Diablo Cody + Brian Wilson

I attended an LAFF “Coffee Talk: Screenwriters” panel at 5 pm today at LA LIVE Regal. The two “stars” (in terms of the number of questions asked by the audience) were Diablo Cody and Dustin Lance Black; Christopher Marcus & Stephen McFeely (The Chronicles of Narnia, Captain America) and Josh Olson (A History of Violence), no offense, were back-up.

(l. to r.) Josh Olson, Dustin Lance Black, Diablo Cody and (I think) Christopher Marcus.

The most exciting bit of information was Cody announcing that her dream writing project, which she hasn’t begun working on (not even in terms of research), would be a biopic of Brian Wilson. The instant she said that, I said “Yes! Great idea!” The story of an obsessive who became a brilliant and transcendent composer-musician for a period of maybe three of four years (’64 to ’67) before he burned himself out and went down the drain…and then came back in a mild, contented way in the ’90s. Somebody asked who would play Wilson, and Cody said, “Good Question.”

I also asked Cody about the screenplay she wrote for Jason Reitman‘s Young Adult, and mentioned that my understanding (not having read the script) is that it’s “somewhat less congenial” than previous Reitman films, and she basically said “Yeah, you’re right.” What she actually said was that “‘congenial’ is actually a pretty good word for what Reitman’s films” — obviously including Cody’s Juno — “have been,” and that Young Adult is “not the kind of film that people might expect from me,” and that Charlize Theron‘s character is a “curmudgeon” and so on. I can’t wait.

  • DiscoNap

    Not to drive Jeff up a wall, but JGL with 25-30 pounds on him could handle brooding young Brian pretty well.

    Proof: http://bit.ly/l67JhH

  • Gaydos

    Seth Rogen. And when we’re done with that, let’s remake another Peckinpah film.

  • DiscoNap

    Actually fuck it just hit me, it’s a shame Brian Wilson’s life didn’t get the happy ending the movie needs when Alan Ruck was still in his prime.

  • Jewelez Azner

    What has she done that makes her so interesting? And now she’s doing a biopic?

  • Jewelez Azner

    [Deleted because the poster is a pig.]

  • Kakihara

    My picks would be Woody Harrelson, Robert Downey, Jr., or Michel Douglas.

  • LexG

    There is one name and only one name, and you know this is true:

    Michael Arangano. Also Fred Weller did a pretty good Brian Wilson in that AWESOME TV movie about the Beach Boys about a decade back where Kevin Dunn played their dad.

    Also: Diablo Cody might seem like someone I’d kind of rag on a little, but actually pretty huge fan; She rules, she’s kind of like the female LexG, at least if she never did anything, ever. But also surprised to say her legs look pretty AWESOME in that pic, especially in those heels.

  • Kakihara

    Lex: I like him, but he’s as big as the other Michael, Fassbender. If they needed someone younger, I guess I’d also mention Orlando Bloom.

  • corey3rd

    Beau Bridges will win the Best Supporting Oscar for playing Murray Wilson. He’s the more interesting character in this tale of why Brian went nuts. “I’m a genius, too!” Murry once said.

  • Mr. Palmer


  • Movie Watcher

    How about Jeff Bridges?

  • Mr. Palmer

    Oh yeah and JGL would have to gain a FUCKLOAD more than 25-30. Wasn’t Wilson over 400 and bedridden through most of the 70s?

  • Mr. Palmer


  • Jewelez Azner

    Yeah, me too, really? Fair question.

  • roland1824

    Did D.C. actually mean that she has been hired to write a Brian Wilson biopic? Or did she just mean it is her “dream project” in the sense that it doesn’t exist? I’d love to get her to tackle the tired biopic genre, but I fear this is just all hypothetical at this point. Plus, securing the rights to anything Beach Boys is always a big legal mess.

  • corey3rd

    much as I enjoy the music of Brian Wilson, the guy is pure putty on the screen. He gets twisted around by everyone he meets. He gets broken by Mike Love and his old man and the Beatles and gets fat. Then he gets used as a tool by his therapist. Finally he gets married and his wife calls a lot of the shots. There’s already enough documentaries about Wilson. If you’re going to go dramatic – go for the old man.

    Murry is the better story. The tale of a guy who swore he’d become a song writing genius. Who tried to get a piece of his son during his stardom, eventually gets kicked out and then attempts to come up with Beach Boys 2.0 only to have it completely implode.

    Beau Bridges with a pair of Murry’s glasses works great for the role – he’s got the slight chip that Jeff is the one making the fat paydays. He can tap into that frustration when yelling at the Brian Wilson actor that he’s not the only genius in the recording studio.

    I don’t think Diablo has the talent to go into such a great dark space as Murry Wilson.

  • LexG

    Again… they already made that movie about Murry, with Kevin Dunn, for TV, around 2000-2001. It was quite excellent.

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