Diablo Cody Says It’s Been ‘Healing’ to See Fans Embrace ‘Jennifer’s Body’: ‘Lisa Frankenstein Wouldn’t Exist’ Without It

The writer tells TheWrap she thinks about a sequel to the 2009 horror-comedy “all the time”

Fox Atomic/Focus Features/

It’s been 15 years since “Jennifer’s Body” first hit theaters and was promptly panned. But, in the time that’s passed, it’s become more than just a cult classic; it’s a fan-favorite. And for Diablo Cody, who wrote the film, seeing it grow has been “really healing” — so much so, in fact, that she credits the film’s legacy for the existence of her newest film, “Lisa Frankenstein.”

Similar to “Lisa Frankenstein,” which hits theaters on Friday, “Jennifer’s Body” is a horror-comedy. It centered on Anita “Needy” Lesnicki (Amanda Seyfried) and her mega-popular, cheerleader friend Jennifer Check (Megan Fox), the latter of whom ends up getting possessed after a sacrifice to Satan gone wrong.

As a result, Jennifer becomes a murderous succubus, and Needy must take her long-time best friend down. The movie is a lot of things — chief among them, bloody — but one thing it decidedly wasn’t, at least at the time, was a success. These days though, fans sing a different tune, and Cody has deeply appreciated watching “Jennifer’s Body” flourish.

“I mean, the movie is everything to me. And it was to me at the time as well, but it just wasn’t understood, and it wasn’t embraced,” Cody told TheWrap, while discussing “Lisa Frankenstein.”

“It was really heartbreaking when that movie came out, and it was just — honestly, it wasn’t just unsuccessful, it was trashed,” she continued. “And so that was really painful, because it felt like it was about more than the movie. It felt like people wanted to tear down Megan Fox, because she was so outspoken at that time. And I feel like people wanted to tear me down for the same reason, and it was just painful.”

Cody added that, for her, seeing “Jennifer’s Body” take off has been more than just a “cool” longevity that some writers get to experience.

“It’s personal. And so it’s really healing for me to see people embrace that movie now,” she said. “‘Lisa Frankenstein’ wouldn’t exist if people hadn’t rediscovered ‘Jennifer’s Body,’ because that’s what gave me the confidence to say OK, I’m gonna go back to that genre again.”

And for the record, yes, Cody thinks about making a sequel for “Jennifer’s Body.” In fact, she thinks about it “all the time.” But she notes that it’s “very tough” to get just about anything made right now, especially with a flooded, “competitive” landscape.

“I am always out there evangelizing for that movie, trying to get people to believe in it and do something with it,” she said. “And I hope that eventually I succeed, but I’m very stubborn and annoying. So we’ll see!”

“Jennifer’s Body” is actually one of the few projects of hers that Cody feels strongly about a sequel for. In other cases, she feels confident that a sequel would be unnecessary. How exactly does she choose?

“I think if I feel like I have more to say on a subject, which I do with Jennifer’s Body, that I would like to continue with it,” Cody explained. “Whereas I’ve been approached so many times about ‘Juno.’ You know, doing it as a Broadway show, doing it as a TV show, whatever. And I always say no, because I feel like I said everything that I wanted to say with that movie.”

And, if you’re wondering what a Broadway version of “Juno,” the Oscar-winning film starring Elliott Page, Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman, would even look like, Cody has a frank response.

“Here’s what they envision. Any time an IP or a property is successful, they try to think of other ways to profit off of it,” she said with a laugh. “It’s like, they don’t really care about the creative, you know, brief. It’s more about like,’OK, people know what this is, and they liked it this time, so…’ The business is not always terribly creative.”

“Lisa Frankenstein” hits theaters on February 9.


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