The award-winning screenwriter looks back on her story about a teen’s unplanned pregnancy in the wake of an anti-abortion law and why she “stayed out of the discourse” around her anti-choice interpretation until now.
Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay,
Juno, an exclusive script by then-relatively unknown writer Diablo Cody, quickly became a breakout hit of 2007, winning the Academy Award, BAFTA and Writers Guild of America Awards for Best Original Screenplay, as well as an Oscar nomination for the film and a The then- 20-year-old Elliot Page, who played Titanic.
Detail of touching cross section
It’s been 15 years since the film was first released, but it revolves around the morality of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, spanning a now-particularly poignant cross section of culture and politics. Is. , which ensured the right of a person giving birth to a pregnancy for 49 years or to terminate one through abortion.
In Juno, the teenage protagonist suffers an unplanned pregnancy
Considers the option of abortion, but ultimately decides to keep her child for full term and up for adoption. Over the years, there have been vocal supporters and detractors of the film, who view the film differently based on its treatment of reproductive justice themes. In light of this, Cody spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about what his intentions were when he wrote the film more than 15 years ago and reflects on how it stacks up in today’s high-stakes cultural context.
Any kind of political statement to the film
I wrote the film in 2005, which is 17 years back. The movie is officially older than the protagonist, which is crazy to think. When I look back at the time I wrote the script, I panic, because at that time I never felt that my reproductive rights could be in danger. If anyone had told me at the time—as a carefree, petty, third-wave feminist—that in 2022, Roe v. Wade would be overturned, I would have been horrified and would have assumed we were hurting in some way. unimaginable dystopia, and maybe I would have been right. But at the time, it seemed impossible. I took Row lightly, and so did many of us. I was just making; I never intended to make any kind of political statement to the film. I can’t imagine being that innocent again.
The Relationship Between Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman’s Characters
The primary relationship I was interested in exploring in the film was the relationship between both Juno [played by Elliot Page] and the characters of the adoptive parents, Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman. I thought it sounded like a fascinating dynamic that I hadn’t seen represented onscreen before. Like driving the plot within the context of the pregnancy itself, I remember [director] Jason Reitman describing the pregnancy as a “place” and I thought it was interesting. It was more of a setting.
Trying to get your foot in the door in Hollywood
The whole option aspect of it, as crazy as it sounds, was not something that weighed down on me. I just thought: “How do I get this character into the living room with this couple who wants to adopt their child?” Because I wanted to write that scene. And so everything I did up to that point was in service of that story. I wasn’t really thinking of anything else. And to be honest, I thought I was writing a sample; I was trying to get my foot in the door in Hollywood. I didn’t think the script was going to get built; I wrote this mostly when I was tempering on my lunch break in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. So I certainly wasn’t thinking about it because it’s an impressive creation that I’ll be discussing after 17 years, that’s for sure.