The career boost an Oscar gives you is known to anyone whose had the fortune of standing on stage at the Kodak Theater, but for copy-writer-turned-stripper-turned-author-turned-screenwriter Diablo Cody, little did she know that one of the most famous directors in Hollywood would be an early supporter. Even before she was nominated and eventually won her Oscar for “Juno,” Spielberg hired her to write the pilot episode of “The United States Of Tara,” a show he executive produced. A little while later he hired her to write an adaptation of William Shakespeare‘s “The Taming Of The Shrew,” another project he was going to executive produce. And that support from Spielberg isn’t lost on Cody, and when The Playlist correspondent Drew Taylor caught up with her during press rounds for “Young Adult” she was effusive in what his early support meant to her.
“I will be indebted for him for the rest of my life, what an amazing opportunity,” she told us about those early gigs, while clarifying about ‘Shrew’ that, “It wasn’t for him to direct, it was for DreamWorks.” But as she quickly learned about Hollywood, just because they have your script, doesn’t mean they’re going to make it. “I did write that ‘Taming Of The Shrew’ project and for whatever reason…studios commission a lot of work every year and they don’t necessarily make it. Like I said, it’s the old ‘1-in-25’ statistic. I’ve written far more stuff that hasn’t gotten made, than has,” she explains.
But the Spielberg projects aside, Cody had plenty of material in the oven even before she took home awards season gold. One of them was “Girly Style,” a female nerd-in-high school response to “Superbad” set up at Universal, with “Juno” and “Young Adult” producer Mason Novick. And another was “Time And A Half,” a satire about modern day hipsters, that Cody once called “a generational, working stiffs kind of comedy,” inspired by Gen X films like “Singles,” “Reality Bites” and “Empire Records.” The project surfaced again last year with rumors that Emma Stone might be involved, but Cody tells us she’s no longer involved
” ‘Girly Style’ needs work, I don’t think it was my finest effort,” she candidly told us. ” ‘Time And A Half’ somebody owns, and I think I heard that they hired somebody to rewrite it at some point. And, I didn’t really want to work on it anymore so, best of luck to them. [Laughs] It could pop up at some point, I don’t know.”
But despite those handful of projects stalling and/or still developing at various points, she’s grateful about what has made it on screen and is modest in regards to her talent saying, “I’ve written stuff and went, ‘This is garbage.’ Full length stuff too, I write all the time. And yet at the same time, I look back and I haven’t been working that long, so I feel like I’ve gotten a fair amount of work produced, but certainly some [haven’t been].”
Cody’s work will next be seen in Jason Reitman‘s “Young Adult” opening December 16th, followed by the screenwriter’s own directorial debut “Lamb Of God” which starts shooting soon.