Hollywood's 2010 Black List of screenplays
The Black List of screenplays is actually a good thing, it's a list of screenplays that studio executives, and their personal assistants, think are the best going around just now, and usually we see a number of them being made, even if they do take years and years to arrive.
The complete list has arrived and this year a lot more detail has been released on each of the scripts themselves. I've looked through the list and picked out some of the projects that look interesting.
The screenplay Black List often provides an interesting insight into what's happening behind the production line of Hollywood, and it does tend to be a lot more interesting than the cinema output would suggest.
You can see the complete list with votes, details of agents and studios, etc. over at L.A. Times Blog, however I've gone through the list and pulled out information on the more interesting sounding projects, funnily enough the top ten has fallen in there.
One surprise is how many of them look like they're being pushed forward. In previous years that list hasn't looked anywhere as healthy in terms of productions.
Let's start off with the top screenplay:
College Republicans by Wes Jones
Based on true events. Aspiring politician Karl Rove runs a dirty campaign for national College Republicans chairman under the guidance of Lee Atwater, his campaign manager.
Now here are almost all of the top ten and some other interesting scripts:
Jackie by Noah Oppenheim
Jackie Kennedy fights to define her husband's legacy in the seven days immediately following his assassination. Darren Aronofsky directing for Fox Searchlight.
We've heard a bit about this already and it promises to be quite an ambitious project, a retrospective look at the President through his widows eyes, not about any conspiracy but about the man and their relationship. Probably a very emotional film as well.
All You Need Is Kill by Dante Harper
A new recruit in a war against aliens finds himself caught in a time loop where he wakes up one day in the past after having been killed on the battlefield. Doug Liman may direct.
That sounds an interesting project, shades of Source Code going on here? It seems that time travel is getting a lot of attention just now. Have they seen something we haven't?
Safe House by David Guggenheim
A young man at a CIA-run safe house in Rio de Janeiro must help a rough ex-agent escape assassins who want intelligence that he won't sell them. Daniel Espinoza to direct. Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington to star.
Margin Call by J.C. Chandor
A fictional account of the final 24 hours of Lehman Brothers. Chandor has directed stars Kevin Spacey and Paul Bettany. Film will debut at Sundance Film Festival next month.
American Bull---- by Eric Warren Singer
The true story of the FBI's 1980 undercover sting operation of Congress, dubbed Abscam, which was designed to root out corruption and was the brainchild of a con man.
Argo by Chris Terrio
The true story of how the CIA, with help from Hollywood, used a fake movie project to smuggle hostages out of Tehran during the 1979 hostage crisis.
The Last Son of Isaac Lemay by Greg Johnson
An aging outlaw, convinced that there's evil in his genes, goes on a journey to kill his offspring. In the process, he discovers that his last remaining son is a terrifying manifestation of his worst fears. Gore Verbinski's company producing.
Chronicle by Max Landis
Three Portland teens become exposed to a mysterious substance in the woods and, as a result, begin to develop incredible powers. They work together to hone their skills until personal and family problems begin to turn them against one another.
Gold by Patrick Massett & John Zinman
The true story of the biggest securities exchange fraud in United States history. Paul Haggis is producing.
Hunger Games by Billy Ray
Based on the book by Suzanne Collins. In an America of the future, young boys and girls are forced to participate in a televised battle to the death.
That's the American version of Battle Royale without a doubt.
What Happened to Monday? by Max Botkin
In a world where families are allowed only one child due to overpopulation, a resourceful set of identical septuplets must avoid governmental execution and dangerous infighting while investigating the disappearance of one of their own.
Looper by Rian Johnson
In the present day, a group of hitmen is sent their victims from the future.
Murdoch by Jesse Armstrong
As his family gathers for his birthday party, Rupert Murdoch tries to persuade his elder children to alter the family trust so that his two youngest children by his newest wife will have voting rights in the company.
Hopefully there's more to the story than just this because it doesn't sound that exciting does it? Or is it just because it's the Murdoch family?
One Day by David Nicholls
Dexter and Emma meet for the first time at college graduation in 1988 and proceed to reunite one day a year for the next 20 years.
More time travel, or is this just a chance encounter every year? Love story or look at human nature?
Dark Moon by Olatunde Osunsunmi
Using found footage, the story explores the possibility that manned moon missions did not stop with Apollo 17.
Everly by Yale Hannon
The story of one woman's struggle for redemption as she fights to stay alive and unite with her mother and young daughter, all while staving off vicious attacks by a ruthless army of yakuzas who have trapped her in her apartment.
What? Yakuzas? Trapped in an apartment? What's going on here? This sounds a very intriguing story.
Hoof Harrington's Greatest Hits by Dutch Southern
An aging, semi-retired hitman recalls his murderous career while trying to kill the billionaire who has put out a contract on his life.
Murder of a Cat by Christian Magalhars & Robert Snow
A darkly comic noir about a guy trying to unravel the mystery around the murder of his pet cat.
Another oddball description, another bizarre potential hit?
Oz: The Great and Powerful by Michell Kapner
Based on the books of L. Frank Baum. The story of how a con artist from Kansas became the wizard behind the curtain.
Hyde by Cole Haddon
An allegedly rehabilitated Dr. Jekyll is pulled out of prison to help hunt a new monster who seems to be using an improved version of the Hyde serum.
Well we're hearing a lot about Frankenstein projects, perhaps it's time to turn to other classic creatures, although The Wolfman (Filmstalker review) didn't fare so well did it?
Alive Alone by Khurram Longi
A London-based suicide bomber is having a crisis of conscience as he and his cell are planning an attack in the city. His female next-door neighbor, a drug addict and prostitute, has men who want to kill her after she witnessed the murder of her john. These two find solace in each other as they try to survive their respective situations.
O.K.C. by Clay Wold
An ambitious legal aide working for the Timothy McVeigh defense team tries to get to the bottom of what really happened during the Oklahoma City bombing.
These two titles are going to be difficult to get made, but I can definitely see the potential for the Alive Alone story. I wonder if O.K.C. would find a studio with the guts to make it, and if they do what story it would tell of the events? Could either of these make their way to a cinema?
Ness/Capone by Grant Myers
The true story of young Elliot Ness taking down Al Capone.
Do we need another Elliot Ness/Al Capone film considering what The Untouchables did? Really?
Well that's the Black List of screenplays from Hollywood, I do wish they'd think of a better name for it than that, it doesn't sound very positive for the scripts, why isn't it a hot list or something similar?
Anyway there's a fair mix of stories from the oddball to the historical, and some really interesting projects too. However don't hold your breath, while some are in production, and one is even about to hit festivals, judging from previous experience they all don't always get made, and even if they do it can be years.