From The Black List to the Big Screen

Photo Credit: Bartosch Salmanski

Every year, thousands of screenplays go to production companies and end up in the bin. However, there are some scripts that producers and executives really like but, for whatever reason, aren’t fast-tracked to the big screen.

The Black List is a survey published every December since 2005. Film executive Franklin Leonard surveyed almost 100 film industry developmental executives about their favourite scripts that year that hadn’t been made into feature films.

Photo Credit: Bartosch Salmanski
Photo Credit: Bartosch Salmanski

Over 225 Black List screenplays have been made into films. Those films have made over $16 billion in the box office and have been nominated for over 150 Academy Awards.

Award-winning films such as The Queen, Argo, The Social Network and There Will Be Blood are just some of the films that have appeared on the list over the years.

Bear in mind, the list is not a ‘best of’ kind of thing. It’s more of a ‘most liked’ list.

The 2013 list has some interesting screenplays. Here’s just a small selection of them that I’d like to see make the big screen.

The Special Program (Debora Cahn)                                                                                                                                         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 Dick Cheney and his powerful inner circle when he discovered they were running a number of illegal activities through their so-called “Special Program”. Goldsmith published a book about his time with the Bush Administration called The Terror Presidency. (Apparently, The Weinstein Company might back this so watch out for it in the coming years!)

The Independent (Evan Parter)                                                                                                                                                     With America’s first viable independent Presidential Candidate poised for victory, a young journalist uncovers a conspiracy, which places the fate of the election, and the country, in his hands.

Faults (Riley Stearns)                                                                                                                                                                             An expert on cults is hired by a mother and father to kidnap and deprogram their brain-washed daughter. He soon begins to suspect the parents may be more destructive than the cult he’s been hired to save her from.

Superbrat (Eric Slovin & Leo Allen)                                                                                                                                               Temperamental tennis champion John McEnroe is sucked into a dangerous and ludicrous law enforcement sting during Wimbledon 1980. (Please let this be made! With McEnroe playing himself!!)

Broken Cove (Declan O’Dwyer)                                                                                                                                                       After his brother is found brutally murdered, a man returns to his Irish village home, hellbent on revenge and armed only with a mysterious  list of names his brother left behind.

Photo Credit: Matt Richards
Photo Credit: Matt Richards

The Mayor of Shark City (Nick Creature & Michael Sweeney)                                                                                       When a difficult film shoot spirals out of control, an ambitious young director must face his greatest fears to turn a troubled production into the biggest movie of all time. Set on Martha’s Vineyard during the summer of 1974, this is the untold story of the making of Jaws.

Ink and Bone (Zak Olkewicz)                                                                                                                                                           When a female book editor visits the home of a horror writer so he can complete his novel, she finds that all of his creations are holding him hostage. (Rumour has it Dimension Films have bought it)

The Company Man (Andrew Cypiot)                                                                                                                                     Based on true events, CIA agent Edwin Wilson went behind enemy lines to secure weapons contracts and report back information to the CIA shortly after the Cold War. He rose in the company until policies changed and he was fired. He continued to operate as a man without a country and became public enemy #1 in the US Attorney’s office.

Frisco (Simon Stephenson)                                                                                                                                                             A forty-something pediatric allergist, who specialises in hazelnut and is facing divorce, learns lessons in living from a terminally ill 15 year old patient when she crashes his conference trip to San Francisco.

Sweetheart (Jack Stanley)                                                                                                                                                                 A young hitwoman tries to escape the business but finds herself in more danger after a high school reunion and a one night stand. (Sounds like Mathilda from Léon all grown up to me.)

To read about other screenplays on the 2013 list, click here.

Have you got any ideas for a screenplay?? Photo Credit: Scott Beale/Laughing Squid
Have you got any ideas for a screenplay?? Photo Credit: Scott Beale/Laughing Squid



    • Thanks!! 🙂 The Independent sounds interesting. I imagine Jesse Eisenberg as the journo for some reason!

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