This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "The Black List" survey – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (May 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The Black List
Black List logo.png
Created2004; 18 years ago (2004)
Locationblcklst.com/lists/
Author(s)Franklin Leonard
PurposeRanking 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[1] and Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment.[2][3][4] 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.[5]

Of the more than 1,000 screenplays The Black List has included since 2005, 440 have been produced as theatrical films,[6] including Argo,[7] American Hustle, Juno,[1] The King's Speech, Slumdog Millionaire,[8] Spotlight,[9] The Revenant, The Descendants, and Hell or High Water. The produced films have together grossed over $30 billion,[9] and been nominated for 241 Academy Awards and 205 Golden Globe Awards, winning 50[10] 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).[11] 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.[3] 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."[12]

On January 27, 2019, at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, it was announced that the LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD had partnered with The Black List to create The GLAAD List, a new curated list of the most promising unmade LGBTQ-inclusive scripts in Hollywood.[13]

History

A Black List live script reading panel at the 2018 ATX Television Festival (pictured from L–R): Moderator Franklin Leonard, with Matt Lauria, James Lafferty, Jason George, Katherine Willis, Taylor Dearden, Nick Wechsler, Tyrel Jackson Williams, and Riley Scott.
A Black List live script reading panel at the 2018 ATX Television Festival (pictured from L–R): Moderator Franklin Leonard, with Matt Lauria, James Lafferty, Jason George, Katherine Willis, Taylor Dearden, Nick Wechsler, Tyrel Jackson Williams, and Riley Scott.

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.[14] 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 subtle reference to the writers who were barred during the McCarthy era as part of the Hollywood blacklist.[15]

The screenplays to top The Black List, from 2005 to 2021 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; and Cauliflower.

Structure

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.[16]

Films on the Black List

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.[11] These include:

2005 Black List

(120/286 screenplays have been put in production)

2006 Black List

(40/87 screenplays have been put into production)

2007 Black List

2008 Black List

(39/105 screenplays have been put into production)[18]

2009 Black List

(42/97 screenplays have been put into production)[19]

2010 Black List

(44/76 screenplays have been put into production)[20]

2011 Black List

(28/71 screenplays have been put into production)[8][21]

2012 Black List

2013 Black List

2014 Black List

(17/70 screenplays have been put into production)[22]

2015 Black List

(15/81 screenplays have been put into production)[23]

2016 Black List

(14/73 screenplays have been put into production)[24]

2017 Black List

(8/76 films have been put into production[25])

2018 Black List

(8/73 screenplays have been put into production)[26]

2019 Black List

(6/66 screenplays have been put into production)[27]

2020 Black List

(6/80 screenplays have been put into production)[28]

2021 Black List

(__/73 screenplays have been put into production)[11]

Notes

  1. ^ Written by Matthew Wilder, this screenplay never went into production. The 2013 film Lovelace is based on a screenplay written by Andy Bellin and is not connected to Wilder's script.
  2. ^ Bomback was eventually replaced by another writer for the film adaptation, which never came to fruition. A separate television adaptation, The Umbrella Academy (2019), was later developed for Netflix, with the pilot episode written by Jeremy Slater.

