Diablo Cody Takes on a Zombie Rom-Com, Makes More Room for Women in Horror?

Jennifer's BodySo Variety has reported that Diablo Cody (Juno, The United States of Tara) is joining forces with Fox Searchlight to develop a film adapation of the upcoming zombie romance novel Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament,
about a recently undead man who finds love at a support group. Cody
won’t be writing or directing the film, but she will be producing. (I have to admit that I’m very curious to see if Breathers will fall victim to the gender stereotypes that have overtaken the romantic comedy of late.)

This is the second horror project that Diablo Cody has recently taken
on. Jennifer’s Body, a dark horror/comedy written and produced by Cody, is slated for release this upcoming September. That film is directed by Karyn Kusama, who made the critically-acclaimed Girlfight. Jennifer’s Body has all the makings of a hit: fanboy hottie Megan Fox stars as a teenage girl who becomes possessed by a demon and starts devouring boys all over town, and it’s up to Amanda Seyfried (Momma Mia!, Big Love, Veronica Mars) to save the day. I’m not convinced that Jennifer’s Body is going to be the next Ginger Snaps (which still serves as my benchmark for true feminist horror), but the film will likely be a big improvement over most of the torture porn and the slick, mean-spirited horror remakes that are so in fashion these days.

I’m not alone in having mixed feelings about Diablo Cody’s work (or being concerned about the backlash against her), but I’m pretty excited that she’s doing more work in horror. Despite the fact that the female audience for horror continues to grow, the genre continues to be among the most male-dominated in the film industry. Perhaps a success or two from Cody will help studios understand that women can be bloodthirsty, too.

Diablo Cody to produce ‘Breathers’ [Variety]

by Tammy Oler
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Tammy Oler has been contributing to Bitch for over a decade. Her writing about pop culture and fandom has appeared in Slate, Ozy, Vulture, and Geek, among others.

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3 Comments Have Been Posted

I really liked Juno despite

I really liked Juno despite its flaws, but really started to hate Diablo Cody by Oscar time. My take is that she bought a little too hard into her own media hype. She seemed none too willing to do a million interviews in which she talked about her persona rather than her work...about being a stripper, but how that was really weird because she's actually an odd ball childhood genius. It was like Punky Brewster grew up, got a Betty Paige haircut and a personality disorder, and wouldn't stop talking about herself. She became a parody of an independent creative female.

But I can't stay mad. There is nothing I don't like about a romantic comedy about a zombie who finds love in a zombie support group. I hope all that media attention bought Cody the right to do this movie right, 'cause this shit could be truly funny.

I don't care what anyone says

I don't care what anyone says; I love Diablo Cody. I love that she can have her own persona of being a kind of tawdry, leapord-print wearing ex-stripper who listens to the Beach Boys, but she's also really intelligent and articulate and self-proclaimed feminist. She's her own person. I'm not sure what the movie is called, but I've also heard her discuss a project which will be a kind of female take on the Judd Apatow style buddy-comedy, which is something I've been really wanting to see.

Women in Horror?

"Perhaps a success or two from Cody will help studios understand that women can be bloodthirsty, too."

But we already know that. You're simply looking in the wrong place.

Because we are permitted to laugh at male victims and to celebrate even the most brutal of female abusers fiction simply doesn't get a look in.

You should revisit some of Oprah Winfrey's presentations involving Lorena Bobbit or numerous female rapists of young boys. Maybe you could examine Australian womens magazines who pay costs so female internet predators can consumate their grooming of young boys.

Nah. Real female brutality is mainstream and acceptable. We dont need fiction or the movies when it's permissible to applaud or support or excuse the real thing.

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