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Meryl Streep As Hard Rocker? TriStar Closing Deal For ‘Ricki And The Flash’

streepEXCLUSIVE:  Tom Rothman’s TriStar Productions is closing a deal to finance and distribute Ricki And The Flash, a hot package that had several studios circling because it comes with Meryl Streep playing a hard rocking mama. Scripted by Juno‘s Diablo Cody, the film will be directed by Jonathan Demme, and produced by Marc Platt and Mason Novick. This comes on the heels of TriStar’s deal with Robert Zemeckis to direct the 3-D experiential film To Walk the Clouds about the French aerialist Phillipe Petit who crossed between the Twin Towers on a wire in 1974. The project is based on Petit’s memoirs To Reach The Clouds and is being produced by Zemeckis with his ImageMovers Jack Rapke, Steve Starkey and Rothman. Landing Ricki and The Flash is a coup for Rothman.

demmeStreep will play a rock n’ roll-loving woman who chased her tattered dream at the price of her family, but gets a last chance to get it right by reconciling with her estranged daughter. This isn’t some development deal. Rothman has committed to make the picture and Streep is already preparing. Demme has directed documentaries with Neil Young, and there was an impromptu encounter with Demme and Streep where Young was present, and the iconic guitarist and singer gave her some pointers. She has already demonstrated her ability to sing on Mamma Mia! This is new territory for an actress who has done most everything; her character belts out hard rock at night and is a grocery store checkout lady by day. Shooting begins this fall.
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Fox Buys Comedy From Amanda Lund, Matt Gourley, Jack Black & Diablo Cody

By | Monday November 18, 2013 @ 5:57pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Fox has put in development Wunderland, a workplace comedy written by Amanda Lund and Matt Gourley, with Diablo Cody supervising and Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite producing for 20th Century Fox TV.  Co-created by Lund and Gourley, Wunderland explores the minutiae behind the scenes of America’s most beloved (fictional) theme park. The project is inspired by the couple’s years working at multiple theme parks, where Lund played an array of beloved princesses. Cody, a self-professed rabid theme park enthusiast and roller coaster expert, is executive producing with Electric Dynamite’s Black and Priyanka Mattoo. This marks a reunion for Lund and Electric Dynamite, who collaborated on the well-received web series Ghost Ghirls, which Lund co-created and stars in. Lund is repped by WME and 3 Arts.  Writer-performer Gourley created the podcast Superego. Cody, repped by WME, MXN Entertainment, and McKuin, Frankel, Whitehead, is currently developing her TBS talk show pilot My Time With Diablo Cody and has teen drama project Prodigy at Fox with Fake Empire. On the feature side, the Oscar-winning writer recently made her directorial debut with Paradise, which she also wrote. Electric Dynamite is repped by WME and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.

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Diablo Cody Reveals What People Failed To Mention About Becoming A Successful Screenwriter

By | Tuesday October 8, 2013 @ 10:05pm PDT

After her overnight success — and Academy Award — for the Juno script a half-dozen years ago, Diablo Cody became quite the Hollywood sensation. Two films, a Showtime series and some uncredited stuff later, she’s making her directorial debut with Image Entertainment’s October 18 release Paradise. In that time the polarizing Cody learned a few lessons about extending her first 15 minutes into a career: Namely, learn to deal and tone it down. Yawn. Here’s one of seven tips she shared with Vulture: “I said a lot of stupid things in interviews because I figured no one was paying attention — who cares about screenwriters, generally? But my big mouth got me into trouble countless times. As a ‘visible’ writer, you have to learn to conduct yourself like an actor. Say what you’ve been coached to say. Don’t talk shit about anyone. Behind closed doors, I’m still a drunk train wreck, but in interviews, I try to channel Sandra Bullock or someone else the public finds charming.”

