"Draft Day," a script from Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman, topped the 2012 Black List, an annual ranking of the year's "most-liked" unproduced screenplays, revealed on Monday via Twitter.
Franklin Leonard launched the first Black List in 2005, based on a survey of film industry executives who chose their favorite unmade screenplays. Several past scripts on the list have gone on to great acclaim, such as five Oscar winners – “Juno,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Social Network," ”The King’s Speech” and ‘The Descendants.”
"Draft Day" topped this year's list with 65 mentions, besting any other script by more than 20. "A Country of Strangers," by Sean Armstrong, and "Seuss," by Eyal Podell and Jonathan Stewart, tied for second.
Though the list ranks unproduced work, seven of the top 10 are already set up with a production entity of some kind, as "Draft Day" is at Ivan Reitman's Montecito Pictures. Film Nation and Lava Bear will co-finance and distribute "Story of Your Life," a sci-project based on Ted Chiang's short story. Flim Nation and Lava Bear are producing with Shawn Levy's 21 Laps.
J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot is making "Wunderkind," about a Mossad agent and his CIA agent son, for Paramount.
Here's the full to 10:
#1 – 65 mentions. DRAFT DAY by Rajiv Joseph, Scott Rothman
Logline: On the day of the NFL Draft, Bills General Manager Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to save football in Buffalo when he trades for the number one pick. He must quickly decide what he's willing to sacrifice in pursuit of perfection as the lines between his personal and professional life become blurred.
Agency: Joseph – Gersh’s Lee Keele; Rothman – CAA’s Chris Till and Bill Zotti
Management: Josh Goldenberg and Aaron Kaplan at Kaplan/Perrone
Production: Montecito Pictures
#2 – 43 mentions. A COUNTRY OF STRANGERS by Sean Armstrong
Logline: Based on true events. Inspector Geoff Harper conducts a forty year search for the Beaumont Children, three siblings taken from an Australian beach in January of 1966.
Management: Principato-Young’s Peter Dealbert and Susan Solomon
#2 – 43 mentions. SEUSS by Eyal Podell, Jonathan Stewart
Logline: As a young man, Ted Geisel meets his future wife Helen, who encourages his fanciful drawings, and in the 1950s when Ted is struggling professionally, Helen helps inspire the children's book that will become his first big hit, "The Cat in the Hat."
Agency: Verve's Bryan Besser, Zach Carlisle and Rob Herting
Management: Industry Entertainment's Michael Botti and Jess Rosenthal
#4 – 39 mentions. RODHAM by Young Il Kim
Logline: During the height of the Watergate scandal, rising star Hillary Rodham is the youngest lawyer chosen for the House Judiciary Committee to Impeach Nixon, but she soon finds herself forced to choose between a destined path to the White House and her unresolved feelings for Bill Clinton, her former boyfriend who now teaches law in Arkansas.
Agency: UTA's Barbara Dreyfus and Jenny Maryasis
Management: The Arlock Group's Richard Arlook and Jason Hong
Production: The Arlook Group, Temple Hill Entertainment
#5 – 35 mentions. STORY OF YOUR LIFE by Eric Heisserer
Logline: Based on the short story by Ted Chiang. When alien crafts land around the world, a linguistics expert is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat. As she learns to communicate with the aliens, she begins experiencing vivid flashbacks that become the key to unlocking the greater mystery about the true purpose of their visit.
Agency: UTA's Barbara Dreyfus and Jon Huddle
Management: Art/Work's Julie Bloom
Financing: Film Nation
Production: Film Nation, Lava Bear, 21 Laps Entertainment
#6 – 33 mentions. WUNDERKIND by Patrick Aison
Logline: A Mossad employed father and his CIA agent son team up to hunt an escaped Nazi.
Agency: ICM Partners' Harley Copen, Bryan Diperstein and Emile Gladstone
Management: DMG Entertainment's Chris Cowles and Chris Fenton
Production: Bad Robot, DMG Entertainment
#7 – 31 mentions. EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL, AND VILE by Michael Werwie
Logline: Based on a true (and ultimately surprising) story, a promising young law student fights an oppressive legal system and growing public scrutiny when his routine traffic stop snowballs into shocking criminal charges, imprisonment, daring escapes, and ultimately acting as his own attorney in a nationally televised murder trial.
Agency: UTA's Peter Dodd, David Flynn, Jon Huddle and David Kramer
Management: Evolution Entertainment's Stephen Gates and Brad Kaplan
Production: Michael Costigan
#8 – 29 mentions. GLIMMER by Carter Blanchard
Logline: When three friends go missing on a camping trip in a forest rumored to be haunted, the two left behind discover clues that lead them to a safe deposit box containing video tapes… showing exactly what happened to their friends.
Agency: Paradigm's David Boxerbaum
Management: Madhouse Entertainment's Ryan Cunningham and Adam Kolbrenner
Production: Madhouse Entertainment
#8 – 29 mentions. ME & EARL & THE DYING GIRL by Jesse Andrews
Logline: Based on Andrews' eponymous novel, a quirky high school student who enjoys making films sparks a friendship with a classmate dying of leukemia.
Agency: WME's Anna Deroy and Sarah Self
Management: MXN's Michelle Knudsen and Mason Novick
Production: Indian Paintbrush
#10 – 28 mentions. DEVILS AT PLAY by James DiLapo
Logline: In the Soviet Union in 1937, a worker of the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs finds a list of traitors, which he thinks is going to be his way out.
Management: Kaplan/Perrone's Alex Lerner