Top 10 Scripts Waiting To Be Made In Hollywood (Black List 2007-2011)5.12.12 # Top Ten # One Comment
Every year thousands of new scripts float their way around Hollywood, and many deserving ones don’t make it into production. Since 2004, the movie industry has compiled it’s own rundown of the ‘most liked’ unproduced screenplays, voted for by around 300 film executives. As the 2012 list comes ever closer to being released, let’s take a look at highlights from the previous five years. Other scripts to appear on ‘The Black List’ in this time include The Social Network, Argo and Hanna. In fact, a lot of scripts voted onto The Black List do end up going into production at some point. So here’s our countdown, based on the potential of the premise and/or who’s expressed interest.
10. Galahad (2008’s Black List)
Premise: A revisionist twist on the Legend of King Arthur, from the point of view of the knight Galahad.
My Take: 2004’s King Arthur was an underwhelming adaptation but telling the story from the perspective of Lancelot’s illegitimate son could offer a fresh take. It’s a legendary tale that deserves a legendary modern version.
9. The True Memoirs of an International Assassin (2009)
Premise: An insecure writer manages to sell his book The Memoirs of an International Assassin after many years. To his horror, the novel is retitled and printed as The True Memoirs of an International Assassin and marketed as non-fiction, which makes the writer look like the assassin himself. He soon becomes the target of The CIA, various drug lords, the media, and a beautiful reporter.
My Take: An original comedy premise, which is rare.
What Now?: Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine) is attached to direct, but when?
8. Best Actress (2009)
Premise: Based upon the lives of screen legends Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and their tumultuous working relationship and rivalry. The film focuses on the one and only film they ever made together: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane.
My Take: A potentially firey biopic about a fascinating showbiz conflict. Think My Week With Marilyn with more spitting.
7. Maggie (2011)
Premise: When a ‘walking dead’ virus sweeps the US, a farming family must help their eldest daughter come to terms with the fact that she is slowly becoming a flesh eating zombie.
My Take: A different perspective on a well-worn genre.
What now?: Chloe Moretz is rumoured to star as the titular character after wrapping production of Carrie.
6. The Muppet Man (2009)
Premise: The life and times of the late Jim Henson, the man behind Sesame Street and The Muppets. Imagine the Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon, but with puppets. A moving story that depicts the life of a creative genius, with occasional surreal appearances by the likes of Kermit and Miss Piggy.
My Take: It’s a fascinating, wacky, sometimes tragic life. The script beat The Social Network to the number one spot on 2009’s list, so it must be pretty good.
What Now?: Seemingly in deep freeze, although there’s a more realistic prospect of it being made after the critical and commercial success of last year’s Muppet movie. Jim Carrey has been rumoured for the part, while fans suggest Henson’s son, Brian, should be given a shot. The script has been set up at Jim Henson’s own company, which is good for access, but may affect the balance, since an honest warts-and-all biopic is less likely from those with emotional attachment.
5. Father Daughter Time: A Tale of Armed Robbery and Eskimo Kisses (2011)
Premise: An ordinary man goes on a three state crime and killing spree accompanied by the oddest of companions: his 11 year old daughter.
My Take: Think a smaller, more personal Bonnie and Clyde meets The Professional. The title suggests it’ll be quirkier too. Should be interesting.
What Now?: Matt Damon plans to make this his directorial debut, with The Office’s John Krasinski as the father.
4. Jackie (2011)
Premise: Biopic of former First Lady Jackie Onassis, focusing heavily on the events of the assassination of her husband John F. Kennedy in 1964 and the 7 days directly afterwards.
My Take: Darren Aronofsky was all set to direct a potential masterpiece, with then wife Rachel Weisz cast as the titular character. Sadly the two ended up getting divorced and hence the film ended up unmade.
What Now?: Aronofsky may be reviving the project, with Natalie Portman as Onassis.
3. The Umbrella Academy (2009)
Premise: Adaptation of Gerard Way’s graphic novel about an estranged family of former child superheroes who are reunited after the death of their father to stop one of their own destroying the world.
My Take: Think The Royal Tenenbaums meets the X-Men. An original and off-beat take on the superhero genre.
What now?: The script ended up with Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball) and was rewritten. The project is still expected to go ahead…at an undetermined point.
2. College Republicans (2010)
Premise: The true story of how aspiring politician Karl Rove ran a dirty campaign for national College Republican Chairman, under the guidance of Lee Atwater, his campaign manager.
My Take: Potential Oscar fodder, especially in liberal Hollywood. Think The Ides of March, only it’s real. And on a college campus.
What now?: Paul Dano has been tapped to play Rove, Richard Linklater may direct.
1. Curveball (2007)
Premise: Adapted by the screenwriter of Eastern Promises from the award-winning book by an L.A. Times reporter (Curveball: Spies, Lies, and the Con Man Who Caused a War) this tells the true story of an Iraqi informant code-named ‘Curveball’ who gave flawed information about biological weapons that the U.S. administration used to justify the war in Iraq. The inside story of intrigue and incompetence at the highest levels of government.
My Take: One of the most interesting stories of the Iraqi era. The fact that it’s not fiction (compared to the likes of Green Zone) gives it considerable weight.
What Now?: Sunk by the poor box office returns for other Iraq-set movies. The public are tired of it. But many of the best historical movies are made long after the event. So who knows.
Would you want to watch any of these, or should they stay unproduced? Let us know in the comments.