Juno is going to work for Planned Parenthood.
The creators of the 2007 film are re-staging it with an entirely female cast as a one-night-only live-read on April 8 to raise money and awareness for the women’s health organization.
Ellen Page will be reprising her role as the pregnant teen and Jennifer Garner will be back as the hopeful, adoptive mother, but the male parts – like those originated by Michael Cera, Jason Bateman, and J.K. Simmons – will be filled by actresses this time.
Jason Reitman, who earned an Oscar nomination for directing the film, put his live script-reading series aside last April after five seasons, but the 2016 election inspired him to bring it back only a year later. This will be the first show of many in a new Resistance-inspired lineup, touching on topics such as immigration and the fake news epidemic.
“Like many other people, I felt like I wanted to do something. I wanted to find a way to contribute to the causes that have never felt more important,” he told EW. “It occurred to me that I have this show that could be used as a tool to not only raise money for causes that need the help, but could serve as an opportunity for a group like Planned Parenthood to connect with an audience who can be presented with new ideas, or even an action item.”
In some ways, the all-female cast will add an edgy new feel to the story, and in others it will require extra suspension of disbelief from the audience. Two women can definitely adopt a child, but they can’t exactly make one. (In case you needed to have this clarified.)
Reitman has previously done all-women casts for readings of Glengarry Glen Ross and Stand by Me. “Considering how much this election has done against women and what Planned Parenthood has done for women I thought it would be cool to hear this script with an all-female voice,” Reitman said.
The Juno reading will take place at the Ace Theater in downtown Los Angeles, and tickets can be found here. Reitman says they’ll be selling original artwork from the opening titles and other signed memorabilia, with all the money going to Planned Parenthood.
The full cast will be announced via @JasonReitman on Twitter in the days before the show.
Much of the Trump and Republican-led effort to strip Planned Parenthood of its funding focuses on the health organization’s abortion services – although the group states that only a small fraction its services are for terminating pregnancies. Nonetheless, ever since the Hyde Amendment in 1976, no federal money has been used for such procedures.
Planned Parenthood has recently begun a campaign to highlight what taxpayer dollars do help underwrite, like cancer screenings, STD treatment, pregnancy tests, contraceptives, and other reproductive issues.
Motherhood has been a running theme for Reitman and Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody, who won an Oscar for the movie’s script. (She’ll be at the reading, but won’t be playing a part.) The two paired up again in 2011 with Young Adult, starring Charlize Theron as a woman who goes home to stalk an ex-boyfriend who just announced the birth of his baby.
All three have joined forces again for this year’s Tully, starring Theron as the mother of three who forms a bond with the title character, a night nanny played by Mackenzie Davis.
Reitman says the Planned Parenthood read will resolve one point of debate about Juno, which was embraced by some anti-abortion advocates because the main character chooses to give birth rather than terminate the pregnancy.
“If there was any confusion about whether Juno was pro-choice or pro-life, this should settle that,” Reitman says. “Juno had a choice, and that was the most important part.”
Follow @Breznican on Twitter.