Aspiring screenwriters, take note: In a piece for Vulture, Oscar-winner Diablo Cody (Juno, Young Adult) revealed the seven things nobody told her about being a successful screenwriter. The list is full of gems — "Don’t talk shit about anyone. Behind closed doors, I’m still a drunk train wreck, but in interviews, I try to channel Sandra Bullock or someone else the public finds charming" — but the biggest takeaway is the reveal that Cody has apparently ghostwritten a number of Apatow-esque movies. The quote, below:
3. You can make money doing things nobody knows about.
I occasionally do uncredited “secret” rewrites on scripts. I like that, because then people who would ordinarily avoid my projects are tricked into buying tickets for films I’ve worked on. I entertain frat guys without their consent!
It's no secret that many of Hollywood's biggest movies go through re-write hell during production, but Cody's admission comes as a surprise. Who knew the woman behind "I'm on my hamburger phone" and "this is one doodle that can't be un-did, homeskillet" secretly worked on some of the "frat guy" movies of recent years? Unless Cody expands on the reveal, it's up to us to imagine which ones she might have had a hand in making suck a little less. Here are our best guesses:
We'll give Family Guy mastermind Seth MacFarlane the credit for some of the 2012 blockbuster's grossest scenes ("There is a shit on my floor!"), but it's possible Cody helped spruce up the less-graphic moments in the script. Remember when, in a flashback to 2008, John (Mark Walhberg) exclaims that "Chris Brown can do no wrong!", or that shout-out to Brandon Routh "from that godawful Superman movie?" Those are exactly the type of funny, spot-on pop-culture references that pepper Cody's own scripts.
2. Get Him to the Greek
The Forgetting Sarah Marshall spin-off easily could have been a dud, but it actually wasn't half-bad, thanks to a smart, one-liner-filled script. Could Cody have created this hilarious exchange?
Pharrell Williams: "You're five zippers away from 'Thriller.'"
Sergio Roma (Sean "Diddy" Combs): "Oh, and you're one shirt away from Carlton, muthafucka."
Get Him to the Greek also featured an amazing cameo by Harry Potter star Tom Felton. Please, let Cody have been the one to get Malfoy on board.
3. Hot Tub Time Machine
All of Cody's feature films have taken place in the present, but knowing her love of all things pop culture, it wouldn't be unimaginable to think that she'd be interested in working on a movie that was filled with nostalgic '80s references. Near the beginning of the movie, Nick (Craig Robinson), after traveling back in time, tries to comprehend what's just happened:
Nick: "Excuse me Miss, what color is Michael Jackson?"
Girl At Bar: "...black?"
Do we have Cody to thank for that perfect reference?
4. The Watch
Last year's Ben Stiller-Vince Vaughn comedy was pretty bad, so let's hope Cody had no involvement. If she did, though, it's possible she was behind this line:
Evan (Stiller): [Looking at green gunge] "Wait a second. I've seen this stuff before."
Franklin (Jonah Hill): "Had you just won a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice award?"
5. This is the End
It's doubtful that Cody worked on this summer's smash hit, because we'd like to think that if she had, Emma Watson wouldn't have been the only female character who had more than a minute's worth of screen time. Still, it'd be amazing if Cody wrote some of the movie's memorable lines, including these:
Jonah Hill: "Dear God, it's me, Jonah Hill... from Moneyball."
Danny McBride: "Seth, that's some of the better acting than I've seen in your last six movies. Where the fuck was that in Green Hornet?"
And, Michael Cera (who starred in Cody's Juno), after getting horrifically stabbed: "Is it bad?"
6. The Campaign
The Campaign wasn't quite as witty as fans of Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis hoped it would be, but it still had its share of laughs. Perhaps Cody was behind memorably funny lines such as this:
Chris Matthews: "Remember the politician that punched a baby? Well, he's at it again. He just punched Uggie, the dog from the Academy Award-winning film The Artist."
7. The World's End
The Network (Bill Nighy): "At this point your planet is the least civilized in the entire galaxy."
Gary King (Simon Pegg): "What did he say?"
Andrew Knightley (Nick Frost): "He said we are a bunch of fuck ups."
Gary King: "Hey, it is our basic human right to be fuck ups. This civilization was founded on fuck ups and you know what? That makes me proud!"
We can imagine Cody, who has made a career out of expertly balancing comedy with drama, having a hand at creating lines like those.
8. The Hangover
We're going to assume that Cody had no part in making the supremely unfunny sequels to The Hangover, and only focus on the first, actually good movie in the trilogy. There are too many great lines to count from the 2009 hit, but here are a few of our (possibly Cody-written) favorites:
Alan Garner (Zach Galifianakis): "It's where I keep all my things. Get a lot of compliments on this. Plus it's not a purse, it's called a satchel. Indiana Jones wears one."
Phil Wenneck (Bradley Cooper): "So does Joy Behar."
Alan Garner: "One of the side effects of roofies is memory loss."
Stu Price (Ed Helms): "You are literally too stupid to insult."
We probably won't ever know which specific movies Cody has worked on as a script doctor, but here's hoping she doesn't stop anytime soon. Even if it's in secret, it's nice to know that a smart, funny woman is having a say in some of the male-oriented movies being mass-produced each year. Maybe her next step could be convincing producers to place some more women alongside Seth Rogan, Russell Brand and the others; it's a long shot, we know, but hey, with a successful feminist like Cody behind the scenes, anything's possible.
Image: Universal (2), 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. (2), Columbia, MGM/United Artists, Focus Features