Thursday, July 14, 2011

Quick! Everyone Get Obnoxiously Pissy About Diablo Cody Writing The "Evil Dead" Remake!

OLD FACT: A Raimi/Tapert/Campbell produced "Evil Dead" remake is happening.

NEW FACT: Crazy-talented newcomer Fede Alvarez is directing it.

NEW(ER) FACT: Diablo Cody is writing the screenplay.

Pop Quiz! Which of those facts do you suppose the geek-o-sphere will be pissing and moaning like gigantic, entitled babies about between now and the first trailer?

Bonus Question! Of the FIVE names listed above, which one will be overwhelmingly "blamed" for every casting decision, character-change or story revision said "sphere" decides it doesn't like in that same time period?

Yeah... look, gang - I'm a confirmed hater of Cody's "Jennifer's Body." I appreciated what it was trying to do, but it failed at it pretty spectacularly. That said, I don't "get" the Diablo Cody backlash in film-geek circles. Well... that's not true. I GET it, I'm just sort of annoyed and dismayed by it.

I really hate situations where this ends up having to be pointed out; but it's kind of unnavoidable that to a large (not "overwhelming," but certainly large) degree American "geekdom" still exists as a predominantly white/hetero/male culture. And while that's not a "bad" thing in and of itself, it does seem to manifest in sometimes ugly ways when female, black, etc. filmmakers try to play in "our" sandbox. You see it in the outcries against race-flipped casting, you'll see it in the innevitable "White Guilt!!!" replies to this post, and I think you see it in the way people "turned around" on Cody once she became a "brand."

Frankly, the MAIN thing she has working against her - the criticism that her character's all talk like the same person, namely Diablo Cody - is something that A.) people seem willing to overlook for Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith and David Mamet, and B.) not really a pressing concern in a franchise whose best-remembered dialogue is very much in her wheelhouse. I'm not saying this WON'T turn out to be a bad choice, but I don't think it'll be worth the forgone-conclusion freakout it's going to cause in some circles.

Besides, hating on Diablo Cody will only serve to distract The Internet from it's TRUE mission on this project: Determining which largely-unknown onetime castmember of which failed Joss Whedon project is the ONLY!!!! concievably-appropriate choice for the new Ash, and circulating a petition to make it happen. Priorities, people ;)


Jacob Martin said...

Speaking of Quentin Tarantino... remember when he said at a film festival: "You think you're cooler than these films, but you're not"?

Because while I feel dangerously underqualified when it comes to talking about aspects of geekdom like comics compared to my more extensive knowledge of the Osamu Tezuka manga series that got an English translation, or my much more legitimate experiences trying to pin down what the movie House (Hausu) was really about using a much older J-Horror film called Kwaidan as an example of the "J-Horror formula" compared to my paltry in comparison awareness of say, the films of Sam Raimi, it has to be said that when it comes to discussing geek cinema, the middle ground has to be that NOBODY IS COOLER THAN ANYBODY ELSE, because NOBODY IS COOL. Yeah, not even YOU. That's right, random person reading this.

But yeah, I really liked Juno when it came out, and I'm all for a female screenwriter taking on the Evil Dead remake, because at this point, would you rather her, or the woman who wrote the scripts for Twilight? (Hating Twilight does not make you cooler, it is a mask you wear to hide how uncool your love of equally shameless and pandering GUY movies we defend as men)

There's a big difference between this and the failed, whitewashed AKIRA remake that made me even more mad than this probably ever will, because Diablo Cody's not exactly trying to racelift anyone this time in an egregious manner.

O.T said...

1) The fact that this apparently exists. Geeks love having a vapor project to joke about.

2) Raimi, because no trusts him as of late.

I never saw Jennifer's Body so all that good-will instilled in me by Juno is still there. So I'm cool with her being attached to this. How she treats the characters in term of race is yet to be seen however.

@ Jacob Martin

Of the many things I've done to be cool, calling Twilight a bad film was not one of them.

Chris Cesarano said...

I think this is a project doomed to disappoint no matter what. What makes Evil Dead so hilarious is all the stuff that was just bad, such as the blue box around the moon and the Halloween shop costumes. While Army of Darkness was great for just saying "fuck it" and being balls to the wall insane, it was a different style of humor.

When you get right down to it, the odds that you can find the middle-ground between the two (I guess that would be Evil Dead 2?) in a satisfying manner is unlikely, especially once the cast and crew has changed. It will be an interesting experiment, but no matter what people will be disappointed.

As they should be, as Evil Dead, whose charm is in a low-budget earnest attempt at horror turning out to be so God awful terrible it was hilarious, is not the sort of thing that needs a reboot.

I haven't seen Juno yet, or Jennifer's Body (wasn't that supposed to be self-aware tongue-in-cheek?), so I can't say anything about the writer. Still, as retarded as Jennifer's Body looked, she might be the ideal sort of writer for an Evil Dead reboot nonetheless.

