Diablo Cody Really Wants to Bring You a ‘Sweet Valley High’ Movie

Tim Grierson
The Projector
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People can't seem to decide if they love or hate (or love to hate) Diablo Cody. Her first produced screenplay, "Juno," was a massive hit and earned her an Oscar -- but soon came the backlash, with folks complaining she was really just a one-trick-pony only able to write pseudo-hip one-liners filled with pop-culture references and made-up slang. Her next script was for the horror-comedy "Jennifer's Body," which did pretty poorly. (In retrospect, it was sorta perfect that the film starred Megan Fox, perhaps the one young woman in Hollywood equally as divisive as Cody.) But now Cody may be back: She wrote "Young Adult," which is getting great buzz and is directed by "Juno" filmmaker Jason Reitman. So what does she want to do next? Maybe try to get her long-gestating big-screen version of "Sweet Valley High" finally off the ground.

The movie would be based on the 1980s books that were created by Francine Pascal, who had initially thought about making it a daytime TV drama. The books starred twin teens, with Elizabeth as the good girl and Jessica as the bad girl. With "Easy A" being a nice sleeper hit a year ago, you'd think that teen films would be back in vogue, and actually Cody's been attached to a "Sweet Valley High" feature for two years. But now that she's out starting to do the promotional rounds for "Young Adult," she says the project is finally "moving forward":

"I need to talk to the producers and see how much I can say about it. It's closer to reality than ever but I can't freely talk about it."


"I want it to be wonderfully nostalgic," Cody said. "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."

Whether her plan comes to fruition is yet to be determined, though. These are still early days for the project, with no director or star attached. (Also, she might want to be careful: This year's "Take Me Home Tonight" tried to do the retro-'80s thing, and that wasn't so hot.) But if you're anxiously awaiting this movie, you may have to cool your heels and instead watch a few episodes of the old "Sweet Valley High" '90s TV show that starred Brittany and Cynthia Daniel. We love how the theme song explained the setup of the show.

Diablo Cody Wants 'Sweet Valley High' To Be 'American Graffiti' For The '80s & Says Its "Closer To Reality Than Ever" [The Playlist]