Franklin Leonard released this year’s Black List, a weighted list of film executives’ ten favorite screenplays of the year. Previous Black List finalists have been since made into movies, including Looper, Chronicle, Juno, Lars And The Real Girl, 500 Days Of Summer, and Argo. As was our tradition last year and 2009, we’re going to summarize the picks.
Over 290 film executives voted on this year’s Black List. As usual, the winning scripts are loaded up with the Oscar bait of family reconciliation movies, cancer diagnoses, and non-fiction scripts based on historical events or people. Also, film executives seem to believe we want to see several movies about teenage boys trying to lose their virginity. There are few things I care about less than movies like that. I’d rather watch a lumbering drama about a soccer mom discovering Pinterest than see another damn wish-fulfillment movie about a self-entitled white teenager somehow getting with “the most popular girl in school”. How many times are they going to make that stupid movie?
This year’s Black List includes sixteen scripts which sound like sci-fi or supernatural fare. All sixteen are in various stages of production. You’ve probably already seen one of our posts about Black List scripts Transcendence starring Johnny Depp and Michael Bay’s Almanac, which seems suspiciously similar to Back To The Future 2. The finalists also include a guy with the Twitter handle Boner Mountain. It’s been quite a year.
Here are the sixteen which are relevant to our interests:
Story Of Your Life by Eric Heisserer (35 votes)
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.
Glimmer by Carter Blanchard (29 votes)
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.
Shut In by Christina Hodson (23 votes)
A woman who tries to raise her catatonic son on her own suddenly discovers a shocking secret about him.
Americatown by Ben Poole (20 votes)
In a China-dominated near future, a former LAPD officer attempts to save his family from destitution in Los Angeles by working for a crime lord in the American ghetto within a thriving Hong Kong.
Man of Tomorrow by Jeremy Slater [AKA Boner Mountain!] (16 votes)
In an alternate 1940s reality, the US Government makes a deal with an indestructible gangster to kill Hilter in exchange for the city of Chicago, which he will build into his own utopia. Unfortunately his model city never comes to fruition and both he and his Bureau liaison get much of the slack for destroying one of America’s greatest cities and now the government wants him dead.