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The Black List 2011 Revealed: Most Popular Unproduced Screenplays

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December 12, 2011

The Black List

Once again as we near the end of the year, another list we get is The Black List, the annual list of the most popular "unproduced" screenplays of 2011 (because some of these are going into production soon). The Black List was compiled from the suggestions of over 300 film executives, each of whom contributed the names of up to ten of their favorite scripts "that were written in, or are somehow uniquely associated with, 2011 and will not have begun principal photography during this calendar year." Screenplays had to receive at least six mentions to be included on The Black List this year. Here we go - Top 20 (via Deadline) below.

Reminder, as written in the intro: The Black List is not a "best of" list. It is, at best, a "most liked" list. Of course. Here's the Top 20, or a few more because so many had 17 votes (see all of them here or download the official PDF via BlckLst.com). The number of votes each received in (parentheses) next to their title.

1: The Imitation Game (133)
by Graham Moore
What it's about: The story of British WWII cryptographer Alan Turing, who cracked the German Enigma code and later poisoned himself after being criminally prosecuted for being a homosexual.
Agency: CAA
Financier: Warner Brothers
Producer: Ido Ostrowsky, Nora Grossman

2: When the Street Lights Go On (84)
by Chris Hutton, Eddie O'Keefe
What it's about: In the early 1980s, a town suffers through the aftermath of a brutal murder of a high school girl and a teacher.
Agency: WME
Producer: Imagine Entertainment

3: Chewie (59)
by Evan Susser, Van Robichaux
What it's about: A satirical behind the scenes look at the making of Star Wars through the eyes of Peter Mayhew who played Chewbacca.
Agency: WME

4: The Outsider (53)
by Andrew Baldwin
What it's about: In post World War II Japan, an American former prisoner-of-war rises in the yakuza.
Agency: CAA
Financier: Warner Brothers
Producer: Linson Entertainment

5: Father Daughter Time: A Tale of Armed Robbery and Eskimo Kisses (43)
by Matthew Aldrich
What it's about: A man goes on a three state crime spree with an accomplice, his eleven year old daughter.
Agency: CAA
Financier: Warner Brothers
Producer: Pearl Street Productions

6: In the Event of a Moon Disaster (33)
by Mike Jones
What it's about: An alternate telling of the historic Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon that examines what might have happened if the astronauts had crash landed there.
Agency: CAA
Producer: FilmNation

7: Maggie (30)
by John Scott 3
What it's about: As a "walking dead" virus spreads across the country, a farm family helps their eldest daughter come to terms with her infection as she slowly becomes a flesh-eating zombie.
Agency: CAA
Producers: Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, Trevor Kaufman, Matthew Baer

8: The Current War (30)
by Michael Mitnick
What it's about: Based on the true story of the race between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to develop a practical system of electricity and sell their respective inventions to the country and the world.
Agency:WME

9: The End (28)
by Aron Eli Coleite
Four people – a veteran broadcaster in London, a sixteen year old girl and her boyfriend in Ann Arbor, and a devoted family man in Shanghai – each try to make peace with their lives before an interstellar event ends the world in six hours.
Agency: CAA
Financier: Warner Brothers

10: Beyond the Pale (27)
by Chad Feehan
What it's about: Teenage siblings suspect they've been ripped off by the town undertaker, but what they discover is much more sinister than either imagined.
Agency: CAA
Financier: Vendome Pictures
Producer: The Fort

11: Ezekiel Moss (27)
by Keith Bunin
What it's about: A mysterious stranger who possibly has the power to channel the souls of the dead changes the lives of everyone in a small Nebraska town, especially a young widow and her 11-year-old son.
Agency: CAA
Producers: A Likely Story, Mandalay Pictures

12: Grace of Monaco (24)
by Arash Amel
What it's about: Grace Kelly, age 33 and having given up her acting career to focus on being a full time princess, uses her political maneuvering behind the scenes to save Monaco while French Leader Charles de Gaulle and Monaco's Prince Rainier III are at odds over the principality's standing as a tax haven.
Agency: CAA
Producer: Pierre-Ange Le Pogam

13: He's Fuckin' Perfect (24)
by Lauryn Kahn
What it's about: A social media savvy girl who is pessimistic about love finds the perfect guy and decides to use her internet research skills to turn herself into his perfect match.
Agency: WME
Financier: Fox 2000
Producer: Gary Sanchez

14: Bethlehem (23)
by Larry Brenner
What it's about: A group of people struggling to survive a zombie apocalypse make an alliance with a vampire, trading themselves as food in exchange for protection since zombies don't eat vampire.
Agency: CAA
Producer: Roth Films

15: The Three Misfortunes of Geppetto (20)
by Michael Vukadinovich
What it's about: A prequel to the story of Pinocchio in which Geppetto endures a life of misfortune, war, and adventure, all to be with Julia Moon, his true love.
Agency: ICM
Financier: Fox
Producer: 21 Laps Entertainment

