Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Spielberg-Cody Connection

According to Variety, it's real. Steven Spielberg has tapped Diablo Cody (Juno) to pen a screenplay for a comedy, the idea for which was apparently an original one from Spielberg himself.

The most interesting part of the story to me is that Spielberg saw the screenplay for Juno when Mandate Pictures was looking for a domestic distributor, and even more importantly, considered directing it.

I kind of wish that had happened, somehow, at least at this very moment (literally about 90 seconds after reading the story). It would have been different for Spielberg, and I'm confident he would have brought more to the plate than Jason Reitman, though I must give Reitman a great deal of credit for extracting some memorably solid performances and for making what was a fairly incondite screenplay into something at least marginally better.

Anyway, Variety tells the tale:

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117988968.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

12 comments:

Daniel G. said...

Well...I can only say that I just BARELY agree with the two reasons you credit Reitman.

Best Director nomination? Please.

Alexander Coleman said...

The Best Director nomination wasn't something I agreed with; I can see why it would happen, but it just didn't ring true to me.

Hate to beat a dead horse even more, but Andrew Dominik deserved a nod for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Heck, why not let Lumet shine some?

Craig Kennedy said...

I'm no fan of Juno, but I say good for Cody. The thought of Spielberg Juno is indeed an interesting one. Imagine how much different it would be.

Alexander Coleman said...

I imagine it would have been markedly better. For one thing, I strongly suspect Michael Cera would have had more of an actual character to play, for one thing.

Alexander Coleman said...

Don't you just hate it when you say "for one thing" twice? Talk about a faux pas, yeesh.

lightbird777 said...

Yeah, I was disappointed with the Reitman nomination. He's a promising director and unlike others I did enjoy Thank You for Smoking. Same sentiments regarding Gilroy's nomination. I enjoyed Michael Clayton but I never did quite get the Academy's excitement about it.

Andrew Dominik most certainly deserved recognition. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was criminally overlooked in many ways.

I would have much preferred to see Wright and Lumet or Dominik get nodded. They nominated Atonement, so why not Wright? At least Lumet has a Lifetime Achievement award, which is better than nothing.

Alexander Coleman said...

Yes, it's strange that Atonement was nominated for Best Picture but Wright somehow missed out, Alison.

Getting into the Best Director category has historically been difficult, usually necessitating at least a couple of outstanding, deserving films before the director is actually allowed into the club. Spielberg and Scorsese are two of the biggest examples of this, actually; in the modern era, the Coen Brothers and many of his fans would say the same for Paul Thomas Anderson.

(One fascinating exception to this "rule" was 2005, which featured three fledgling first-time nominees in the category.)

Ryan said...

"The thought of Spielberg Juno is indeed an interesting one."

Granted, Craig. Likewise the thought of a Cody-scripted Schindler's List.

Itzhak Stern:
Holy Moses, Oskar Mayer, don't you know I'm a Jew?

Oskar Schindler:
No shit, Shylock, and I'm a German. I'm herr, I'm über, get used to it.

Craig Kennedy said...

Hahaha

Alexander Coleman said...

Hahaha, Ryan, that's great.

Ryan said...

"Getting into the Best Director category has historically been difficult, usually necessitating at least a couple of outstanding, deserving films before the director is actually allowed into the club."

Sounds like a formula for a Fincher nomination this year. Also: Flashy tour-de-force direction of a movie nobody really knows what to do with. Worked for Julian Schnabel this year, and Paul Greengrass last year.

Spielberg's Juno would've been titled AI: Artificial Insemination. Told from the CGI fetus POV, and involving the episodic quest for its lost biological mother. Culminating with a noisy climax in the Temple of Womb.

sartre said...

You’re in scintillating form tonight Ryan. I want to second Lightbird’s sentiments. In such an outstanding year of directorial achievement AMPAS managed to somehow ignore Dominik, Lumet, Wright, Penn, and Haynes. Instead we get a couple of journeymen instead. Lightbird, you’d give Alison Flynn a run for her money on the commenting front :-)