May 29, 2017

Jason Reitman’s newest collaboration with Diablo Cody gets acquired by Focus Features


A few years ago, filmmaker Jason Reitman could do no wrong. The man who made an impressive debut with Thank You For Smoking had followed it up with the Academy Award winning Juno and then the phenomenal Up in the Air, which for a brief moment was the Oscar frontrunner in Best Picture. Since then, Reitman’s movies have gotten a more mixed reception, between Young Adult, Labor Day, and the deeply divisive Men, Women, and Children. His films remain something to look forward to though, and his next one has found a home. Focus Features has announced that they’ve picked it up and will be putting it out next April. We’re less than a year out now from a new Reitman work. Fans should rejoice about that.

His new movie is Tully, another collaboration with screenwriter Diablo Cody. Not a whole lot is known about it right now, though Focus Features obviously feels pretty good about it. This is the IMDb description: The film is about Marlo, a mother of three including a newborn, who is gifted a night nanny by her brother. Hesitant to the extravagance at first, Marlo comes to form a unique bond with the thoughtful, surprising and sometimes challenging young nanny named Tully. Charlize Theron will be playing the mother Marlo, while the title character of Tully is played by Mackenzie Davis. Also in the cast are Mark Duplass, Ron Livingston, and more. Reitman directs a script by Cody, with frequent collaborator Eric Steelberg handling the cinematography and Rob Simonsen composing the score. All told, it sounds like a cross between Juno and Young Adult, which has a ton of potential to me.

Now that it’s set for an April 2018 release, barring something unexpected, it won’t be in the awards race this year. One has to suspect that as much as anything, Focus is putting all of their eggs into the basket of Winston Churchill biopic Darkest Hour. If Tully does wind up going to a festival like Telluride or Toronto (which I think is actually likely) and is a hit, it could get a qualifying run and a moved up release date, but that remains to be seen. Right now, it’s set as 2018 counter programming, which might be a small stroke of genius. Time will tell. At the moment, we have very little to go on, so that will hopefully change in the months to come.

Here is how I would rank Rietman’s filmography so far:

6. Labor Day
5. Thank You For Smoking
4. Young Adult
3. Men, Women, and Children
2. Juno
1. Up in the Air

Here is also how I would rank Cody’s filmography to date:

5. Paradise
4. Jennifer’s Body
3. Ricki and the Flash
2. Young Adult
1. Juno

While we’re at it, here’s my ranking of Theron’s ten best performances:

10. Sweet November
9. The Devil’s Advocate
8. The Curse of the Jade Scorpion
7. Men of Honor
6. A Million Ways to Die in the West
5. Battle in Seattle
4. North Country
3. Mad Max: Fury Road
2. Monster
1. Young Adult

It will be a while before Tully is seen by anyone, even if it does play at the Telluride Film Festival and/or the Toronto Film Festival in the fall. We’ll have the whole summer at the very least to speculate about it. Provided it has the goods, it’ll be nice to have Reitman back in the Oscar hunt, whether in 2017 or 2018. Cody has her Academy Award, but Reitman doesn’t have one yet. As you saw in a previous article, he’s due, at least in my mind. Sit tight and we’ll be talking more about Tully in the months to come, in one form or another…

Stay tuned for more on Tully when we have it!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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