Related: Tony Gilroy’s Tips On How To Write A Hollywood Blockbuster

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Fox Buys Diablo Cody/Fake Empire Drama

By | Friday October 4, 2013 @ 3:45pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Oscar-winning Juno writer Diablo Cody is tackling another female teen protagonist, this time on TV. Fox has put in development Prodigy, a teen drama project written by Cody and produced by ABC Studios and Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s studio-based Fake Empire. It centers on a 16-year-old genius who through home schooling has been isolated from her peers. Hoping to experience a “normal” teen social life before she enters the adult world of academia, she enrolls in her local high school. But her experiment goes off the rails when she finds herself adopted by a wild crowd, getting caught up in a whirlwind of romance and crime. Cody and partner Mason Novick will executive produce alongside Schwartz, Savage and Fake Empire’s president of television Len Goldstein.

Prodigy reunites Schwartz and Savage with Fox for another teen drama exactly a decade after the network launched Schwartz’s first series, The O.C., on which Savage started as a producer before partnering with Schwartz in Fake Empire. This marks the fifth sale for Fake Empire since moving to ABC Studios earlier this year. The WME-repped company, which has the CW’s Hart Of Dixie and The Carrie Diaries on the air, previously sold four projects to ABC: dramas Sisterland from Rina Mimoun and Social Circle from Josh Safran; and comedies First Timers from Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Diablo Cody’s Directorial Debut ‘Paradise’

By | Sunday August 4, 2013 @ 2:50pm PDT

The Oscar-winning Juno scribe makes her directorial debut with Paradise (formerly Lamb of God), starring Julianne Hough as a conservative woman who heads to Vegas to free her inhibitions after surviving a plane crash. Octavia Spencer, Russell Brand, Holly Hunter, and Nick Offerman co-star in the comedy-drama which Diablo Cody also wrote. Image Entertainment has a limited release slotted for October but will debut it first on demand via DirecTV August 9.

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Diablo Cody Gets Sidekick For Her TBS Talk Show Pilot

By | Tuesday June 4, 2013 @ 7:15am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Steve Agee is set as the sidekick host alongside Diablo Cody on her TBS pilot Me Time With Diablo Cody. Agee also will serve as a writer on the project, a take on Hollywood and celebrities tailored around Cody’s perspective on all things pop culture. 51 Minds is producing, with Mark Cronin, Courtland Cox and Cody executive producing. Agee, repped by Caliber Media, also just closed a deal to do Beef, a web series written by and starring Michael Ian Black and Joe Lo Truglio, with Chris Meloni also starring. He also has a recurring role on NBC’s Craig Robinson comedy pilot, which remains a possibility, and a role in FX presentation Complex Morgana.

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Diablo Cody Romantic Comedy From Amblin TV Lands At ABC With Penalty

By | Friday November 2, 2012 @ 6:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Diablo CodyDiablo Cody, whose first TV series, Showtime’s United States Of Tara, was produced by DreamWorks TV, is back in business with the company (now called Amblin Television) with a new series project, this time on the broadcast side.

Alex + Amy, a romantic comedy spec by the Oscar-winning writer (Juno), landed at ABC with a script commitment plus penalty. Amblin TV is producing with Warner Bros. TV. Alex + Amy is about a romance between an ambitious 22-year-old Millennial guy and a 32-year-old Gen X woman who have just moved in together and are very much in love. Cody is executive producing with her manager Mason Novick and Amblin TV’s Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank.

Falvey and Frank remained close with Cody after the end of Tara and had been looking to do another show together. She gave them her Alex + Amy spec, which the two developed with her before taking it to Warner Bros. TV and then to the broadcast networks. Alex + Amy is one of several projects Amblin TV has set up at the broadcast networks, including two other comedies at ABC from writers Cheryl Holiday and Chris Sheridan. Cody and Amblin TV are with WME.

