2013 Black List of Best Unproduced Screenplays: 'Holland, Michigan' #1
by Ethan Anderton
December 17, 2013
If you've been following news about the industry for the past few years, you're likely already familiar with The Black List. Founded by Film executive Franklin Leonard in 2005, the yearly list consists of the "most liked" screenplays floating around Hollywood, as voted on by development executives. Being on The Black List definitely gets scripts a lot more attention, and while some still remain unproduced at the time of this lists reveal, some end up finding life because of this list. Best Picture winners like Slumdog Millionaire, Argo and The King's Speech were all once on The Black List. Holland, Michigan took the top spot this year when the official website revealed the full list, and we have some of the others compiled below. Look!
Here's Top 10 Black List 2013 screenplays with the most votes around Hollywood (there's more than 10 listed due to ties):
1. Holland, Michigan (46)
When a traditional Midwestern woman suspects her husband of infidelity, an amateur investigation unravels.
2. Section 6 (44)
An exploration of Great Britain’s secret intelligence agency, Ministry Intelligence, Section 6, known more commonly as MI6.
3. Frisco (39)
A forty-something pediatric allergist, who specializes in hazelnuts and is facing a divorce, learns lessons in living from a wise-beyond-her-years terminally ill fifteen-year-old patient when she crashes his weekend trip to a conference in San Francisco.
4. A Monster Calls (27)
An adolescent boy with a terminally ill single mother begins having visions of a tree monster, who tells him truths about life in the form of three stories, helping him to eventually cope with his emotions over his dying mom.
5. The Special Program (25)
The true story of Jack Goldsmith, a young attorney who took charge of the White House’s Office of Legal Counsel, then courageously took on Vice President Cheney and his powerful inner circle when he discovered they were running a number of illegal activities through their so-called “Special Program.”
6. Hot Summer nights (24)
A teenager’s life spirals out of control when he befriends the town’s rebel, falls in love, and gets entangled in selling drugs over one summer in Cape Cod.
6. Sovereign (24)
Geoff Tock, Greg Weidman
A man goes to space to destroy the ship that, upon going sentient, killed his wife.
7. Shovel Buddies (22)
Jason Mark Hellerman
Over twenty four hours, four teenage friends try to complete the “Shovel List” (a will/bucket list) left for them by their best friend before he died of Leukemia.
8. Pox Americana (20)
Frank John Hughes
In the Old West, a group of soldiers go on a mission to slaughter a peaceful tribe in retaliation for another tribe’s attack on a white settlement, only to suffer at the hands of a devastating disease.
8. Reminiscence (20)
Lisa Joy Nolan
An “archeologist” whose technology allows you to relive your past finds himself abusing his own science to find the missing love of his life.
8. The Independent (20)
With America’s first viable independent Presidential Candidate poised for victory, an idealistic young journalist uncovers a conspiracy, which places the fate of the election, and the country, in his hands.
9. Beast (19)
With the hope of starting over, a reformed criminal with an ultra-violent past returns home, but when he finds his own family leading his teenaged son down the same path of destruction, he will stop at nothing to save his child.
9. The Golden Record (19)
Aaron Kandell, Jordan Kandell
The true story of how Carl Sagan fell in love while leading the wildest mission in NASA history: a golden record to encapsulate the experience of life on earth for advanced extraterrestrial life.
9. Faults (19)
An expert on cults is hired by a mother and father to kidnap and deprogram their brainwashed daughter. He soon begins to suspect the parents me be more destructive than the cult he’s being hired to save her from.
10. Sweetheart (18)
A young hitwoman tries to escape the business but finds herself in more danger after a high school reunion and a one night stand.
And here are some other titles that we found very intriguing from the rest of the list:
1969: A Space Odyssey or How Kubrick Learned to Stop Worrying and Land on the Moon
With NASA’s Apollo program in trouble and the Soviets threatening nuclear war, a female PR operative conspires with NASA’s Public Affairs Office to stage a fake moon landing in case Armstrong and Aldren fail, the goal being to generate public excitement that will aid the U.S. in winning the Cold War. But the op is faced with the biggest challenge of all: Filming the fake lunar landing with temperamental Stanley Kubrick.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Alexis C. Jolly
Set in 1950s Manhattan, Fred Rogers journeys from a naïve young man working for NBC to the host of the beloved children’s PBS show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.
The Boy and His Tiger
The true story of Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin & Hobbes.
The Shark Is Not Working
When his big break finally arrives, an idealistic young movie director, Steven Spielberg, risks failing to complete the movie JAWS when his 25-foot mechanical shark stops working.
Jake Morse, Scott Wolman
An R-rated talking car from the 80s is brought back into service and teamed up with the son of his former partner, a befuddled cop looking to earn his stripes.
If you want to see the full list of scripts on this year's Black List, you can find all of the titles, complete with loglines for each film, right here. Sadly, not all of these films will get made. However, some already have financing and will get made. Riley Stearns' Faults actually just wrapped production. In general, 68% of these films have a producer attached and 33% have financing. We wish all of these screenplays could end up being movies, but it's increasingly hard for films, even with amazing screenplays, to get any funding nowadays. Stay tuned for development news on these scripts. Which of these scripts interest you the most?