An Illinois native and University of Iowa graduate has just seen her first film in six years released to theaters. The Oscar-winning screenwriter's latest is an homage to 1990s Gothic fantasies with elements of horror, comedy, fantasy, and coming-of-age.

If the name Diablo Cody sounds familiar, it's because she was behind the Michael Cera/Elliot Page comedy Juno from 2007. The critically acclaimed film won her the Best Original Screenplay Oscar the subsequent year. She followed that film up with the Megan Fox-led vampire film Jennifer's Body in 2009, Young Adult with Charlize Theron in 2011, and Tully (also starring Theron) in 2018.

Photo Credit: Leon Bennett, Getty Images
Photo Credit: Leon Bennett, Getty Images

Now, Cody is back with Lisa Frankenstein, which was released in theaters on February 9th, 2024. Billed as a "coming of RAGE" movieLisa Frankenstein revolves around a girl named Lisa (Kathryn Newton), who makes a wish in a cemetery that her crush, who happens to be a corpse, would come to life.

Low and behold, lightening strikes and the man, known only as "the Creature" (Cole Sprouse) returns from the dead. However, he's missing a few parts. That's nothing murder can't fix!

The unabashedly wacky little fever-dream is a homage to Tim Burton films ala Edward Scissorhands and teen comedies like Heathers. My girlfriend and I caught the film opening night. She fell in love with it. I thought it was modestly successful, if held back by its desire to pay tribute to other movies and not necessarily stand on its own. I also wished it had been R-rated, instead of PG-13.

But even I, a total movie nerd, didn't realize until after we watched it that Diablo Cody is indeed an Illinois native and a graduate of the University of Iowa. Cody grew up in Lemont, IL, about 30 minutes west of Chicago, and graduated from Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in Media in 2000.

While attending school, she worked in the acquisitions department in the main university library, and would graduate to do secretarial work at a Chicago law film and a proofreader for advertisement copy.

Photo Credit: Focus Features, YouTube
Photo Credit: Focus Features, YouTube

Prior to being a Hollywood screenwriter, Cody gained online popularity for her candid blog about her life as a stripper, which parlayed itself into a novel called Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper.

Fast-forward to 2024, and Cody has several great films under her belt (seriously, don't sleep on Tully — it's streaming on Netflix) and a new one currently in theaters. Lisa Frankenstein made $3.8 million at the box office over Super Bowl weekend, a historically difficult weekend for theatrical movies. This is one of those films that will likely have a better, stronger life on streaming/DVD.

Lisa Frankenstein is now playing exclusively in theaters. Check your local listings for showtimes, and read more about Diablo Cody here.

A "Barbiecore" Mansion in Hudson, WI is For Sale

A Gothic "Barbie" themed mansion in Hudson, Wisconsin is now for sale!

Gallery Credit: Steve Pulaski

More From Y105