Diablo Cody Bringing 'Sweet Valley High' to the Big Screen
by Alex Billington
September 22, 2009
Even though Diablo Cody's Jennifer's Body only made $7.4 million of the weekend, Universal still believes that she can bring crowds to theaters. The studio is in negotiations to pick up the rights to the long-running book series "Sweet Valley High" and brought on Diablo Cody to adapt. Cody also will produce with Mason Novick (Juno, 500 Days of Summer) as well as Marc Platt. The series, created by Francine Pascal, made its debut in 1983, publishing 150+ books with more than 60 million copies. The last one came out January 2003. To be honest, this is the first time I've even heard of this series, but that's probably just me.
Cody's "formative years" were informed by the books, which centered on the lives of two teenage girls, Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, who lived in the fictional town of Sweet Valley, California. Jessica was the more conniving and materialistic of the sisters, and usually needed help from the more practical Elizabeth when her schemes went awry. Cody and Novick together tracked down the rights and developed a take. The combination of Cody and the books caused a bidding situation that also involved Fox 2000 and Mandate, but Universal won in the end. Whether you like Diablo Cody or not, this should be a fun adaptation, no?