Franklin Leonard’s annual list of best unproduced screenplays includes 73 scripts
"The Imitation Game," Graham Moore's story of a British World War II cryptographer who poisoned himself after being criminally prosecuted for being gay, tops this year's Hollywood Black List of best unproduced scripts of 2011.
That script — which garnered 133 votes — also led The Hit List, Trackingboard.com's annual list of best unproduced spec scripts, The Hit List, last week.
Also topping this year's Black List:
>> "When the Street Lights Go On" (84 votes): Chris Hutton and Eddie O'Keefe's story about a town suffering through the aftermath of the murder of a high school girl and a teacher.
>> "Chewie" (59 votes): Evan Susser and Van Robichaux's satirical look at the making of "Star Wars" through the eyes of Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca.
>> "The Outsider" (53 votes): Andrew Baldwin's post-World War II story about an Americanformer prisoner of war who rises in the yakuza.
>> "Father Daughter Time: A Tale of Armed Robbery and Eskimo Kisses" (43 votes): Matthew Aldrich's tale of a man who goes on a three-state crime spree with his 11-year-old daughter.
(Get the complete list here)
Franklin Leonard (left), a former Universal Pictures executive who now works with Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment, has been compling the Black List for seven years.
Every year, Leonard asks several hundred film executives — creative executives, studio presidents of production, finaciers, production company executives — to submit a list of up to 10 of their favorite scripts of the year, he told TheWrap. "The list is essentially an aggregation of those votes"
This year, more than 300 executives voted, and 73 scripts got at least six votes — the minimum necesary to be on the 2011 list.
Since 2005, more than 120 Black List scripts have been made into feature films, grossing more than $11 billion at the box office.
Black List films have been nominated for more than 80 Academy Awards and have won 20, including best picture for "Slumdog Millionaire" and "The King's Speech." "Juno" and "The Social Network" also have made the list.
This year, Leonard launched a premium service. For a $20 monthly fee, people can rate scripts that they have read and receive recommendations on what else they might like.
"Think Netflix or Amazon's ratings and recommendations, only for screenplays," Leonard said.
He said his database has more than 3,200 titles and 12,000 ratings.
Rounding out the top 10 of the 2011 list:
>> “In the Event of a Moon Disaster” by Mike Jones: An alternate telling of the historic Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon that examines what might have happened if the astronauts had crash landed there.
>> “The Current War” by Michael Mitnick: Based on the true story of the race between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to develop a practical system of electricity and sell their respective inventions to the country and the world.
>> “Maggie” by John Scott 3: As a “walking dead” virus spreads across the country, a farm family helps their eldest daughter come to terms with her infection as she slowly becomes a flesh-eating zombie.
>> “The End” by Aron Eli Coleite: Four people — a veteran broadcaster in London, a sixteen year old girl and her boyfriend in Ann Arbor, and a devoted family man in Shanghai — each try to make peace with their lives before an interstellar event ends the world in six hours.
>> “Beyond the Pale” by Chad Feehan: Teen-age siblings suspect they’ve been ripped off by the town undertaker, but what they discover is much more sinister than either imagined.