Diablo Cody Casts Russell Brand And Julianne Hough In Her Directorial Debut

The debut picture of Diablo Cody as writer-director, is coming on nicely in its preproduction. It was previously to be called Lamb of God, though it now lacks an official title – likely to prevent offense amongst the more fundamental Christians.

The screenplay itself isn't anti-Christ at all, though. Cody certainly takes some shots at Conservatives and their stranglehold of the Church, but ultimately, the story sides with the faithful and not the atheists.

You might compare it to Dogma, I suppose, in that it might rumble several members of the church but is actually built on a presupposition that God exists.

I'm an atheist and I don't agree with the ultimate conclusion of Cody's screenplay at all – for what little that might have mattered to my enjoyment of it. I walked right alongside the screenplay's politics, and I found it both engrossing and involving as a drama, and funny and occasionally charming as a comedy.

I think it's going to make a great film.

Mandate Pictures have today announced that Julianne Hough is to star in the picture. She'll be playing the lead role of a young woman raised as a Christian and who loses her faith after being seriously burned in an accident. At the start of the story she sets off to Vegas with the intent to "gamble, drink alcohol, and frolic with homosexuals."

On arrival in Sin City she meets a bartender recovering from addiction and his "pit wife", a dealer-tainer from one of the Casinos, so-called because she belts out Beach Boys tunes between working at the tables.

Russell Brand has been cast as William the bartender and, frankly, the script reads like it was written for him. It's one of those perfect fits in which I just can't imagine anybody else in the role. His rhythms are perfect for the delivery of this dialogue, and he'll certainly understand the character's buried pain too.

The Screenplay Previously Known as Lamb of God is a recovery story more than a redemption story. It's sweet and it's well written and it might believe in something I'll never swallow, but I loved reading it nonetheless.

Now… if they're going to start shooting in the Spring, maybe we'll be watching this by May 2013, eh? Fingers crossed.