Posted on Monday, December 16th, 2013 by Angie Han
Most year-end best-of lists consist of things that have already been produced, released, and consumed. But the Black List stands apart in that it’s all about the films that haven’t come out yet. Created by Franklin Leonard and Dino Sijamic, the annual compilation shines a light on the “most liked” unproduced screenplays of each year, as voted on by hundreds of Hollywood executives.
Not all of these films will get made, let alone made well, but the Black List still serves as a good indication of what projects are being buzzed about. Last year’s list included Transcendence and Rodham; Django Unchained and Saving Mr. Banks were among the highlights the year before that. Three out of the last five Best Picture winners were Black List scripts, as were seven of the past twelve screenwriting Oscar winners. Hit the jump to read titles and descriptions for the 72 that made the cut this year.
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Posted on Monday, December 17th, 2012 by Angie Han
Just as we’re enjoying the last of 2012′s cinematic offerings, the latest edition of the Black List has hit the web. The annual survey highlights the hottest unproduced screenplays of the year, as based on the votes of hundreds of executives.
The term “unproduced” is used rather vaguely here. Some of these scripts (like Ivan Reitman‘s Draft Day and Wally Pfister‘s Transcendence) already have a director or star attached, while others are still floating around in search of the right studio or producer. The subjects and honorees range greatly as well. Nazi hunters, Hillary Clinton, the NFL, and time-traveling teens are among the subjects of this year’s winners, and the screenwriters run the gamut from industry newcomers to seasoned pros.
Hit the jump to read the full list.
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Posted on Monday, December 12th, 2011 by Angie Han
Each December since 2004, studio executive Franklin Leonard has compiled the best unproduced screenplays of the year, as voted by hundreds of execs, agency guys, and high-level assistants. Titled The Black List, the compendium highlights both established screenwriters and up-and-comers, and has served as a launching pad in the past for projects like Juno, Lars and the Real Girl, and (500) Days of Summer. Last year’s list included Margin Call, Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Hunger Games, and Snow White and the Huntsman.
It should be noted that the headline is somewhat misleading — some of these screenplays have already been acquired and are already in development, though according to Leonard none will have entered principal photography by December 31, 2011. Also worth pointing out is that, as in previous years, there have been rumors that some of the participants have been accused of using the Black List to promote their own clients or friends. Finally, as Leonard reminds us each time, “The Black List is not a ‘best of’ list. It is, at best, a ‘most liked’ list.”
Regardless, we can always rely on the Black List to stir up conversation among both industry insiders and outside spectators alike, so without further ado, hit the jump for the complete 2011 list.
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Remember The Beaver? First-time writer Kyle Killen‘s spec screenplay created all sorts of buzz around Hollywood, ended up on the 2008 Black List (a list of the hottest unproduced screenplays of the year), and gained the interest of Steve Carell and director Jay Roach. A lot of people, including former /Film writer Brendon Connelly called the screenplay “one of the few very best screenplays” he had “ever read.”
Roach and Carell left the project, and Jodie Foster (who directed Little Man Tate and Home for the Holidays) came aboard to helm the project with Mel Gibson in the leading role. Gibson’s problems in his personal life have caused this film to sit on the shelf, while Foster has tried to fine tune the film’s tone, and Summit Entertainment brainstorms ways to market a movie starring an actor who has made anti-Semitic and racist remarks. But the studio has been quietly positioning the film to be Gibson’s comeback project.
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From time to time I chat with industry friends about which screenplays they’re currently reading. Last week one of my friends was telling me about a screenplay he was checking out which was about “a human teenager, a vampire, and a zombie must save their town from an alien invasion.” I’ve heard its fantastic, but Hollywood would never make it because think of how costly and ridiculous the idea is. It’s so over the top, that the title of the screenplay is “The Kitchen Sink“, in reference to the popular saying that something has everything but the kitchen sink. This movie has everything but Cowboys and superheroes.
It looks like Sony Pictures will actually be making this movie, and who is going to direct this madness? Jonah Hill?!
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Though it started as a very insider thing, The Black List has recently become more popular and mainstream. For those who may not know, it’s an annual list of the year’s best unproduced screenplays as voted on by about 300 Hollywood development executives and high-level assistants. We recently posted the 2010 list and looking back at some previous years (2007, 2008, 2009), films such as Recount, The Beaver and The Social Network all sat near the top of the list. Skim over any of them and you’ll see names of films that are out, are coming out and more. It’s a big deal.
This year, a new Black List of sorts has come out. Dubbed Viewfinder, it’s supposed to do for directors what The Black List did for screenwriters. Viewfinder is a compilation of “the top commercials, shorts and/or music videos of 2010.” Several of the directors on the list already have deals or are in production on films. We’ve even written about a few of them on /Film. For others, though, this could be their big break. After the jump, check out the full list and link to the page where you can watch all the videos including the #1 film on the list, Ricardo de Montreuil’s The Raven, seen above. Read More »
The Black List has been released. The annual list is compiled with a poll of 300 (up from last year’s 250) development executives and high-level assistants, and contains a ranking of the hot screenplays making the rounds in Hollywoodland, which were written in, or are somehow uniquely associated with, 2010 and will not be released in theaters during this calendar year. Basically, the black list contains the hottest projects in Hollywood that you haven’t heard of yet.
Note: The headline is a slightly inaccurate, because a lot of these screenplays have already been acquired (six of the top ten listed), a bunch are in production now, and some have even finished production. One of this year’s top ten screenplays, J.C. Chandor‘s Margin Call, about the last 24 hours at now-defunct investment bank Lehman Brothers is already in the can and set to premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival with Chandor at the helm and Kevin Spacey and Paul Bettany star. The top screenplay om the list, College Republicans, already has Shia LaBeouf and Paul Dano attached to star.
Started in 2005 by a young executive at Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way, who polled 90+ peers to send him their 10 favorite new unproduced screenplays to read over the holidays. The underground list was e-mailed around and quickly became a Hollywood phenomenon. To give you an idea, the top three entries of the 2005 list where Things We Lost in the Fire, Juno, and Lars and the Real Girl. However it should be noted that a warning appears at the beginning of the list:
“THE BLACK LIST is not a “best of” list. It is, at best, a “most liked” list.”
Also, it should be noted that many people in recent years have begun accuse participants for pushing their own/friends clients.
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For the last few years, each December has seen the release of The Black List, a compendium of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood, as voted by a group of people that range from producer assistants to agency guys to development VPs. The first list, improvised in 2004, caused a furor and now is an event each year.
The 2009 list comes out today, and I’ll present the top eleven films out of 97 (there was a tie for #10) below. Read More »