References

  1. ^ a b Sperling, Nicole (December 10, 2008). "The Black List: How Hollywood's Buzziest Scripts Get Their Juice". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on September 29, 2015. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  2. ^ Sperling, Nicole (September 19, 2012). "Black List founder Franklin Leonard out at Overbrook Entertainment". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Edgars, Geoff (February 23, 2012). "Hollywood's talent pool". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on May 3, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  4. ^ Dodes, Rachel (December 21, 2012). "For Budding Screenwriters, a Way Past the Studio Gates". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on December 27, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  5. ^ Sperling, Nicole (December 13, 2011). "A 'Black List' that's a career boost". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 16, 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  6. ^ Paulson, Michael (January 25, 2022). "The Black List, Founded in Hollywood, Expands Into Theater". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 25, 2022. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
  7. ^ Finke, Nikki (December 13, 2010). "The Black List 2010: Screenplay Roster". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 16, 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Child, Ben (December 13, 2011). "Hollywood's 'Black List' of best unproduced scripts of 2011 revealed". TheGuardian.com. Archived from the original on September 25, 2013. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  9. ^ a b Welk, Brian (December 13, 2021). "Black List 2021: Films About Kanye West, Martin Shkreli, Donald Trump Among Favorite Unproduced Scripts". TheWrap. Archived from the original on December 13, 2021. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  10. ^ Kilday, Gregg (December 11, 2017). "2017 Black List of the Best Unproduced Screenplays Unveiled". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 25, 2022. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
  11. ^ a b c Hipes, Patrick (December 13, 2021). "The Black List 2021: Daniel Jackson's 'Cauliflower' Tops Heap Of Year's Most-Liked Unproduced Screenplays". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 14, 2021. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  12. ^ Haglund, David (December 13, 2011). "The Mostly Dull-Sounding Screenplays on This Year's 'Black List'". Slate. Archived from the original on December 11, 2018. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  13. ^ Kilday, Gregg (January 27, 2019). "Sundance: GLAAD and The Black List Join Forces to Promote LGBTQ Screenplays". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 11, 2021. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  14. ^ How an underground script list changed movies (Online video). Vox. September 14, 2017. Archived from the original on October 14, 2021. Retrieved October 13, 2021 – via YouTube.
  15. ^ Rottenberg, Josh (December 15, 2014). "Franklin Leonard's Black List can help green-light screenplays". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 16, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  16. ^ "Oscar Winners 2015: Complete List". Variety. February 22, 2015. Archived from the original on February 23, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  17. ^ Ouellette, Jennifer (September 4, 2019). "Carnival Row Brings a Richly Textured Fantasy World to Life". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on September 9, 2019. Retrieved October 14, 2021 – via Wired.com.
  18. ^ Finke, Nikke (December 10, 2008). "The Black List 2008: Top Screenplays". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 18, 2015. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  19. ^ Finke, Nikke (December 11, 2009). "The Black List 2009: Full Roster". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 15, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  20. ^ Sneider, Jeff (December 13, 2010). "2010 Black List: 5 Scripts With the Best Chance of Getting Made". TheWrap. Archived from the original on March 24, 2022. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  21. ^ Han, Angie (December 12, 2011). "The 2011 Black List: The Year's Best Unproduced Screenplays". Slashfilm. Archived from the original on October 15, 2021. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  22. ^ Ford, Rebecca (December 15, 2014). "The 2014 Black List Announced". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 25, 2022. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  23. ^ Coggan, Devan (December 14, 2015). "The Black List announces 2015 script selections". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on May 1, 2016. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  24. ^ McNary, Dave (December 12, 2016). "Madonna Biopic 'Blond Ambition' Tops 2016 Black List". Variety. Archived from the original on December 13, 2016. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  25. ^ Hipes, Patrick (December 11, 2017). "The Black List 2017 Screenplays: Post-WWII Tale 'Ruin' Is No. 1 – Full Rankings". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 13, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
  26. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 17, 2018). "The Black List 2018 Ranked: Disgruntled Snapchat Employee Story 'Frat Boy Genius' Leads; Scripts About Matt Drudge & Young Samuel L. Jackson Round Out Survey". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 18, 2018. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  27. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony; Ramos, Dino-Ray (December 16, 2019). "The Black List 2019 Screenplays Unveiled & Ranked: Ken Kobayashi's Frozen-Time Romance 'Move On' Tops List". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 27, 2019. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  28. ^ Lindahl, Chris (December 14, 2020). "The 2020 Black List Presents the Year's Best Unproduced Scripts". IndieWire. Archived from the original on December 16, 2020. Retrieved February 27, 2021.