The Black List 2010: The Most Popular Unproduced Screenplays
by Ethan Anderton
December 13, 2010
Awards season is in full swing with praise and endless awards given to films lucky enough to receive them, there are still stories that are stuck in development or just starting to take off. Enter The Black List 2010 (courtesy of Deadline and 24 Frames), a compilation of screenplays built from the suggestions of hundreds of film executives who contribute their ten favorite scripts "that were written in, or are somehow uniquely associated with, 2010 and will not be released in theaters during this calendar year." The Social Network came in at #2 last year, and look where it is now. Who knows what films from this years list will be around for awards season next year.
1: College Republicans
By Wes Jones
What it's about: Based on true events. Aspiring politician Karl Rove runs a dirty campaign for national College Republican Chairman under the guidance of Lee Atwater, his campaign manager.
Status: Anonymous Content is producing. We've heard that Shia LaBeouf might be interested in playing Karl Rove, but it looks like he was actually looking at playing Lee Atwater with Paul Dano possibly playing Rove.
By Noah Oppenheim
What it's about: Jackie Kennedy fights to define her husband’s legacy in the seven days immediately following his assassination.
Status: Darren Aronofsky directing for Fox Searchlight and Rachel Weisz is reportedly playing Jackie Kennedy.
3: All You Need is Kill
By Dante Harper
What it's about: 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.
Status: Set up at Warner Bros. and Doug Liman has been mentioned as a possible director.
4: Safe House
By David Guggenheim
What it's about: A young man at a CIA-run safe house in Rio De Janeiro must help a rogue ex-agent escape assassins who want intelligence that he won't sell them.
Status: Universal Pictures to produce with Daniel Espinoza directing and Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington set to star.
By Wentworth Miller (star of "Prison Break")
What it's about: After the death of her father, a teenager must deal with a mysterious uncle who returns to spend time with the family.
Status: Fox Searchlight purchased the script and supposedly Park Chan-wook is set to direct with Carey Mulligan and Jodie Foster attached to star. Scott Free productions will produce.
By Matt Cook
What it's about: A gang of crooked cops plan a major heist that will require them to shoot a fellow officer in order to get away with it.
Status: Anonymous Content is producing.
7: Margin Call
By J.C. Chandor
What it's about: Based on true events, the final twenty-four hours of Lehman Brothers.
Status: J.C. Chandor is directing from his own script with Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Zachary Quinto, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci and more. The film will premiere at Sundance Film Festival in January but you can check out our first look at the financial crisis drama right here.
8: American Bullshit
By Eric Warren Singer
What it's about: The true story of Abscam, the FBI's 1980 undercover sting operation of Congress toroot out corruption which was the brainchild of the world's greatest con man.
Status: Sony Pictures has optioned the script.
By Chris Terrio
What it's about: The true story of how the CIA, with help from Hollywood, used a fake movie project tosmuggle hostages out of Tehran during the 1979 hostage crisis.
Status: Optioned by Warner Bros.
10: The Last Son of Isaac Lemay
By reg Johnson
What it's about: An aging outlaw convinced that there is evil in his genes goes on a journey to killoff his offspring. In the process, he discovers that his last remaining son is aterrifying manifestation of his worst fears.
Status: Gore Verbinski's company producing.
You can head over to Deadline to check out the complete list with plenty more unproduced yet promising screenplays mentioned. Some of them include more projects we've already reported on like The Hunger Games, Tales from the Gangster Squad, Welcome to People, Dark Moon, Snow White and the Huntsman, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and many more. Hopefully we'll hear about more of these screenplays moving into production sooner than later, so stay tuned as Hollywood keeps churning them out. Which ones sound good?
Reader Feedback - 14 Comments
S on Dec 13, 2010
And they say that remakes are an awful thing...
Fox on Dec 13, 2010
These stories sound interesting. But does anyone else find it odd that most of them involve the CIA, FBI or government conspiracies?
David on Dec 13, 2010
God I love the sounds of Margin Call I. Luckily it's coming out in the next couple months.
Moon on Dec 13, 2010
I choose none of the above.
Piper on Dec 13, 2010
Well, it's an interesting list--far from "meh", but I guess that's the 'Net nowadays....dismiss without any serious thought. Oh well. Glad to see ALL YOU NEED IS KILL on the list--I loved the book by Hiroshi Sakurazawa. It's a short novel, but reads fast and is packed with action. It's a great "man vs. alien" novel with some pretty unique twists. @3: David, I don't find it odd at all. There will ALWAYS be a market for films that involve the CIA, FBI, and government conspiracies.
Marc McKenzie on Dec 13, 2010
the black list is just a publicity tool now. none of these sound original, intelligent, or worth a damn.
crumb on Dec 13, 2010
Well I think the list is at least interesting. the Wentworth Miller screenplay has a very vague synopsis so Im curious to see why those who read it liked it so much.
DJSNOLA` on Dec 13, 2010
@7: Jesus, Crumb...had a bad day did you? "none of these sound original, intelligent, or worth a damn." I disagree, but then again, it's just the in thing nowadays to bitch and moan in a vain attempt to look cool and detached. Oh well...
Marc McKenzie on Dec 13, 2010
@9, I had a really good day, actually. Just got back from a screening of tron. it was pretty fun. and yeah, i was being a little hyperbolic in my post. still can't argue that the black list isn't full of some major shit, though, that could only have gotten there by sordid means. I mean, there's some good talent attached to the scripts, but, the storys here sound horrible. Remakes, Biopics, and copy+paste police procedurals that cover this list from head to show ether show A) how boring we have become as humans or B) the black list is being compromised more and more every year by outside politics and money. and i'm an optimist, so i don't really think that A is the correct path.
crumb on Dec 14, 2010
Well this was a nice post to read but number 6: 999 - 'required to shoot a fellow officer' That sounds rediculous, just 'on paper' atleast.
DiR3cT on Dec 14, 2010
sounds like they stole the plot of 999 from the first episode of The Shield. Other than that most of these scripts sound like they have potential.
Midas on Dec 14, 2010
Nearly all the stories are men´s stories, and nearly all of them are written by men. Does anyone think this is normal in a world about 50-50 men and women? Aparently, everyone does.
José Manuel on Dec 14, 2010
@6, I guess that's the 'Net nowadays...act like a condescending prick anytime someone has an opinion that differs from your own. Oh well.
S on Dec 15, 2010
Sorry, new comments are no longer allowed.