Film Independent and Mubi Present a Live Read of ‘Jennifer’s Body’

Press Contact: Seanna Hore, Ginsberg/Libby

Gladys Santos, Ginsberg/Libby


To Be Directed by Karyn Kusama at the Wallis on April 11

Special Guests to Be Announced

LOS ANGELES (March 16, 2023) — Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and Film Independent Presents – a year-round program offering screenings, conversations and other unique cinematic experiences – has partnered with the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and MUBI to present a Live Read of Jennifer’s Body. Karyn Kusama (Yellowjackets, Destroyer) will direct the reimagined and recast stage reading of her cult-classic film at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts’ Bram Goldsmith Theater on Tuesday, April 11.

“I couldn’t be happier to resurrect Jennifer’s Body for Film Independent’s Live Read series, honoring the film’s legacy by casting an iconic slate of actors who paved the way for a film like this to exist in the first place,” said Karyn Kusama.

“We’re thrilled to bring the feminist cult classic, Jennifer’s Body to the Live Read stage with the film’s original auteur, Karyn Kusama. Brace yourself for demonic delights and sour candy camp,” said Rachel Bleemer, Director of Programming and Events for Film Independent.

The Live Read will feature a reinterpretation of the bloody, teenage romp and its high school hormones, with performances by iconic Hollywood actors. Since its release in 2009, Jennifer’s Body has become canon in the film traditions of teen horror comedy and feminist satire.

The aptly named Needy is your textbook sweet, nerdy dork, who just so happens to be friends with the hottest girl in school, Jennifer. When Jennifer plays her usual tricks on the lead singer of an emo rock band, she gets more than she bargained for, and Needy seems to be the only one noticing Jennifer’s different. Evil has come to the nowhere town of Devil’s Kettle, and the theme of the prom this year is possession.

Karyn Kusama premiered Jennifer’s Body at the Toronto International Film Festival and was originally released theatrically in September 2009. She is currently an executive producer of Showtime’s coming-of-age survival drama Yellowjackets, having garnered seven Emmy nominations, including one for her direction of the pilot episode. Prior to that, Kusama helmed the Golden Globe-nominated film Destroyer, starring Nicole Kidman and written by her frequent collaborators, Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. Her feature credits in addition to Jennifer’s Body include indie thriller The Invitation, sci-fi love story Aeon Flux and her Cannes and Sundance-award winning debut, Girlfight. Her production company with Hay and Manfredi is currently under a first-look deal with MRC.

Past Live Read guest directors have included Ruben Östlund (Triangle of Sadness), Marlee Matlin (Sunset Boulevard), Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight), Jason Reitman (Ghostbusters) and Marvin Lemus (L.A. Story), among others. Jennifer’s Body is written by Diablo Cody and directed by Kusama.

Past Live Read guests have included Nicholas Braun (Succession), Alison Brie (Somebody I Used to Know), Ayo Edebiri (The Bear), Brett Goldstein (Ted Lasso), Troy Kotsur (CODA), Nick Kroll (History of the World: Part II), Simona Tabasco (The White Lotus), Tessa Thompson (Creed III), Taika Waititi (Thor: Love and Thunder), Steven Yeun (NOPE) and many more.

Tickets are on sale now, and are discounted for Wallis subscribers and Film Independent Members. The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. To purchase tickets and for more information, please call 310-746-4000 or visit

Film Independent Presents is supported year-round by Lead Sponsor HFPA. Additional support for this special event at The Wallis is provided by MUBI.


For over 40 years, Film Independent has helped filmmakers get their projects made and seen. The nonprofit organization’s core mission is to champion creative independence in visual storytelling and support a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision.

In addition to producing the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the organization supports creative professionals with Artist Development programs, grants and labs. Signature mentorship program Project Involve fosters the careers of talented filmmakers from underrepresented communities. Weekly Education events and workshops equip filmmakers of all ages and experience levels with tools and resources. Global Media Makers, a cultural exchange program produced in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, provides career-building opportunities for international film professionals. And year-round screening series Film Independent Presents delivers monthly, unique cinematic experiences to Members in Los Angeles and beyond.

For more information or to become a Member, visit


Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is a dynamic cultural hub and community resource where local, national and international artists share their artistry with ever-expanding audiences. The campus, located in the heart of Beverly Hills, CA, is committed to robust and distinctive presentations and education programs curated with both creativity and social impact in mind. Distinguished by its eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles and its location in the entertainment capital of the world, the Wallis has produced and presented more than 350 theater, dance, music, film, cabaret, conversation, and family entertainment programs since its doors opened in October 2013. Hailed as “au courant” (LaLa Magazine), the Wallis was lauded by Culture Vulture, which proclaims, “if you love expecting the unexpected in the performing arts, you have to love the Wallis.” Its programming has been nominated for 79 Ovation Awards and nine L.A. Drama Critic’s Circle Awards. The campus itself, a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot facility, celebrating the classic and the modern, has garnered six architectural awards. Designed by acclaimed architect Zoltan E. Pali (SPF:architects), the restored building features the original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places), which serves as the theater’s dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and includes the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater; the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater; an inviting open-air plaza for family, community and other performances; and GRoW @ the Wallis: A Space for Arts Education, where learning opportunities for all ages and backgrounds abound. Together, these elements embrace the city’s history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for L.A.-area visitors and residents alike. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is led by Chairman of the Board Michael Nemeroff and Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer Robert van Leer.