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The Black List: Where Are The Top Scripts Of Previous Years Now?

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com December 17, 2012 at 4:01PM

One of the cannier inventions of the movie world in the last decade or so is The Black List, set up by Franklin Leonard, at the time an junior executive at Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way company. Appropriating one of Hollywood's greatest shames (the banning from work of professionals -- mostly screenwriters -- with communist leanings) for good, with the intention of highlighting the best unmade scripts from Hollywood, Leonard polled executives for the best things they'd read that year, launching the first list in 2005.
4

2006

Park Chan-Wook
1. "The Brigands Of Rattleborge" - S. Craig Zahler
A Western about a group of robbers who use a torrential rain storm as cover to rob a small town, this was picked up by Warner Bros, but never moved forward. It's had a new lease of life of late, though, with "Oldboy" helmer Park Chan-Wook set to direct for Red Granite Pictures, while Zahler is soon to make his directorial debut with another Western, "Bone Tomahawk," with Kurt Russell, Peter Sarsgaard, Richard Jenkins and Timothy Olyphant

2. "State Of Play"
Making it to the screen in 2009 with rewrites from Tony Gilroy and Billy Ray, this remake of the acclaimed BBC miniseries starred Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Helen Mirren, and was directed by Kevin Macdonald. It was a fair shake at the masterful original, but proved a box office flop.

3. "Rendition" - Kelley Sane
Released the following year, Gavin Hood directed this war-on-terror thriller, which starred Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep and Alan Arkin, most of whom were miscast.

David Slade
4. "Villain" - Josh Zetumer
A taut, contained thriller about two brothers confronting their dark past out in the wilderness, "Villain" got writer Josh Zetumer lots of work (including "Robocop"), but didn't have much traction until recently, when "30 Days Of Night" director David Slade came on to direct.

5. "The Grackle" - MIke Arnold & Chris Poole
Following a Southern barfly who helps locals settle legal disputes with his fists, this comedy attracted the attention of New Line, Matthew McConaughey and David O Russell, but as yet, hasn't made it to the starting line.

6. "These City Walls" -  Brad Caleb Kane
Brad Kane was a child actor who provided the singing voice of Disney's "Aladdin" before moving into screenwriting. This one, an ensemble piece about a pimp in 1980s New York, was his calling card, and had Antoine Fuqua attached to direct at one point.

7. "Last Man Home" - Jamie Moss
Moss, whose credits include "Street Kings" and "X-Men First Class," broke through with his actioner about a U.S. military unit looking for a missing solider just before the 2003 Iraq War breaks out. Ron Howard was attached to direct at the time, but it never moved any further forward.

Richard Pryor
8. "Untitled Richard Pryor " - Brad Caleb Kane
Kane's second script on the list that year, this biopic of the legendary comedian was set to reteam "Dreamgirls" director and star Bill Condon and Eddie Murphy at one point, but never quite came together. Kane's still a hot property, though; he's a writer/producer on "Fringe," and most recently worked on the aborted "Daredevil" reboot.

9. "Seven Pounds" - Grant Nieporte
Another one shot in 2007, this was directed by Gabriele Muccino, and starred Will Smith. Yep, it's the one where he kills himself with a jellyfish.

10. "Himelfarb" - Andrew Mogel & Jarrod Paul
A comedy from the writers of JIm Carrey vehicle "Yes Man," this follows an oddball who falls in love with a woman on their first date, and turns up at her house for Thanksgiving. It sold to Warner Bros, but never moved forward.

This article is related to: Features, Black List


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