' and 'LOL' and you fucking KNOW how I feel about that. Just my literally two cents.

  13. I'm way late to the party, but someone remarked when news first got out about DC writing a horror screenplay that it was mighty clever of her to do that. Any accusations of sophomore slump/one-hit wonder (and those would have come even if JB was the most perfect screenplay ever) could be invalidated by pointing out that critics hate horror.

    When I sell my first screenplay, I'll keep that in mind.


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