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'Sweet Valley High' movie is 'moving forward,' Diablo Cody says

Get more: Movies
11/22/2011 by Corinne Heller

Jessica Wakefield is finally going to be a movie star. So is her twin sister Elizabeth, who probably won't care. But Lila is going to be SO jealous.

Diablo Cody, who won a screenwriting Oscar for the 2007 coming-of-age comedy "Juno," is penning a movie based on "Sweet Valley High," a teen book series popular in the 1980s, and recently said the project is "moving forward."

The novels focus on the fictional blonde-haired Wakefield twins and their friends. The sisters are identical down to the left dimple on their cheeks, but have very different personalities.

"That is moving forward," Cody told Indiewire recently. "I need to talk to the producers and see how much I can say about it. It's closer to reality than ever but I can't freely talk about it."

"I want it to be wonderfully nostalgic," Cody added. "I want it to be to the '80s what 'American Graffiti' was to the [early] '60s. I want it to be looking back on a really cool time and enjoying yourself and I want it to be glamorous and colorful and bubblegum and a feast for the senses. That's my plan." No release date has been set for the still-untitled "Sweet Valley High" movie and cast has been announced.

Real-life twins Brittany Daniel and Cynthia Daniel, now 35 years old, portrayed the Wakefield twins in a 1990s series. Brittany Daniel played Jessica, the boy-crazy, shallow sister and continued to act after the show ended its run. She went on to appear on the shows "That 80s Show," Dawson's Creek" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and currently stars in the series "The Game."

Cynthia Daniel portrayed Elizabeth Wakefield, the "nerdier," over-achieving, journalism-loving but equally as popular twin. After "Sweet Valley High" ended, the actress appeared on an episode of "That '80s Show" in 2002 and quit acting about 10 years ago.

The "Sweet Valley" franchise was created by Francine Pascal and spurred several types of serials aside from the high school series, including "Sweet Valley Twins" and "Sweet Valley University." Multiple ghost writers have penned the novels throughout the years.

In 2008, "Sweet Valley High" books were reprinted with information that new, younger readers could better relate to - which included changing the description of the twins' clothing size from 6 to 4. Pascal told Entertainment Weekly in April that such an update was "a mistake," adding that she told Cody to "please keep" the movie "in the '80s."

Cody also created the Showtime series "United States of Tara" and wrote the scripts for the movies "Jennifer's Body" and for "Young Adult," the latter of which hits theaters on December 16 and stars Charlize Theron as a fiction writer who returns to her home to try to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now married with children.

Cody is also set to help Sam Raimi write the script for a remake of his cult horror film, "The Evil Dead." The reboot is helmed by Fede Alvarez and is set for release in 2013.

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