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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Leonardo DiCaprio Attached to Play Rasputin

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Is there a more unconventionally sexy role than Grigori Rasputin, the “mad monk” of Russian historical lore? The mystic/advisor worked for Tsar Nicholas II, and Rasputin reportedly held great influence over the family, to the extent that his name has become synonymous with the secretive abuse of power. Rasputin said to have been able to bed women and evade violent rivals with ease — until his violent death in 1916, at least.

Now Warner Bros. has picked up a pitch by Jason Hall, the screenwriter of Steven Spielberg’s American Sniper, that will lead to a screenplay about Rasputin. Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Appian Way is involved, and in fact DiCaprio is attached to play Rasputin.  Read More »

spielberg-DDL

At times when you can watch a nucleus of interest form in Hollywood, and it is happening right now around screenwriter Jason Dean Hall. His script for American Sniper, based on the life of the late Chris Kyle, has been in development with Bradley Cooper, and it attracted Steven Spielberg, who now plans to direct the film.

Now Hall is poised to script an adaptation of the book Thank You for Your Service, which examines vets returning home with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As it turns out, Spielberg is reportedly interested in taking on that adaptation as well, potentially as a reunion with his Lincoln star Daniel Day-Lewis. Read More »

The Hangover star Bradley Cooper is developing a movie that sounds like something Chuck Norris might have done in the eighties. It’s a true story called American Sniper, based on the best-selling book by Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the man with the most recorded sniper kills in American history. The project is set up at Warner Bros., Jason Dean Hall (Spread) is adapting the book, and Cooper is producing and will likely star. Read more below. Read More »

Last year Disney began active development of a film tenuously connected to the Disneyland Matterhorn ride. Jason Dean Hall was hired to write a film that was called The Hill last summer, and then Brian Beletic became attached to direct the project. Now Ehren Kruger (The Ring, Scream 3, Transformers: Dark of the Moon) has been hired to rewrite the picture that has evolved to be about a group of adventurers who run into Yeti in the Alps. Read More »

Brian Beletic to Direct Disney’s Matterhorn Movie

One of a few films Disney is making as big-screen exploitations of existing theme parks is a film based on the Matterhorn ride.

The film, originally referred to as The Hill, was announced last year, and is currently being referred to as Untitled Explorers Project. Now the movie has a director: commercial helmer Brian Beletic, who has made spots for Converse, Nike, and Ikea, as well as many music videos for the Black Eyed Peas (‘Karma,’ ‘Weekends,’ ‘B.E.P. Empire,’ more) and videos for Fatboy Slim (‘Don’t Let the Man Get You Down’) Cee-Lo (‘Closet Freak,’ ‘Gettin’ Grown’) and El-P (‘Deep Space 9mm’). Read More »

Briefly: One of the bigger laughs we had last year came via the announcement that the Wachowskis were attached to write and direct Hood, an urban retelling of the Robin Hood story. (With Will Smith attached to star.) The project didn’t exactly make waves, and rather fell off the radar as the Wachowskis moved into developing Cloud Atlas with Tom Tykwer; they’ll shoot that film later this year. Hood became something like a 2010 footnote: “remember this awful-sounding thing they flirted with before taking home the arty prom queen?”

On a parallel track, Warner Bros. has been slowly developing another Robin Hood film, this one a futuristic take set in “a dystopian London and center on a band of thieves whose activities restore hope to the city’s embattled population.” Jason Dean Hall was hired to write in 2009, and commercial director Nicolai Fuglsig attached to direct.

Now Deadline says that Michael Ross is rewriting the film. So WB is moving forward with this one, quite possibly because the Wachowskis are busy with Cloud Atlas. The question then becomes: is Hood effectively buried with this film taking priority at the studio?

With the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film having earned just shy of a billion dollars worldwide (a number that is vaguely horrifying, given the quality of the film) Disney understands the power of a succesful brand. So the company isn’t just developing a new Haunted Mansion movie with Guillermo del Toro and a Magic Kingdom film with Michael Chabon and Jon Favreau. It is also starting to pull together an adventure film inspired in the Matterhorn ride. Read More »

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