Diablo Cody Says ‘Evil Dead’ Remake Will Be “Unbelievably Violent,” Sees ‘Sweet Valley High’ as ‘American Graffiti’ for the ’80s
Posted on Monday, November 21st, 2011 by Angie Han
We haven’t seen a feature from screenwriter from Diablo Cody since 2009′s tepidly received Jennifer’s Body, but next month’s Young Adult kicks off a series of interesting projects Cody’s got on her slate. In a pair of recent interviews, Cody touched upon two very different ones: the Evil Dead remake from writer-director Fede Alvarez (which has the blessing of the original’s director Sam Raimi and star/exec producer Bruce Campbell, before you get too up in arms), and that Sweet Valley High movie announced a couple of years back. Read her comments after the jump.
Cody was brought on to The Evil Dead over the summer to rewrite Alvarez’s original draft, which she praised in a recent conversation with Collider as “really scary” and “unbelievably violent.” Though her involvement predictably inspired grumbling from moviegoers only familiar with her work in Juno and Jennifer’s Body, Cody reassured horror fans that she’d kept the dialogue in Evil Dead “very naturalistic” in a way that “would serve the story.”
As a fan of Raimi’s original films, Cody says, she was “so excited” to work on Alvarez’s remake. At the same time, however, “I was nervous to take the job because I thought ‘Ugh, I’m gonna get shit for this.’ People are not gonna like this, because all people know of me is Juno and they think I’m gonna pollute Evil Dead with wacky dialogue and cute stuff and folk music.” But “I understand what this is,” she asserts. “I’m interested in storytelling here and making it scary and good and true to the original.”
While we’ll have to wait and see how Evil Dead actually turns out, I’m willing to give Cody the benefit of the doubt. There’s no reason to believe Cody can only do cutesy dialogue, just as there’s no reason to assume a primarily dramatic actor could never do comedy or vice versa. I’d think that someone intelligent enough to write the genuinely sweet, smart Juno would also be sharp enough to realize that “honest to blog” and hamburger telephones have no place in an Evil Dead movie.
Cody was less on the defensive in her other interview, this one with The Playlist. Cody spoke with the site about the YA adaptation Sweet Valley High, which in all respects sounds more like what we’ve come to expect from her.
“I want it to be wonderfully nostalgic,” she told the site. “I want it to be to the ’80s what American Graffiti was to the [early] ’60s. I want it to be looking back on a really cool time and enjoying yourself and I want it to be glamorous and colorful and bubblegum and a feast for the senses. That’s my plan.”
Though Cody didn’t offer a timetable for the project, she affirmed that it was definitely happening. “That is moving forward,” she said. “It’s closer to reality than ever but I can’t freely talk about it.”
As someone who loved Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High books in her adolescent years and Juno in her twentysomething days, I can’t think of anyone better suited to bring Pascal’s stories to life than Cody. Cody definitely gets teenagers, and her signature cutesy dialogue would fit pretty well into the idealized universe of Sweet Valley. If anything, I’d expect Cody’s take to be an improvement over the original Sweet Valley, which I’ve come to realize as an adult was rarely well written and mostly pretty silly.