Diablo Cody Is Open to Making a Jennifer's Body Prequel

How does one become a succubus, anyway?

20th Century Fox
The Inverse Interview

Diablo Cody has depicted girlhood in film across eras and genres, from her screenwriting debut in 2007’s Juno to her upcoming script, Lisa Frankenstein, directed by Zelda Williams. But it’s her 2010 horror story, Jennifer’s Body, that attracted the biggest cult following thanks to its tale of a murderous teenage succubus, and the fascinating dynamic between the infected Jennifer (Megan Fox) and her put-upon best friend, Needy (Amanda Seyfried).

As the film enjoys a critical re-appraisal, Cody has made it very clear she wants to revisit the world of Jennifer’s Body. She has all sorts of ideas, including a prequel concept.

In conversation ahead of Lisa Frankenstein’s February 9 release, Cody tells Inverse she’s anxious to make some sort of follow-up to Jennifer’s Body. “I want so badly for this to happen, and if I had the power, I would greenlight it tomorrow, but I need to find people who are willing to help me make this dream come true,” she says. “I would love to do a sequel or a prequel. I don’t know if I’d reboot the actual movie. I love the film as it is, but in that world, I would absolutely love to do something else.”

Cody says there’s no reason to remake Jennifer’s Body, but a 2023 staged reading did update it for Gen Z.

20th Century Fox

The movie has already been remade, in a way. In April 2023, a staged reading of the film was held in Los Angeles with a new cast that included Bottoms’ Rachel Sennott as Jennifer and Yellowjackets’ Ella Purnell as Needy. Cody also expressed a desire to release a recording of the event, describing Sennott and Purnell’s performance as “life-changing,” but doesn’t know if such a release would be possible.

Cody’s latest project, Lisa Frankenstein, is an ‘80s-set, neon-tinged sci-fi gothic romance, and the feature directorial debut of Zelda Williams. It borrows the “hell is a teenage girl” thesis from Jennifer’s Body, but adds a love story and a sci-fi twist. Williams took influence from directors of the 1980s to do Cody’s script justice.

The 1980s inform Diablo Cody’s twisted teenage tale, Lisa Frankenstein.

Focus Features

“I will say Chris Columbus has always been an influence for me, especially in his writing, because that man touched Goonies and Gremlins and all these things over this time period that were particularly great,” Williams tells Inverse. “Jonathan Demme, Tim Burton, John Waters, Pedro Almodóvar in his early Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! era, they all really informed everything.”

When asked about a possible Jennifer’s Body prequel, Cody is enthusiastic, but Williams is the first to pipe up with an idea, suggesting a focus on the origin of the sinkhole and waterfall that allowed for Jennifer’s revivification as a succubus. Williams even expressed an interest in directing a prequel. “I would do it in heartbeat,” she said. “I love it so much.”

Lisa Frankenstein premieres in theaters February 9.

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