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Juno

Screenwriter: Diablo Cody

Distrib/release date: Fox Searchlight/Dec. 5

Storyline: When a teen gets preggers, she decides to offer the baby up for adoption.

About the script: “It was just sort of blindly suggested to me by a reader of my blog, who turned out to be a manager-producer, and I did it to make him happy,” says first-timer Cody. “We sent it out looking like shit, which is funny because people ultimately didn’t care. If you ever listen to the conventional logic about screenwriting, if you have a single comma out of place, they will throw your script in the trash. It’s like, no they won’t, are you kidding me? They are so thirsty for material.”

Biggest challenge: “Finessing the relationship between Mark and Juno. There’s an obvious creepy factor there, and I wanted Mark to remain somewhat sympathetic.”

Breakthrough idea: “I intended it to be a really dark comedy in the vein of ‘Election’ that was maybe a little nihilistic or ambiguous, and it evolved into something pretty heartwarming — in a good way.”

Choice line: “Could I feel it?” Vanessa asks. “Are you kidding, come on! God, at school, everyone’s just like grabbing my belly all the time. It’s crazy, but I’m a legend. They call me the Cautionary Whale,” quips Juno.

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