The Black List 2014

The Black List 2014 has been released. The annual list is compiled with a poll of over 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, 2014 and will not be released in theaters during this calendar year. Basically, The Black List is a list of the hottest projects in Hollywood that you haven’t heard of yet.

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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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David Bowie has been in semi-retirement for a while now, but he remains a cultural force. Just days ago we saw Michael Fassbender doing his best Bowie as the android David 8 in a promo video for Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel Prometheus. His impersonation is uncanny.

Now Bowie is cropping up in a more direct manner, as Disney has just spent a good amount of money on a romantic comedy script called Ground Control to Major Tom. The title references one of Bowie’s most famous songs, ‘Space Oddity,’ but what that really means for the film is unclear at this point. Read More »


On day two of the 38th annual Telluride Film Festival and I caught the amazing new Pixar film LA Luna, Wim Wenders 3D documentary Pina about the famous modern dance choreographer, and the first surprise premiere screening of the festival, Jim Field Smith‘s dark dramedy Butter, a top Black List screenplay about a midwest butter carving championship which stars Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell, Olivia Wilde, Ashley Greene, Alicia Silverstone, Rob Corddry and Hugh Jackman.
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Jason Segel Attached to Star in ‘Undercover Cop’

Briefly: It’s going to be a big year for Jason Segel. He’s finishing The Muppets, has a role in Bad Teacher, which hits this summer, and now it looks like he could be the star of Undercover Cop. OK, not the greatest title, but the concept could work: the comedy is based on the story of a cop who “infiltrated the New Jersey criminal underworld” in the ’80s. Let’s hope it’s something like Donnie Brasco meets Beverly Hills Cop rather than, say, Donnie Brasco meets the ’04 Starsky & Hutch. THR says that Jason Micallef is writing with Steve Zaillian producing.

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British sketch comedian and lauded short film director Jim Field Smith has just seen his debut feature She’s Out of My League open to a respectable $9 million or so. Meanwhile, he’s already at work on his follow up, the Black List approved Butter.

It might be a spoiler – though also, very possibly not – to reveal that Butter is structured as some kind of parallel to the 2008 Iowa Democratic Caucus that saw Hilary Clinton in competition with Barack Obama. For a good while now, Jennifer Garner has been signed on to play the Hilary role; today, news has started to break about who will be playing the Bill Clinton and, I suppose, Monica Lewinsky roles (obviously, this allegory plays fast and loose with strict chronology).

Rumoured for a turn as the Bill analogue is Jim Carrey with Kate Hudson in the frame for the role of his mistress. How flattering.

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I’m beginning to think of Jack Black more as a cartoon character than an actual live person. I blame Kung Fu Panda, Ice Age, and that I keep mistakenly thinking he’s been in one of the Shrek films at some point. Coupled with the fact that I’ve forced myself to forget the comedic failure Year One, Black could very well be made of bits and bytes for all I know.

Now he’s involved in another animated project, although this time as just a producer. Black has teamed up with writer Jason Micallef (he of the Black List script Butter) to pitch an animated feature centered on Cryptozoology—the search for legendary creatures like Big Foot, chupacabras, and the Loch Ness monster.

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Jennifer Garner to star in Butter

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Jennifer Garner has officially signed on to star in Jason Micallef‘s political satire Butter for Mandate. The Nicholl Fellowship-winning screenplay was listed at the #3 spot on the 2008 Black List (a listing of the best unproduced screenplays of that year).

Described as Election meets Best in Show, Butter tells the story of a black orphan who is adopted by a Midwestern family, and discovers she has an uncanny talent for butter-carving. She finds herself up against Laura Pickler (Garner), the ambitious wife of the retired reigning champion, turning a small town’s annual butter-sculpting contest into a center for controversy and jealousy.  [THR]

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