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Sarah Colonna Joins Cast Of Untitled Diablo Cody Pic

By | Wednesday March 7, 2012 @ 12:45pm PST

Sarah Colonna Lamb Of GodEXCLUSIVE: Sarah Colonna has joined Mandate Pictures’ untitled Diablo Cody project in a supporting role opposite Julianne Hough, Octavia Spencer, Holly Hunter, and Russell Brand. The film from writer-director Diablo Cody centers on a young evangelical woman (Hough) who denounces God after a plane crash that has burned one-third of her body. She leaves her parents and church in Washington, D.C. for Las Vegas, where she attempts to re-discover herself. Colonna is currently shooting the independent comedy Old Days for director Michael Rosenbaum. She also is a writer and regular panelist on E!’s Chelsea Lately and a producer and series regular on its late-night spinoff After Lately. Colonna is repped by APA, New Wave Entertainment and Jeff Cohen of Cohen Gardner.

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Nick Offerman Set For Diablo Cody’s ‘Lamb Of God’

By | Tuesday February 21, 2012 @ 9:18am PST

Nick Offerman joins a cast that includes Octavia Spencer, Holly Hunter, Russell Brand and Julianne Hough. The Diablo Cody-directed drama Lamb Of God centers on a young evangelical woman who denounces God after a tragic plane crash that left one-third of her body severely burned. Angry, she leaves her parents and church in Washington, D.C. for Las Vegas, where she attempts to re-discover herself. Offerman is repped by UTA.

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VIDEO: New ‘Young Adult’ TV Spot

By | Tuesday December 20, 2011 @ 5:49pm PST
Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: After going out last weekend on its modestly wide break to nearly 1000 screens where it grossed $3.4 million and cracked the box office Top 10, Paramount’s Young Adult is shifting its emphasis in TV spots airing starting on Thursday. It’s the same thing Paramount did last year when it transitioned the campaign for The Fighter from its consumer emphasis to one that was “Oscar-centric.” With Academy ballots going to members early next week, the distributor wants to emphasize the awards-worthiness of the film directed by four-time Oscar nominee Jason Reitman, written by Oscar winner Diablo Cody (Juno) and starring Oscar winner Charlize Theron (Monster). Although the spots are not full of the usual “sell” for films of this type, Paramount is obviously hoping Academy members will be sold on the merits of this dark comedy, which has already earned Theron nominations for Golden Globes and a Critics Choice Movie Award –  the group that also nominated Cody’s script and supporting actor Patton Oswalt. Here’s the new ad:

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Holly Hunter Joins Diablo Cody Comedy At Mandate

By | Thursday December 8, 2011 @ 10:18am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Holly Hunter has been set by Mandate Pictures to star in the untitled comedy that will mark the directing debut of Young Adult and Juno scribe Diablo Cody. Hunter joins Julianne Hough, Russell Brand and The Help‘s Octavia Spencer. The comedy follows a sheltered young woman (Hough) who loses her faith after a plane crash and heads to Vegas to experience the wild side of life. Hunter will play her conservative and overprotective mother. Mason Novick is producing and Mandate president Nathan Kahane is exec producing with Cody. Production starts next spring with Lionsgate handling international sales.

Since ending her run on the TNT series Saving Grace, Hunter has wrapped the Walden Media drama Won’t Back Down, and she just finished playing the title character in the Antoinette Beumer-directed indie Jackie. She’ll reunite with The Piano helmer Jane Campion next year on the BBC/Sundance Channel miniseries Top Of The Lake. Hunter’s repped by ICM and Management 360.

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HAMMOND: Oscar Hopefuls Swarm Hollywood Awards Gala

Pete Hammond

Across town, as President Barack Obama was drawing every celebrity not in contention for awards this season, the 15th annual Hollywood Awards Gala was taking place at the Beverly Hilton. All of the Oscar hopefuls who agreed to show up to accept an award were there in their Monday finest as this was a place to be seen if you want an ego boost at this early point in the season.

