Screenwriter Cody Diablo has a pair of projects that have two very different groups of fans waiting to see how they will turn out – the remake of the horror classic The Evil Dead and an adaption of the teen novel series Sweet Valley High. In two separate interviews, she discussed each project and described one as “unbelievably violent” and the other as being “to the ’80s what American Graffiti was to the [early] ’60s.”
But which will be which? I think you can probably figure that out, but read on.
Cody’s work on The Evil Dead has had fans of the original film raising eyebrows, unsure if her stylized dialogue will be a good fit with the film’s full-tilt horror story. The writer acknowledges both the fans and their concerns in an interview with Collider –
I wouldn’t have even gotten involved if Sam [Raimi] and Bruce Campbell hadn’t been involved as well, they’re producing it, and so of course I was like “Alright I have to do this” because I’m such a fan of the original, and the whole original series in fact. But 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 like Juno and they think I’m gonna pollute Evil Dead with like wacky dialogue and cute stuff and folk music, and it’s like “No, look I understand what this is. I’m interested in storytelling here and making it scary and good and true to the original.”
Well, I’ll admit that I am one of those who threw some shit her way. And honestly, I still haven’t seen anything from her that convinces me that she is up to the job. Will her enthusiasm carry the day? We can at least hope so. If it makes any difference, Cody does say that she didn’t inject too much into the draft she was assigned, staying away from many of the big set pieces that director Fede Alvarez already had in the script. Instead, she insists that with her rewrite she “did not do like the standard dialogue people associate with me at all. I did very naturalistic dialogue that I felt would serve the story.”
Cody sounds as if she’ll be trying to break people’s perceptions of her with her Sweet Valley High script as well. Speaking to The Playlist, she stated that she hoped her screenplay adapting the 1980s series of novels aimed at teen girls would be
[W]onderfully nostalgic. 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.
In order to fulfill that though, the whole film will have to be played not ironically but sincerely and without the hipster disdain that can be found in Juno.
And while the film was announced a few years back, Cody states that Sweet Valley High may be 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.