|The Black List|
|Purpose||Ranking of top unproduced screenplays|
The Black List is an annual survey of the "most-liked" motion picture screenplays not yet produced. It has been published every year since 2005 on the second Friday of December by Franklin Leonard, a development executive who subsequently worked at Universal Pictures and Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment. The website states that these are not necessarily "the best" screenplays, but rather "the most liked", since it is based on a survey of studio and production company executives.
Of the more than 1,000 screenplays The Black List has included since 2005, 440 have been produced as theatrical films, including Argo, American Hustle, Juno, The King's Speech, Slumdog Millionaire, Spotlight, The Revenant, The Descendants, and Hell or High Water. The produced films have together grossed over $30 billion, and been nominated for 241 Academy Awards and 205 Golden Globe Awards, winning 50 and 40 respectively. As of the 92nd Academy Awards, four of the last 10 Academy Awards for Best Picture went to scripts featured on a previous Black List, as well as 12 of the last 20 screenwriting Oscars (Original and Adapted Screenplays). Additionally, writers whose scripts are listed often find that they are more readily hired for other jobs, even if their listed screenplays still have not been produced, such as Jim Rash and Nat Faxon, two of the writers of the screenplay for The Descendants, who had an earlier screenplay make the list. Slate columnist David Haglund has written that the list's reputation as a champion for "beloved but challenging" works has been overstated, since "these are screenplays that are already making the Hollywood rounds. And while, as a rule, they have not yet been produced, many of them are already in production."
The first Black List was compiled in 2005 by Franklin Leonard, at the time working as a development executive for Leonardo DiCaprio's production company, Appian Way Productions. He emailed about 75 fellow development executives and asked them to name the ten best unproduced screenplays they read that year. To thank them for participating, he compiled the list and sent it to the respondents. The name The Black List was a nod to his heritage as an African American man, and also as a reference to the writers who were barred during the McCarthy era as part of the Hollywood blacklist.
The screenplays to top The Black List, from 2005 to 2022 respectively, are: Things We Lost in the Fire; The Brigands of Rattleborge; Recount; The Beaver; The Muppet Man; College Republicans; The Imitation Game; Draft Day; Holland, Michigan; Catherine the Great; Bubbles; Blond Ambition; Ruin; Frat Boy Genius; Move On; Headhunter; Cauliflower, and Pure.
On January 27, 2019, at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, it was announced that the LGBT media advocacy group GLAAD had partnered with The Black List to create The GLAAD List, a new curated list of the most promising unmade LGBT-inclusive scripts in Hollywood.
The Black List tallies the number of "likes" various screenplays are given by development executives, and then ranks them accordingly. The most-liked screenplay is The Imitation Game, which topped the list in 2011 with 133 likes; it went on to win the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 87th Academy Awards in 2015.
Main article: List of produced films included in The Black List
More than 440 screenplays have been put into production after appearing on The Black List. These include:
(120/286 screenplays have been put in production)
(40/87 screenplays have been put into production)
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(10/76 films have been put into production)
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(1/73 screenplays have been put into production)
(1/75 screenplays have been put into production)