Posted on Monday, December 12th, 2011 by Angie Han
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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Briefly: Shawn Levy‘s Real Steel was the box-office champ for a second weekend in a row, so it’s no surprise to see him set up with a new high-concept project. Fox has picked up a script called The Three Misfortunes of Geppetto, by Michael Vukadinovich, which is a prequel to the story told in Pinocchio. (Didn’t Fox learn anything from the returns and reviews for The Thing this weekend?)
Shawn Levy is now attached to direct the film, called “a fresh way into the Pinocchio story.” Read More »
Guillermo del Toro is a filmmaking force of nature. Seemingly every few weeks, the writer/producer/director announces a new project and the latest will team him up with the Henson Company and Pathe to produce a 3D stop-motion animation version of Pinocchio. Based on a 2002 book of the classic fairy tale, the film will be aimed at slightly older audiences and be more edgy. It’ll be co-directed by Gris Grimly (who illustrated the 2002 book) and Mark Gustafson from a script by Matthew Robbins. Del Toro and Robbins collaborated on the story and the whole production is gearing up for production later this year. After the jump, see more concept art from the film, read who else is going to be working on it (Nick Cave!) and even check out some quotes from Del Toro about this film and how he’ll fit it with At the Mountains of Madness. Read More »
On December 23, 1935, Walt Disney wrote an eight page letter to a gentleman named Don Graham at the Chouinard Art Institute (now Cal Arts) asking him to help train new, and improve old, Disney animators. Walt felt that many of the men he employed weren’t working up to their potential and that by focusing on a few simple things, the studio’s output would improve exponentially. Well, after this letter, the studio released – in order – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi. So, it seemed to have worked.
The letter is a fascinating look into the genius mind of Walt Disney, as it details the unique way he looked at movies, humor, drawing, running a company and much more. He details the minutia – such as body type and rhythm of movement – of animation and implores animators not to ignore these incredibly important things. Animators, or just fans of Disney, should really enjoy this. Check out scans of the letter and link to the full transcript after the break. Read More »
Briefly: There’s a new Pinocchio film brewing (not the stop-motion one that Guillermo del Toro has talked up) and Bryan Fuller of Pushing Daisies has been hired to write the film for Warner Bros.
Variety doesn’t have too much more detail, but says that the film was inspired by the success of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, so it isn’t a stretch to expect that we’ll see at least a semi-revisionist version of the classic Pinocchio story. (Oh, good.) That story, should you need a refresher, appeared in Carlo Collodi‘s The Adventures of Pinocchio in 1883, and most famously hit screens via Walt Disney in 1940. In the decades since there have been many cinematic incarnations; we’re still trying to forget the Roberto Benigni version from 2002. No word yet on talent attachment beyond Fuller, but we’ll pass details on as they emerge.
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Today during the Miramax panel for Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Guillermo del Toro, who co-wrote and produced the film, commented specifically on a couple of projects has has going in the near future. When asked about his upcoming work, del Toro said he would talk only about things that were really happening, not just films he would like to make. Read More »