When looking at the lead character of the Diablo Cody written film Young Adult, it’s not difficult to make the connection between Charlize Theron's Mavis and another project Cody’s known to have been working on, related to a certain set of pretty blonde Wakefield twins. In a recent interview about Young Adult, the subject of the Sweet Valley High film, for which she’s penning the script, came up.
The Jason Reitnman directed Young Adult follows a young adult novelist/ghost-writer who decides to return home to try to win back her high school boyfriend. In the (very positive) review Katey wrote about the movie, she describes Theron’s character as "mean, bitter, self-absorbed and shallow." She also describes her as “undeniably magnetic,” which paints the picture of someone who is both unlikable and altogether irresistible.
During an interview with Collider, the subject of the Sweet Valley High film script came up when Cody was discussing working on more than one project at the same time. Cody admitted to having a “little side affair” with Young Adult when working on another project. While Cody admits that she was writing Young Adult and Sweet Valley High “near each other,” she wouldn’t confirm or deny if she was penning Young Adult while she was supposed to be working on the film adaptation Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High series.
She did admit to wondering about the lives of the ghost-writers responsible for writing the series and from the sound of it, there’s a connection between that and Young Adult’s Mavis:
I will say that while writing Sweet Valley High, I did find myself…you can only take so much of Todd and Lila and Elizabeth and these bubbly characters who have very superficial problems. And I did start to think to myself, “Man, I wonder what the inner lives were like for the women who wrote these books.” Because, the Sweet Valley High series was written by a bunch of ghostwriters, basically; all under the name of the woman who created the series. Then I started to think that that would be a good job for Mavis and so they are kind of companion pieces in a weird way.
As I said, it's easy to see the connection between the two projects, or understand it if Young Adult was, at least partially inspired by her work on Sweet Valley High.
On the subject of the SVH movie itself, Cody says the script is done, she’s really proud of it and that Sweet Valley High is moving forward. “It is in development right now and I really hope that it’s going to get made,” she says. This is certainly good news if you’re a fan of the series, Cody or both. And if you’re having a hard time picturing a Diablo Cody written adaptation of Pascal’s relatively squeaky-clean young adult series, it sounds like she’s aiming the story away from young adults and toward an older audience. According to what IndieWire has quoted Cody saying, they’re aiming for an R rating for the film.
You can read the rest of Cody’s interview with Collider here. Other highlights include her comments on the Evil Dead remake, and working with Jason Reitman for Young Adult.