Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody is getting ready to release her directorial debut, Paradise, which shot last year, and early images from the film are starting to surface online.
Paradise, which Cody also wrote the screenplay for, follows a young Christian girl (Footloose‘s Julianne Hough) who suffers horrific burns in a plane crash and, following a crisis of faith, heads to Las Vegas to experience Sin City for herself and live life on the wild side for once.
In an interview with USA Today, Cody said that, despite her penchant for bitingly sardonic dialogue in films such as Juno and Jennifer’s Body, she “wanted to make a non-cynical movie that would inspire positivity.”
Cody commented that, “If you have ever been through something incredibly difficult, such as this kind of injury, you know it’s hard to stay positive and not surrender to cynicism completely,” and that she therefore wanted Paradise to maintain an optimistic tone.
Comedian Russell Brand plays a bartender, while The Help‘s Octavia Spencer shows up as craps dealer Loray, who takes Hough’s character under her wing. Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman and Thirteen actress Holly Hunter co-star as the girl’s conservative, ultra-religious parents.
Paradise is scheduled for release on October 18th. Check out the first images from the film below, which include images of an almost unrecognizable Nick Offerman and an uncharacteristically kind-looking Russell Brand.
Are you a fan of Diablo Cody? Will you check out Paradise when it hits theaters, or do you have problems with the film’s casting or story? Let us know in the comments section.