I’m not going to pretend that I was the biggest fan of Girlfight (it was okay), and I’m certainly not going to lie and say I’ve seen more than ten or fifteen minutes of Aeon Flux (my pain threshold is selective when it comes to enduring big budget misfires*), but I still think Karyn Kusama is a director of considerable potential. In fact, I’m still a bit unsure as to how she went several years without a sophomore gig and then landed something as ill-fitting as Aeon Flux. I mean, sure, it’s important for female directors to take high profile studio projects when they’re offered, but if a film falls outside your skill set (and is crippled from the get with a godawful screenplay), it might behoove you to wait on the next one – even if it doesn’t represent a huge step forward for your gender in Hollywood.
How’s that for defeatist?
In any event, I’m happy to see that the failure of Aeon Flux didn’t relegate Kusama to Director Jail for more than a couple of years. And I’m especially pleased that she landed firmly on her feet, scoring what will be Diablo Cody’s follow-up to her surprise (and deserved) blockbuster, Juno. And if Jennifer’s Body, a darkly comedic tale of a popular teenage girl who suddenly transforms into a cannibalistic killer, seems less likely to crossover as sensationally as Juno has, this was still a highly coveted project. And it’s a perfect opportunity for Kusama to reestablish herself as a filmmaker.
Megan Fox has already been cast as the lead, Jennifer Check. Now that Kusama’s on board, the holidays are over, and, oh yeah, Cody’s a lock for a Best Original Screenplay nomination (and, I think, a win), casting should pick up. Fox Searchlight is looking to begin principal photography in March.
I’ll have more on Jennifer’s Body this week when I write up a long-delayed Crop Report. You’re amped.
*For instance, I found The Adventures of Pluto Nash too captivatingly shitty to shut off. I guess I prefer my bombs to fail spectacularly on multiple (and bewilderingly expensive) levels.