With 19 above- and below-the-line categories to plow through, this was a surprisingly fun show that, if it didn’t already exist, Hollywood would have to find some way to invent. Billed as the ”official” kickoff to awards season (if you don’t count all those film festivals we’ve just been through), The Hollywood Awards were created — and basically chosen — by executive director Carlos de Abreu, who, with Janice Pennington, founded the gala and accompanying film festival. They are the result of a months-long negotiation between him and the studios and distributors, who are using this early opportunity to get key positioning for the players they hope to advance during the long awards season leading ultimately to Oscar. The only caveat is that to get the award, you have to agree to show up.

This year, de Abreu has his pulse on some real contenders and handed out acting awards to — among many others — Michelle Williams, George Clooney and Christopher Plummer, who all could realistically be considered close to frontrunners in their respective categories.

A real highlight of the show was when Marilyn Monroe’s Oscar-nominated Bus Stop co-star Don Murray showed up to present Hollywood Actress of the Year to Williams, who plays the iconic star in The Weinstein Company’s My Week With Marilyn“I’m the last of the the on-screen lovers of Marilyn Monroe, and I still just happen to have a body that actually works, ” the 82-year-old actor said to much laughter. “Michelle re-created moments I was so intimately familiar with as I spent 14 months working with Marilyn. There’s not one thing in this film that’s not truthful. It was a revelation. Michelle’s performance made me appreciate Marilyn Monroe  so much more.”

Williams, noticeably nervous, said her friends always wanted to see her win a award so she could basically sweat through the experience. She did well though, closing with a touching perception about Monroe. “It seems to me that all Marilyn Monroe wanted was to be taken seriously as an actress, and she studied so hard and never really got there,” she said, adding that it was ironic Williams herself could get this kind of recognition that so eluded the star she played.

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Diablo Cody Re-Launches Her ‘Red Band Trailer’ Web Talk Show On L Studio

By | Wednesday October 5, 2011 @ 9:49am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Lexus’ broadband channel L Studio has picked up Diablo Cody’s Web talk show Red Band Trailer. The first new episode of the series features the Oscar-winning screenwriter interviewing John Krasinski (video below). It will be followed by interviews with Jack Black, Zooey Deschanel, Joel McHale, Amanda Seyfried and Sarah Silverman, among others. Cody first launched the series, which is taped in her Airstream trailer, in summer 2010 on YouTube. It will now join L Studio’s lineup, which includes such series as Lisa Kudrow’s Web Therapy and Amy Harris’ Puppy Love. “Red Band Trailer is an offbeat talk show that allows me to have one-on-one candid conversations with friends in my trailer,” Cody said. “Because of our relationship and the laid-back vibe, they tend to open up more than they would in a traditional talk-show setting.”

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Julianne Hough, Russell Brand Star In Diablo Cody Directing Debut

By | Monday September 26, 2011 @ 10:20am PDT
Mike Fleming

Mandate Pictures has set Footloose‘s Julianne Hough and Russell Brand to star in Juno scribe Diablo Cody’s directing debut. The film is untitled and Mason Novick will produce. Cody will be exec producer with Nathan Kahane. Production starts in the spring and Lionsgate is selling international rights at AFM.

Hough plays a sheltered young woman who loses her faith after a plane crash and revels in the decadence of Las Vegas. There, she meets an unlikely companion who helps her find herself. Mandate previously worked with Cody and Novick on Juno and Young Adult, which she scripted and Jason Reitman directed, and which Paramount will release in December.

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Paramount Schedules Jason Reitman’s ‘Young Adult’ For December Bow

Paramount said today that it will bow Jason Reitman’s Young Adult in limited release on Dec. 9, 2011 and take it wide on Dec. 16. The pic, which reunites the Juno team of Reitman and scribe Diablo Cody, stars Charlize Theron as a ghostwriter of young-adult novels who dips into some adolescent behavior in an effort to reclaim her identity. Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt and Elizabeth Reaser also star. Paramount acquired worldwide rights from Mandate in October.

