The 2008 Black List - Most Popular Unproduced Screenplays

December 10, 2008
Source: SlashFilm

The 2008 Black List

The Black List for 2008 has finally been unveiled, courtesy of Nikki Finke on Deadline Hollywood, and contains this year's selection of the most popular unproduced screenplays. The list is "compiled from the suggestions of over 250 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, 2008 and will not be released in theaters during this calendar year." Scripts needed at least four mentions to be included. Since this is pretty much something that will only interest those who are directly involved in the movie industry, we've listed the top 10 scripts, and an extra special one, and will point you towards SlashFilm for the rest.

1. The Beaver by Kyle Killen
A depressed man finds hope in a beaver puppet that he wears on his hand.
Status: Steve Carell is attached to star.

2. The Oranges by Jay Reiss and Ian Helfer
A man has a romantic relationship with the daughter of a family friend, which turns their lives upside down.
Status: Anthony Bregman is producing, Julian Farino is directing.

3. Butter by Jason Micallef
A small town becomes a center for controversy and jealousy as its annual butter carving contest begins.
Status: Jennifer Garner is attached to star.

4. Big Hole by Michael Gilio
An old cowboy goes on a mission to recover his money after a million dollar sweepstakes scam cleans out his entire bank account.
Status: Aversano Films is producing.

5. The Low Dweller by Brad Ingelsby
A man trying to assimilate into society after being released from jail discovers that someone from his past is out to settle a score.
Status: Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way is producing.

6. Fuckbuddies by Liz Meriwether
A guy and a girl struggle to have an exclusively sexual relationship as they both come to realize they want much more.
Status: Montecito Picture Company producing.

7. Winter's Discontent by Paul Fruchbom
When Herb Winter's wife of fifty years dies, the faithful but sexually frustrated widower moves into a retirement community to start living the swinging single life.
Status: Atlas Entertainment is producing.

8. Broken City by Brian Tucker
A New York private investigator gets sucked into a shady mayoral election.
Status: Mandate Pictures is producing.

9. I'm With Cancer by Will Reiser
A autobiographical comic account of one man's struggle to beat cancer.
Status: Seth Rogen is producing and is attached to star.

10. Our Brand Is Crisis by Peter Straughan
Based on the eponymous documentary. James Carville and a team of US political consultants travel to South America to help Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (aka Goni) become President of Bolivia.
Status: Warner Brothers is producing.

And that extra special one that I said I was going to mention is a script written by a recent friend of ours, Geoff LaTulippe, who we congratulate for making it onto here. In case you forgot, we wrote about Geoff's script in November because American Teen director Nanette Burstein was hired as the director. Now with this news, I will say that I definitely can't wait to see his project come together.

19. Going the Distance by Geoff LaTulippe
A couple tries to maintain a long-distance relationship.
Status: New Line Cinema is producing.

Interestingly, we've mentioned most of these projects at some point this year, including The Beaver. I'm guessing that while the writer's strike was in full effect earlier this year, all the production companies started scooping up as many great screenplays as they could, which is why a lot of these are already picked up. However, there are a lot more on the full list that haven't been picked up yet. As we mentioned, the remainder of the list, which contains 95 more scripts, can be found in full over on SlashFilm.

Find more posts: Cool Stuff, Movie News



Maybe its just me but most of those dont sound like good movies. Wish there was a little more detail

Heckle on Dec 10, 2008


fyi - the summary for #6 is missing some words.

janet on Dec 10, 2008


are you kidding? did you read the ones about beaver puppets and butter carving? genius..

Ben on Dec 10, 2008


Wow Maybe all the good ideas HAVE already been taken (*ahem, 'bought')

Jaf on Dec 10, 2008


#6 and #10 are missing words

scm1000 on Dec 10, 2008


Fixed the missing words scm1000... Sorry about that! 🙂

Alex Billington on Dec 11, 2008


These all sound like they should be the 10 that never get made!! Awful plots.

dom on Dec 11, 2008


i thought the "suble knife" would be on there. i don't think anything is happening with that. yea, "the beaver" and "butter" sound like fun movies.

dan on Dec 11, 2008


I would think Dave Coulier would be attached to star in "The Beaver".!

schizznic on Dec 11, 2008


The ONLY one that sounds like it would be decent is "Big Hole." The rest are crap.

