Best of the Blacklist
Hollywood has a new blacklist, but it's not what you think. This time, it's good to be on the blacklist. Started a few years ago by a cadre of Hollywood assistants, the blacklist are the best unproduced screenplays written in a given year, compiled from the suggestions of more than 250 execs and bigwigs who submit their top 10. Because there are lots more good scripts floating around than can possibly be made, getting onto the blacklist can be good for an up-and-coming writer (the list flies around Hollywood email inboxes faster than links to cute cat videos) and maybe not-so-great for big, established writers, if only in the sense that a bunch of companies read your script but no one has committed to making it yet. In any case, it's a fun window into what might be coming to a theater near you, and so I thought I'd include some of my favorite funny/weird/interesting/flossy blacklist titles and plotlines here for your enjoyment.
You can even play Hollywood exec for a moment: which of these movies would you greenlight?
THE BEAVER by Kyle Killen
"A depressed man finds hope in a beaver puppet that he wears on his hand."
THE GARY COLEMAN "“EMMANUEL LEWIS PROJECT by Dan Fogelman
"Emmanuel Lewis and Gary Coleman save the world from an evil madman."
BOBISM by Ben Wexler
"A shy college student discovers that life in one thousand years will be based on his blog"“and he has to stop aliens from the future who want him dead."
BUTTER by Jason Micallef
"A small town becomes a center for controversy and jealousy as its annual butter carving contest begins."
THE MANY DEATHS OF BARNABY JAMES by Brian Nathanson
"A teenage apprentice in a macabre circus for the dead yearns to bring his true love back to life, but not before encountering the many dangerous and mysterious gothic characters that stand in his way."
(This one seems like an example of a potentially good story which is nearly impossible to compress into a one-sentence logline.)
THE FOURTH KIND by Olatunde Osunsanmi
"A woman investigates an extraordinary number of unexplained disappearances from one small town in Alaska."
(I just hope that small town is Wasilla.)
FOXCATCHER by E Max Frye & Dan Futterman
"Based on the true story of John du Pont, a paranoid schizophrenic who was heir to the du Pont fortune. After building a wrestling training facility named Team Foxcatcher on his Pennsylvania estate, Du Pont shot and killed Olympic gold medal-winning grappler David Schulz."
(Stranger than fiction! This is what they mean when they say "you can't make this stuff up.")
UP IN THE AIR by Jason Reitman
"A ruthless human resources executive, whose job is to fire people, looks forward to the only joy he has in life, his millionth frequent flyer mile, a goal he pursues with zeal as the rest of his life falls apart around him because he is constantly on the road."
(Jason Reitman directed Juno. Apparently this is already in production.)
KEIKO by Elizabeth Wright Shapiro
"A white teenage girl, who was adopted and raised in Japan by Japanese parents, travels to America to find her long lost father, comedian Dana Carvey."
(Sounds like Lost in Translation in reverse. Sign me up!)
KNIGHTS by Nick Confalone & Neal Dusedau
"A kickass British adventure where knighted celebrities (an entrepreneur, a soccer player, a musician, and an actor) are called upon to defend their country."
(This gets my vote. Hilarious.)
TWENTY TIMES A LADY by Gabrielle Allan & Jennifer Crittenden
"Based on the book by Karyn Bosnak. After realizing that she has had twice as many sexual partners as the national average, Ally swears off new guys and decides to go back and visit the previous twenty guys and find out if she overlooked anyone."
(Just when you thought every romantic comedy had been made already.)
HELP ME SPREAD GOODNESS by Mark Friedman
"When an email predator dupes a man out of his son's college fund, the man travels to Nigeria to confront those who ripped him off."
YOUR DREAMS SUCK by Kat Dennings & Geoffrey Litwak
"An awkward teen with no self esteem regains his self-confidence after joining a Dance Dance Revolution team."
(Awesome. Just make it before people forget what Dance Dance Revolution is.)
WHAT WOULD KENNY DO? by Chris Baldi
"A seventeen-year-old high school kid meets a "˜hologram'of himself at thirty-seven-years-old and benefits from their friendship."
THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE DAMNED by Hanna Weg
"The tumultuous and doomed love affair of Jazz Age icons F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre."
(I believe this is in production now as well; ever since Benjamin Button, Fitzgerald is hot again! Also, supposedly Baz Luhrman is making The Great Gatsby as his next film.)
DEADLINE by Soo Hugh
"A discredited journalist navigates dangerous politics to find a missing aid worker."
(Soo is a friend, I've read the script and it's great, someone make it already!)
F*&KBUDDIES by Liz Meriwether
"A guy and a girl struggle to have an exclusively sexual relationship as they both come to realize they want much more."
(I might have to go with the one above for its title alone.)
THE MOST ANNOYING MAN IN THE WORLD by Kevin Kopelow & Heath Seifert
"A man travels across the country with his annoying brother in order to get to his own wedding."
SERIAL KILLER DAYS by Mark Carter
"A dark comedy blending stories of teen love and municipal corruption set against the backdrop of a town plagued by a serial killer that decides to profit the only way it can -by creating a festival and economy around the fact that they have a serial killer."