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Ghost House Preps Remake Of ‘The Evil Dead’; Diablo Cody Polishing Script

By | Wednesday July 13, 2011 @ 3:04pm PDT

Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell are readying to remake their cult horror hit The Evil Dead, tapping Fede Alvarez to write and direct the redo and putting the project on the fast track via Raimi, Tapert and Nathan Kahane’s Ghost House Pictures. Alvarez, who came to the producers’ attention via his short film Panic Attack, penned the script with Rodo Sayagues, and scribe Diablo Cody is doing revisions on the latest draft. In the original 1981 film that starred Campbell, five friends at a remote cabin in the woods unknowingly summon demons from an ancient civilization, causing all sorts of bloody and gory problems. The movie spawned a pair of sequels: Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness. Raimi, Tapert and Campbell, the original film’s producers, will produce the new incarnation, and Ghost House partners Kahane and Joe Drake will executive produce. Nicole Brown and J.R. Young will oversee the project for Ghost House. Lionsgate will handle international sales on the film. Two things come to mind: The in-camera special effects were the best parts of the original, so it will be interesting to see how modern VFX will be utilized. Also, the news that Juno scribe Cody is on the case is interesting, though she does have a horror film under her belt having penned the Megan Fox-starrer Jennifer’s Body, which didn’t do much at the box office. Stay tuned on both fronts. Read More »

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Diablo Cody Makes Directing Debut On ‘Lamb Of God’ For Mandate

By | Wednesday June 29, 2011 @ 4:06pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Mandate Pictures has acquired Lamb of God, a script by Juno scribe Diablo Cody that will mark her feature directorial debut. Mason Novick (500 Days Of Summer) will produce. Mandate president Nathan Kahane will executive produce alongside Cody. Mandate has the project on the fast track and will begin casting right away. The comedy follows a young conservative religious woman who loses her faith after a plane crash. She decides to go to Vegas and live the life of a sinner, and somehow finds her faith along the way. Cody was a stripper who started a blog and found a voice as a screenwriter, which led to her breakout effort in writing Juno and emerging as a quite interesting screenwriting voice. She followed with Jennifer’s Body, a movie that didn’t hit, and most recently reteamed with Juno helmer Jason Reitman on Young Adult. Read More »

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Will Diablo Cody Follow Agent Out Of Gersh?

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Sarah Self, the well-regarded agent who reps Juno scribe Diablo Cody and regularly packages books for movies, has resigned from Gersh. She dropped the bomb last night. Word is already swirling that she might go to CAA, but Self has time on her contract and she has to be released before anything happens. It is another tough blow for Gersh, which just watched David Kopple move to CAA, with the expectation he will bring with him Spider-Man director Marc Webb when he actually lands there. The CAA speculation comes from the fact that she worked very closely with Kopple. Self didn’t return numerous calls, but the agency is dealing with this as we speak. Self actually started in the CAA mailroom but was made an agent at Gersh. She also reps a lot of young writer/directors that include Geoff LaTulippe, scripter of the recent Drew Barrymore-Justin Long comedy Going the Distance.

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Paramount Gets Custody Of ‘Young Adult’

Mike Fleming

Paramount Pictures acquired world rights to Mandate Pictures’ Young Adult, the pic that reteams Juno scribe Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman. Deadline broke the story about the film and that they had landed Charlize Theron to play the lead role, a ghostwriter of young adult novels who dips into some adolescent behavior. Patrick Wilson and Patton Oswalt have also joined the cast, per the studio’s announcement. The movie begins production in New York this month.

While the release mostly repeats material Deadline already covered, here’s a new wrinkle I can report: Elizabeth Reaser, who plays Esme Cullen in the Twilight Saga films, has sunk her teeth into a significant role in Reitman’s film. She plays the wife of the man (Wilson) that Theron’s character is trying to steal away. Reaser is also starring in the indie Homework with Emma Roberts and Michael Angarano.

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