Breakthrough Screenwriter

If the geographic designation “East Jesus Nowhere” and the toast “Here’s to dovetailing interests” aren’t commonly overheard today, they very well might be after the December release of “Juno,” Jason Reitman’s teenage-pregnancy comedy, taken from Diablo Cody’s eminently quotable script.

That script, which represents the first picture credit for the Minneapolis stripper-turned-blogger-turned-journalist-turned-memoirist-turned-screenwriter, came easily to Cody. “It took a couple months to write it,” she says. “At the time, I didn’t realize that normal people spend a year or more nursing their screenplays. I thought, if a movie’s only two hours long, how much time could it take me to write one?”

The practical impetus for the script came from producer Mason Novick, who cold-called Cody after reading her “Pussy Ranch” blog and suggested she write a screenplay.

Cody recalls, “I had this image of a teenage girl sitting on a couch, pregnant, across from this really uptight suburban couple, and them having to audition in order to adopt her baby. That seemed so awkward, and so bizarre, that I just had to commit it to page. Any situation that seems awkward or painful, that’s where I see comedy.”

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