Jason Reitman & Diablo Cody

Duo collaborate on surprise hit 'Juno'

In blogger-turned-screenwriter Cody’s mind, “Juno” was always a comedy. It was the idea’s heart that caught her by surprise. “Apparently, I was alone in thinking that the idea of an unwanted teenage pregnancy was hilarious,” she says.

Well, not entirely alone.

“The first time I read it, it just appeared to me as a movie. Specific images and actors popped into my head. I knew exactly how I wanted to direct this,” Reitman says. But it took the helmer a year to convince the powers that be to let him shoot Cody’s script. Not until Reitman’s “Thank You for Smoking” premiered in Toronto, played Sundance and started winning awards did Fox Searchlight greenlight the collaboration.

“It’s kind of like our mutant baby,” says Cody, extolling Reitman’s ability to offend within the confines of a PG-13 rating. “I can’t imagine anybody who could block a scene involving prosthetic testicles better than Jason. He understood the exact camera speed required to make those ‘pork swords’ dance.”

Others are already responding to Cody’s original voice. Fox Atomic is drooling over “Jennifer’s Body,” about a teenage cannibal, and Showtime is shooting her “United States of Tara” pilot, in which Toni Collette plays a mom with multiple personalities.

Point of view

“Blogging helped me cultivate a voice in a way,” Cody says. “But the thing that is most useful about it is just doing a daily writing exercise. You’re using the muscle even as it stagnates in a cubicle or wherever.”

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