Russell Brand & Julianne Hough Join Diablo Cody's Directorial Debut

Diablo Cody reunited with her Juno helmer, Jason Reitman, for this winter's dramedy, Young Adult. However, the Oscar-winner will try her own hand at directing next year, on a currently untitled project that was previously being referred to as Lamb of God.

(500) Days of Summer producer Mason Novick is also working on Cody's directorial debut, based on a script of her own invention. Principal photography is expected to get underway by Spring 2012 - most likely, with the intention of getting the film into theaters in time for next year's awards season.

Cody's project has snagged Russell Brand and Dancing with the Stars alumnus Julianne Hough to play its male and female lead, respectively. The two are also costarring in director Adam Shankman's adaptation of the Broadway musical, Rock of Ages, which will hit theaters early next summer.

Here is how Mandate Pictures describes Cody's film, in the official press release:

The comedy follows a sheltered young woman (Hough) who loses her faith after a plane crash and decides to go to Las Vegas to experience the wild side of life. On her journey, she meets an unlikely companion (Brand) who inadvertently helps her find her true self.

Hough is also starring in this fall's Footloose remake - so anticipation for Cody's film could be in part enhanced (or diminished) by how well the actress' performance in that flick goes over.

julianne hough footloose diablo cody movie
Julianne Hough in 'Footloose'

While Cody's filmmaking career may have started off with a bang, she stumbled with her sophomore writing effort - the lackluster tongue-in-cheek horror tale, Jennifer's Body - prompting accusations that she was basically a one-trick pony. The solid reception for Showtime's United States of Tara (which Cody created) assured that her career would go on - and surely also helped land her the job of polishing off the Evil Dead reboot script.

So, all in all, Cody is in a good place (career-wise) right now - more so, if her new collaboration with Reitman proves to be a hit. She could even convince some of her detractors to turn about face, should Young Adult and her directorial debut offer something more than Cody's trademark "hip" and pop culture reference-heavy dialogue (Jennifer's Body, in particular, suffered from having an excess of that).

On the acting side of things: Brand, like Cody, is known for an artistic shtick (namely... he always plays Russell Brand) that people seem to either love or loathe. This year's Arthur remake made it pretty clear that Brand's name doesn't sell a lot of tickets on its own - which, again, means that interest (or lack thereof) for Cody's new film will definitely be affected by Hough's popularity, post-Footloose and Rock of Ages.


We'll keep an eye on Cody's directorial debut and let you know when it has an official title.

Source: Mandate Pictures

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