In 2007, a self-described “feminist stripper” who had written a memoir about her experiences called Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper came out of nowhere and won an Oscar for her first stab at screenwriting for a wonderful Ellen Page movie called Juno. Cody had a new, exciting voice with very distinctively funky phrasing that I flat-out adored.
Juno made Diablo Cody something of a celebrity. Suddenly, she was everywhere, and her named was being tossed around for half a dozen projects, if not more.
She followed up Juno two years later with a fairly remarkable show she wrote and created called United States of Tara, which fetched Showtime six Emmy nominations, including a win for its lead, Toni Collette. It was cancelled in 2012.
But she also wrote Jennifer’s Body, a movie starring Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox from Girlfight director Karyn Kusama. Unfortunately, by the time that Jennifer’s Body came out, Cody’s distinctive brand of writing had already lost its novelty. Whimsical, quirky films were on the way out (seriously: When’s the last whimsiquirkilicious indie flick to make any dent in the box-office?), and what I actually thought was a fairly fun, female-led horror flick was dismissed by critics and tanked at the box-office.
Suddenly, movies that her name had been attached to — Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament with ScarJo and JGL, a Hugh Hefner biopic, and a reboot of Sweet Valley HIgh — died in development hell or — like the Evil Dead remake — were rewritten by someone else.
Two years later, however, Cody returned with her Juno director Jason Reitman in a Charlize Theron/Patton Oswalt film called Young Adult. It fared decently with critics, but like Jennifer’s Body, it went largely unseen, racking up the same $16 million at the box-office as her previous film.
Then things went cold. In 2013, she directed a film called Paradise with Nick Offerman. Critics hated it. It went straight to VOD.
She’s hasn’t been heard much from since.
Diablo Cody did make some appearances on Chelsea Lately (where her husband worked), but otherwise, she’s stayed out of the spotlight.
The good news is, she is set to return later this summer with Ricki and the Flash, starring Meryl Street, her daughter Mamie Gummer, and Sebastian Stan. Streep will play Ricki, a musician who gave up everything for her dream of rock-and-roll stardom. She returns home, looking to make things right with her family (it has echoes of Young Adult). Jonathan Demme directed the film.
Here’s the trailer:
Interestingly, Cody quit Twitter the day before the trailer was released, although her departure didn’t get much notice because someone else by the name of Joss Whedon also quit Twitter that day. Cody’s Instagram account — once considered one of the most popular among filmmakers — also disappeared.
However, there’s more talk of Sweet Valley High returning, though there’s no word if Cody is still attached. What she is attached to, is a live-action movie based on Barbie. That we could probably do without, except that in the voice of Diablo Cody, it might actually be worth watching.