Posted on Wednesday, December 10th, 2008 by Peter Sciretta
The annual Black List has been released. The list is compiled with a poll of 250 (up from last year’s 150) 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, 2008 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 few of these projects are in production now.
Started two years ago 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 are starting to accuse participants for pushing their own clients.
1. The Beaver by Kyle Killen
A depressed man finds hope in a beaver puppet that he wears on his hand.
Status: Steve Carell is attached to star.
2. The Oranges by Jay Reiss and Ian Helfer
“A man has a romantic relationship with the daughter of a family friend, which turns
their lives upside down.”
Status: Anthony Bregman (Thumbsucker) and Media Rights Capital will produce.
3. Butter by Jason Micallef
“A small town becomes a center for controversy and jealousy as its annual butter carving contest begins.”
Status: Jennifer Garner is in talks to play Laura, Michael De Luca Productions producing.
4. Big Hole by Michael Gilio
“An old cowboy goes on a mission to recover his money after a million dollar sweepstakes scam cleans out his entire bank account.”
Status: Aversano Films (Failure to Launch) is producing.
5. The Low Dweller by Brad Ingelsby
“A man trying to assimilate into society after being released from jail discovers that someone from his past is out to settle a score.”
It’s Like: Unforgiven, only less geriatric. And much less forgiving.
Status: Relativity, Energy Entertainment, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and Tony and Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions will co-produce.
6. F***buddies by Liz Meriwether
“A guy and a girl struggle to have an to realize they want much more.”
Status: Montecito Picture Company producing.
7. Winter’s Discontent by Paul Fruchbom
“When Herb Winter’s wife of fifty years dies, the faithful but sexually frustrated widower moves into a retirement community to start living the swinging single life.”
Status: Sony’s Atlas Entertainment producing.
8. Broken City by Brian Tucker
“A New York private investigator gets sucked into a shady mayoral election.”
9. I’m With Cancer by Will Reiser
“A autobiographical comic account of one man’s struggle to beat cancer.”
Status: Seth Rogen is producing and signed on to co-star.
10. Our Brand Is Crisis by Peter Straughan
“Based on the eponymous documentary. James Carville and a team of U.S. political consultants travel to South Abecome President of Bolivia.”
Status: Warner Bros and George Clooney’s Company producing.
The rest of the list after the jump. I have highlighted the titles that interest me.