Plenty of high-profile actors and filmmakers have devoted time to deflecting Fifty Shades of Grey movie rumors in recent months, but one industry figure who’s made no secret of his burning desire to bring the S&M novel to life is Bret Easton Ellis. The American Psycho author has been pushing hard for the screenwriting job over the past couple of months, calling lead character Christian Grey “a writer’s dream” and floating casting ideas via Twitter.

Alas, it seems this particular dream is out of reach for Ellis. A shortlist of possible scribes for the Universal and Focus Features adaptation has just been revealed, and Ellis’ name is nowhere to be seen. What’s more surprising may be the writers that are. Producers are reportedly eyeing writers behind Cars 2, The Killing, and Saving Mr. Banks. More details after the jump.

Read More »

.

Please Recommend /Film on Facebook

The way Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks is shaping up, we might as well pencil it in now for the 2014 Oscar race. Based on true events, Kelly Marcel‘s 2011 Black List script centers around company founder’s Walt Disney‘s 14-year effort to convince Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers to turn over the rights to her book. Since the early days, the project’s sought big names, with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep said to be among the top choices to play the leads and The Blind Side helmer John Lee Hancock boarding the picture in late February. Now casting has begun in earnest, with Hanks in talks to play Walt Disney and Emma Thompson negotiating for the role of Travers.

So to recap: Bittersweet real-life drama, check. Best Picture-nominated director, check. Oscar-kissed stars, working on a double check. Yep, Saving Mr. Banks wants badly to be an awards contender, all right. More details after the jump.

Read More »

When it first came out in 1964, Mary Poppins was a smash hit both commercially and critically: it out-earned The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady at the box office, received thirteen Academy Award nominations and won five. Now, nearly fifty years later, Disney is looking toward returning to the Mary Poppins well — but don’t worry, it’s not a sequel. The studio is close to picking up Saving Mr. Banks, Kelly Marcel’s 2011 Black List script about Walt Disney‘s 14-year effort to persuade author P.L. Travers to sell the movie rights to her tale.

While that may not sound like the sexiest premise in the world, the prickly relationship between Travers and Disney should provide more than enough drama to power a film. Especially if the story falls into hands as capable as those of Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, both of whom are rumored to be eyeing the leads. More details after the jump.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web: