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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Paraphrasing Jack Lipnick in Barton Fink, “The writer is king here at Dimension!” You should recognize that as a joke of the highest order, at least in the context of Barton Fink. Turns out to be a cosmic gag in the context of real life, too. Because Dimension and Miramax, which are working together to make sequels to a few films produced under the old Miramax order, have hired not one, but two screenwriters to script a sequel to Bad Santa.

Two screenwriters: no big deal, right? Well, they’re writing two scripts, which will eventually be dressed in strappy leather fetish outfits, slathered in pig grease and thrown into some executive Thunderdome, where they’ll do battle to see which becomes Bad Santa 2. Read More »

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