16: Powell (20)
by Ed Whitworth
What it's about: Based on the true story of Colin Powell questioning the Bush administration leading up to his United Nations presentation where he made the case for going to war with Iraq.
Agency: WME
Producer: Spirit Dance Entertainment

17: The Knoll (19)
by Christopher Cantwell, Christopher Rogers
What it's about: A rookie cop and his potential flame witness JFK gunned down from the grassy knoll on November 22, 1963. Within hours, they're on the run from the murderers who desperately need them silenced.
Agency: ICM
Producer: Management 360

18: How to Disappear Completely (17)
by Ed Solomon
What it's about: A child prodigy tries to take control of his life away from his demanding parents.
Agency: CAA
Financier: Sony
Producer: Escape Artists

19: Desperate Hours (17)
by E Nicholas Mariani
What it's about: A small town crippled by WWI and the Spanish flu finds itself facing major moral questions and a brutal invading force when a young girl shows up on a rancher's doorstep covered in blood.
Agency: UTA
Financier: GK Films
Producer: Infinitum Nihil

20: A Many Splintered Thing (17)
by Chris Shafer, Paul Vicknair
What it's about: When a charming heartbreaker finally meets a girl he can't have, he discovers the true meaning of love by living out other people's love stories and writing his own.
Agency: UTA
Producer: Wonderland Sound and Vision

20: Flarsky (17)
by Daniel Sterling
A political journalist courts his old babysitter, who is now the United States secretary of state.
Agency: UTA
Producer: Point Grey Pictures

20: Blood Mountain (17)
by Jonathan Stokes
What it's about: After his team is ambushed and killed in Pakistan, a young army ranger must escort the world's most wanted terrorist over dangerous terrain in order to bring him to justice. While being hunted by both of their enemies, they must find a way to work together in order to survive.
Agency: UTA

20: Bastards (17)
by Justin Malen
What it's about: Two brothers, raised to believe their biological father died, find out their mother slept with many powerful and famous men in the 1970s, and the siblings hit the road to find their real father.
Agency: Verve
Financier: Paramount
Producer: The Montecito Picture Company

20: Crazy for the Storm (17)
by Will Fetters
What it's about: The true story of Norman Ollestad's relationship with his father, who thrust the boy into the world of extreme surfing and competitive downhill skiing at the age of three. But it was that experience that allowed an 11-year old Norman to survive a plane crash amidst a blizzard in the San Gabriel mountains.
Agency: WME
Financier: Warner Brothers
Producer: Billy Gerber

I want to see Chewie and The End! To see the rest of the screenplays that made the cut for 2011, view them on Deadline or download the PDF via BlckLst.com. If you're curious to read coverage on the importance of the Black List and how it helps budding screenwriters, there's a great article in the LA Times. The Black List always features recognizable scripts, many we already know in development. Last year's list (2010) included a few like Margin Call, Safe House, Stoker and Argo, being directed by Ben Affleck now. The Black List, created by Franklin Leonard, now runs a website with membership, visit blcklst.com to find out more info. Congrats to all the writers who made it on here. Looking forward to seeing these up on the big screen soon!

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  • Voice of Reason
    Guess we'll be seeing most of these next year......seems like once a script is "blacklisted" its chance of getting greenlit is much higher
  • http://twitter.com/jgrew030 J.X. Grewal
    Blood Mountain sounds like 3:10 to Yuma...
  • Lebowski
    The Imitation Game (or some other film about Alan Turing) NEEDS to be made. This is a man who invented modern computing, totally revolutionized cryptography and basically won the war for the allies navy. The fact that he was prosecuted for his sexuality (a bullshit conviction that still remains) while being one of the truly great men of WWII is a travesty.
    • WMDimes
      Oscar season next year!
  • Staatz
    I think "The Imitation Game" and "The Current War" both sound really good.
  • http://mithunonthe.net MithunOnThe.Net
    'Chewie' sounds funny! :D 'The Current War' - that's a good title!
  • Mansfield3
    "I want to see Chewie and The End!" You can see "The End" right now as far as I'm concerned, since it sounds like a complete rip off of 1998's "Last Night." http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Last_Night/70018268
    • http://www.firstshowing.net Alex Billington
      I know, I'm sure there are many ideas similar... Its just been a joke over the years that we'd one day see a movie where it ends with black and the world blows up and everyone dies. That seems to be what The End is, just with a story leading up to that, I'm intrigued.
      • http://www.facebook.com/zach.huizenga Zachary Huizenga
        I thought that was Knowing.
  • http://the72pins.com DaftBot
    The Outsider sounds incredible. Nobody deals with post WWII Yakuza in film.
  • Cheesebomber21
    My choices on the Black List: The Imitation Game, When The Street Lights Go On, The Outsider, The End, Grace of Monaco, and Blood mountain, all the other scripts can go to hell.

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