Andy S on Dec 11, 2008


#10 - Really? Out of 106 of the hottest scripts in Hollywood, only ONE of them sounds decent and the rest are crap? Are you being serious?

Alex Billington on Dec 11, 2008


come on where is the hope that someone can write a successful screenplay and make it the next big thing?

Xerxex on Dec 11, 2008


None of these sound spectacular, but it's hard to do 'spectacular' in a one-sentence summary. I'll say what I usually say in these situations... it's all in the execution. Iron Man by Mark Fergus & Co. A rich guy makes metal suit. Status: The guy who played Chaplin is signed to attached to star.

kevjohn on Dec 11, 2008


@Alex in #11--Yep. C'mon a BUTTER CARVING CONTEST??? I stand by my crap statement.

Andy S on Dec 11, 2008


A few thoughts: I like "Our Brand Is Crisis". I can see this as a film with a small ensemble cast with a mix of some young and older actors playing "Confident Playmasters". People like Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Richard Gere, or maybe George Clooney. Some Light-toned, but intelligent grassroots politicky to help someone win a Presidential Election in a troubled country.... Ending relies on research. I also like "The Oranges" I can see this as a vehicle for a slightly older, but under 30 attractive male actor, and a can-pass-for-under-age-20 younger actress. Then again, I'm imagining a lot here. But the image would definitely be striking, should stick to emotive-romanticism to avoid an R rating or public backlash. Having an older (but not over 30 man) be attracted to a girl under 20 can be sweet, thought-provoking, but can still tackle the question of social mores. I like "Broken City" My instincts tell me this will be set in the 1920's when mayoral elections in some US Cities were really mob-controlled and the corruption was more "interesting" and "spectacular". I'd prefer an uplifting message in the end though. "Fuckbuddies" - Sounds like a Seth Rogen film. Title implies poor taste, but it might be salvageable. Must not involve Seth Rogen. "Big Hole" - Sounds like a job for the Coen Brothers "Going the Distance" - Sounds interesting. But may be irrelevant because technology has shrunk the world we live in. Long Distance Relationships are not what they used to be. "Butter" - Somehow makes me think of a small-town comedy ala "Groundhog Day". "The Low Dweller" - Can be made interesting if worked upon, but could end up as a re-tread of "A History of Violence" with a few things rearranged. "Winter's Discontent" - Will not work unless made as a comedy. Even then it may appear to be in poor taste. "I'm With Cancer" - Might work, but much depends on lead character if it's male, female, old, young. These things will affect the tone. An old person with Cancer will be typical, but they can make it interesting by exploring young people overcoming Cancer. Well that's it. Cheers!

SS on Dec 11, 2008


a couple of those sound like really NEW and IMAGINATIVE ideas...saints forbid Hollywood let anything like THAT we know where all the good ideas wind up.....

cornholio_by_the_sea on Dec 11, 2008


These actually gave me a good laugh. There were a couple interesting ones in there..but like someone mentioned earlier, maybe it's the one-liner that is throwing off the intent. Either made my day. A Beaver puppet and butter carving contest...hehehee....I'm still crackin' up.

Bry from Chi on Dec 12, 2008


I read THE BEAVER and hated it. I also hated LARS AND THE REAL GIRL when I read it, so there you go. THE BEAVER is pretty much the same story as LARS. You can tell that was the writer's intent. I read A COUPLE OF DICKS and loved it.

Johnny on Dec 12, 2008


Over 100 scripts on that list, and only -12- by female writers? Just how many female execs did they include in the poll?

N T on Dec 12, 2008


If anyone wants details on these screenplays but doesn't feel like reading them, I've been slowly working my way through the top ten scripts and posting detailed synopses and analyses on my blog.

Stan on Dec 22, 2008

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