The Black List 2013

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 RodhamDjango 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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Remember The Night Chronicles? That’s the planned three-film series funded by Media Rights Capital and produced by M. Night Shyamalan that would chronicle the intersection of the supernatural and the modern world.

The first film in the loose series, Devil (yeah, the elevator movie) was released in fall 2010, and in June 2013 Shyamalan had announced 12 Strangers, the second planned film, but going on three years later it has yet to shoot. Now we know that the film, retitled Reincarnate, will roll in 2013. Read More »

‘ATM’ Trailer: Two Guys, a Girl and a Killer

Chris Sparling wrote the ‘man in a coffin’ thriller Buried, and he followed that script up with another tightly confined thriller, ATM. Sparling’s script was directed by first-timer David Brooks, and the resulting thriller finds three people (Brian Geraghty, Alice Eve and Josh Peck) trapped inside an ATM in the middle of a parking lot thanks to the menacing presence of a murderous figure just outside.

The first trailer has just been released, and while it doesn’t look like anything truly outstanding, ATM does look like the sort of movie I’d watch just to see where the story goes. Check it out below. Read More »

Back in the late ’90s, when Mandy Moore first appeared on the pop music scene, I would’ve never predicted she’d still be an active famous person in the early 2010s. Of course, I also dismissed Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, and everyone in ‘NSYNC as one-hit wonders destined to fade into obscurity by about 2001, so that shows what I know.

And now, here I am in 2011 reporting that Moore has signed on for Buried writer Chris Sparling‘s directorial debut, a ghost story titled Falling Slowly. She will be starring opposite Rodrigo Santoro, a.k.a. Paulo from Lost, the homoerotic villain from 300, and Laura Linney’s smoldering love interest from Love, Actually. More details after the jump.

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I’ll be honest: If you asked me to name the best original screenplays of 2010, Chris Sparling’s script for Rodrigo Cortés’ Buried would probably not be on the list. Some critics would probably agree with me, but that hasn’t stopped Sparling from lobbying members of the Academy for the Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination. After the jump, see Sparling’s plea and learn why it may be in violation of Academy rules.
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Got to hand it to Collider: they’re scouring the American Film Market scarfing up info on a ton of new films being represented there this week. The latest two are Abducted, which is the first post-Twilight film for Taylor Lautner, and ATM, which is based on a script hatched by Chris Sparling, aka the screenwriter on Buried.

Synopsis for each and an image for ATM are after the break. Read More »

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Briefly: M Night Shyamalan and Media Rights Capital are moving full speed ahead with the ‘Night Chronicles’ series, audience laughter at trailers for Devil be damned. (And, honestly, I half expect the people that see Devil to come away liking it. But we’ll find out soon enough.) A while back, Buried screenwriter Chris Sparling was hired to write the second Night Chronicles film, Twelve Strangers.

The name of the film has now been changed; it will go out under the title Reincarnate, according to Deadline. The same report also confirms the hire of The Last Exorcism director Daniel Stamm to helm the picture. No other info is available, including casting. The film won’t shoot until next year, so the cast info will be a couple months off.

Other than the title, it doesn’t sound like much has changed. The logline remains “While deciding the fate of an accused murderer, a jury is haunted by supernatural forces that hold the key to the case.” Meanwhile, the Night Chronicles film I’m more curious to hear about is the third, which will supposedly be based on some major story point and/or character originally devised for Unbreakable 2.

M. Night Shyamalan

Over a year ago M. Night Shyamalan put together a deal with Media Rights Captial to create a label called The Night Chronicles. The first of three films for the label, Devil, is in post-production now.

So it’s time to move forward on the second, to be called Twelve Strangers. We don’t know much about the film right now, but we do know that Buried screenwriter Chris Sparling will write. And we’ve also got a few more details on M. Night’s mystery script that he’s shopping in Hollywood right now. Read More »

Chris Sparling’s ATM Details Revealed


Screenwriter Chris Sparling made a name for himself with the one-man, one-location script Buried, which landed on the Black List, an industry insider list of the best unproduced screenplays of the year, and premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Huge buzz (read my review) resulted in a bidding war which ended with Lionsgate spending millions to distribute the film. A couple weeks ago it was reported that screenwriter Chris Sparling second feature screenplay ATM is being fast tracked into production, with producer Peter Safran.

At the time, not much was known about the movie’s premise, with the Hollywood trades given the sole logline of an action film which “centers on three co-workers who — on a routine stop at an ATM — unexpectedly end up in a desperate fight for their lives.” A /Film tipster named Hawkeye has more details on Sparling’s second feature. What is it about? Does the story take place entirely at an ATM machine? Details after the jump.
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