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

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist 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

2011

Chewie
1. "The Imitation Game" - Graham Moore
This biopic of tragic computer pioneer Alan Turing initially had David Yates and Leonardo DiCaprio sniffing round it, though neither ever properly committed. "The Disappearance Of Alice Creed" helmer J Blakeson signed on instead, but Warner Bros dropped the project, and Blakeson fell off. Last week, however, "Headhunters" director Morten Tyldum came on board. Moore's now working on "The Devil and the White City" for DiCaprio

2. "When The Street Lights Go On" - Chris Hutton, Eddie O'Keefe
A "Stand By Me"-ish poetic tale of a small town grappling with the murder of a young girl, this script had Drew Barrymore circling to direct for a while, but more recently, Anonymous Content set documentary maker Brett Morgen ("The Kid Stays In The Picture") to helm the project.

3. "Chewie" - Evan Susser, Van Robichaux
A comedy abut the making of "Star Wars" seen through the eyes of Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew, this got picked up by Inferno Entertainment, with "Fanboys" helmer Kyle Newman branching out as director. But given Disney's recent purchase of "Star Wars" we'd be surprised if it ever got made. Susser and Robichaux are now working on TV pilot "How To Grow Up" for ABC.

4. "The Outsider" - Andrew Baldwin
A post-WW2 thriller about an American POW who rises through the ranks of the yakuza in Japan, this intriguing-sounding thriller wasinitially picked up by Warner Bros, with "Safe House" director Daniel Espinosa attached, and Michael Fassbender linked to the lead role. Silver Pictures took it from Warners last month, with Tom Hardy now interested in the project. With the heat off the film, Baldwin wrote a draft of "Logan's Run," and is now working on actioner "Bastille Day" for Pierre Morel.

Matt Damon
5. "Father Daughter Time: A Tale Of Armed Robbery And Eskimo Kisses" - Matthew Aldrich
This "Paper Moon" style comedy-drama about a father and daughter on the run from the law was acquired by Warner Bros, who bought it for Matt Damon to star in, and possibly direct. Damon opted to make "Promised Land" instead (though dropped out of directing), but maybe this will turn out to be his debut behind the camera in the end anyway? Aldrich also penned "The Grace That Keeps This World," with James Franco and Brit Marling.

6. "In The Event Of A Moon Disaster" - Mike Jones
Penned by a former Variety staffer, who also worked on Henry Selick's aborted Disney movie and a new film of "Popeye," this reimagines the Apollo 11 mission and considers what would have happened if disaster had struck. FilmNation picked the script up, though there's been no movement on it. Jones is currently working on a secret script called "Second Act" for Alexander Payne.

7. "The Current War" - Michael Mitnick
The story of the battle between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to produce the first stable electric current, this had an unlikely duo of talent circling it a while back: Timur Bekmambetov was considering directing, and Sacha Baron Cohen apparently wanted to play Edison. There's been no solid news since, but the film is set up at Steve Zaillian's Film Rites company.

Chloe Moretz Paddy Considine Maggie
8. "Maggie" - John Scott III
A reinvention of the zombie movie that follows a daughter of a rural family as she slowly falls victim to a virus, "Maggie"'s been doing the rounds for a while, but landed a cast back in May, with Chloe Moretz and Paddy Considine reported as being interested. The September start date didn't materialize, so it's unclear if they're still involved, but Scott is busy regardless, penning two big sci-fi projects, "Otherland" and "The Caves Of Steel."

9. "The End" - Aron Eli Coleite
An apocalyptic ensemble piece about four people across the globe waiting for an extinction-level event, this script from former "Heroes" writer Aron Eli Coleite is set up at Warner Bros, though with no talent attached as far as we know. He's been busy since; writing "Hellbent" for New Regency, "When First We Were Gods" for Lionsgate, and TV series "Trooper," starring Mira Sorvino, for TNT and Jerry Bruckheimer.

10. "Beyond The Pale" - Chad Feehan
A thriller, based on a novel called "Twilight" (not that one...) with echoes of "The Night Of The Hunter," about two young siblings pursued by a fearsome local undertaker. It's not set up anywhere, as far as we can tell, but it did get Feehan the gig writing "Paranormal Activity 4."

This article is related to: Features, Black List


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