9jack9 said...

I'm torn, On one hand I'm concerned about the exact thing that Bob's pointing out regarding Geekdom's cultural slant towards white guys and the occasionally unfortunate attitudes some of us take in defense of this slant.
On the other hand I can't stand Diablo Cody. Juno just barely works (IMO) and only because of superb lead performances and direction. We all know how Jennifer's Body turned out and I've only ever managed 10 minutes on her blog.

that being said I'm just going to shut up about this after this rather then add to the noise. I trust both Raimi and the Bruce and will just hold out hope that they can provide the steady hand needed here. Plus I'm excited to see Federico Alverez get some real money finally! Know hope people

Mads said...


Preemptively calling people out seems almost as bad as preemptively hating on a diablo cody project before its out.

You might be able to predict what people are going to say, just as you might be able to predict how a movie will be based on who's attached...that doesn't mean it's fair to do so.

Also, in this particular case, the sword is double-edged. Cody got a lot of credit on Juno, and a lot of credit on Jennifer's Body. I'll bet you that if this is successful, Cody will be "redeemed" in many peoples eyes.

Also, come on, Nathan Fillion did a pretty good job on slither :D that film was awesome!

Marcellus Wallace said...

Hypocrisy much? Every time fans complain about something, you write them off as bitching complainers. Meanwhile, you blog all the time whenever the geek world finds something out that you don't liken i.e. your dismay that Robin now looks like one of the guys who made fun of you in high school.

counterpoint said...

why are a couple of you talking about race....? diablo cody is white...

obviously, JB wasn't a great movie, but neither was evil dead. while evil dead was probably more successful as an overall package, they both shared a lot of the same "bad" aspects. And i, for one, thought the stylized dialogue worked particularly well in juno. ED is a different movie than juno, but has no less stylized dialogue.

In short, I don't see any reason why this is a bad idea. Well, I think the whole idea of the reboot may be a bad idea, but that's not the point.

ChildofGallifrey said...

My problem with it is that I just don't like Diablo Cody's work as a whole, not just Jennifer's Body. No, I did not enjoy Juno.

Sarge said...

Until reading these comments, I wasn't aware that actual, like, "people" enjoyed Juno. I mean, I knew audiences liked it, and some critics... but not real people with actual brains and feelings and hopes and dreams.

I mean... what was there to like?

The Robotaku said...

I'm just gonna toss this idea out there for funsies: Does anyone know what Nicholas Brendon is doing nowadays? As much as I look back on Buffy the Vampire Slayer with disdain I can't shake the feeling that Xander Harris was basically him doing his impression of a younger Ashley Williams.

Joe said...

Never saw Jennifer's Body, and Juno was a mixed bag for me. To be fair to Cody, I don't know how much of that was the writing, the direction, or the reactions of certain facets of the culture to it. Definitely not the acting, which was quite excellent overall.

Which Evil Dead are they going for anyway? The first one, with its laughable attempts at seriousness, or the second one, where they said "fuck it, this time we're laughing with the audience"?

Ian T. Campbell said...

I want to point out that she's not actually *writing* the script, or at least not alone. She's doctoring the script with the new director.

cassidy said...

I always found Diablo Cody merely inoffensive. She's been involved in a movie I enjoyed immensely, a movie I didn't, and a TV series that's pretty good on the whole... Whence the hate? It's just one of those things, I guess.

As for Whedon project alums for nova-Ash? Enver Gjokaj. He's honestly one of the best actors I've ever seen, and he's got one hell of a jaw.

Anonymous said...

I think the problem here is less that Diablo Cody is writing it (though I'm not sure she's the best choice, depending on what type of style they're going for) but that this film may be doomed due to expectations that can't be met.

Here's the thing: What were the strongest elements of the Evil Dead series as a whole? Sam Raimi's directing and Bruce Campbell's performance. Now obviously Raimi isn't directing so we don't have that, and I get the sense that Campbell will at most be making a cameo, so we probably won't have that either.

So it's basically be the loose plot of Evil Dead in a possibly very different style and with a different actor. It may even be a good film, but will it really feel like an Evil Dead film? Is there really much point in making it without those two guys in front of and and behind the camera and not merely as executive producers?

That said...

@The Robotaku - I agree with you whole-heartedly. Brendon would be a fantastic choice if they're looking to keep the character similar to Campbell's version.

Sir Laguna said...

I loved "Juno"

I kinda liked "Jennifer's Body"

I'm a massive ultra fan of the "Evil Dead" Movies.

I'm very happy with Diablo Cody re-writing the script.

Cartogriffi said...

I'd actually lean more towards Adam Baldwin than Fillion, but I doubt I'd get may supporters on this.

Anonymous said...

Diablo Cody is just terrible... that she is a part of this remake is a travesty.