Franklin Leonard and Dino Sijamic released this year’s Black List, a ranking of the best-loved unproduced movies culled from over 500 of film executives’ favorite screenplays of the year. Since 2005, over 275 Black List scripts have been made into movies grossing over $24 billion and earning 196 Oscar nominations and 37 wins. Films that showed up on the Black List before being produced include Looper, Django Unchained, Chronicle, Juno, Lars And The Real Girl, and Argo.
As we did last year and 2012 and 2011 and 2009, we’re going to look at the sci-fi and supernatural stories that made this year’s list of 70 unproduced screenplays. The full list of 70 scripts is loaded with with Oscar bait-y family reconciliation movies and biopics, as well as post-apocalyptic fare, vampires that aren’t technically vampires, and (of course) three movies apparently about a teenage boy trying to lose his virginity, like anybody gives a sh*t.
There were some surprises on this year’s list, including a “dark reimagining of the Willy Wonka story” (LOL WUT?) and a movie called I Am Ryan Reynolds, and won’t they be embarrassed if Ryan Reynolds refuses to be in it. Maybe they can change it to John Malkovich.
This year’s list could once again be used to make the argument this has become a way to promote in-development screenplays instead of unknowns, as only 8 of the 70 scripts aren’t attached to a management company and only 4 of the writers don’t have an agent yet. (Deadline broke down which agencies came out on top here and here.) Last year, 68% of the scripts already had a producer attached. This year’s crop has fewer producers attached (31%), but there’s unfortunately less hard sci-fi this time around, it seems. Last year we celebrated that there was only one zombie movie, one alien invasion, and zero vampires on the list, and this year… well, you can see for yourself below.
This year they also went more mainstream with the Black List unveiling, with the winners being announced by celebrities on Twitter and Youtube yesterday. The announcers included Elizabeth Banks, Ty Burrell, Nathan Fillion, Rian Johnson, Rashida Jones, David Oyelowo, Daniel Radcliffe, and Patton Oswalt, who wrote a poem for the occasion. Throughout the day, they recorded messages like these:
I like how she says murder, but I reiterate my annual refusal to watch movies about teenage boys trying to get laid. Still don’t care.
Here are the seventeen Black List 2014 screenplays which are relevant to our interests:
AETHER by Krysty Wilson-Cairns (24 votes)
In near future London, a revolutionary technology has been invented that can record sounds hours after they were made. Detective Harry Orwell, inventor of this technology, is part of a pilot program where investigators record and analyze past sound waves and finds himself the prime suspect while investigating a string of brutal murders.
Producer: Film Nation
SITUATION COMEDY by Cat Vasko (24 votes)
A young woman, feeling directionless, stumbles upon a mysterious courtyard where she is transported into a sitcom-like universe, becoming a major character on this “TV show.”
Producer: Right Of Way
TAU by Noga Landau (23 votes)
A woman held captive in the futuristic smart house of a serial kidnapper realizes that her only hope of escape lies in turning the house’s sentient computer against its creator.
Producer: Russell Ackerman, John Schoenfelder
ECHO by Chris MacBride (18 votes)
A CIA drone coordinator battles his own psychological health while trying to decipher whether his wife has been replaced.
Producer: 21 Laps
DODGE by Scott Wascha (17 votes)
A genre-bending action comedy about a pill popping thug who begins to develop superpowers.
MOONFALL by David Weil (16 votes)
The investigation of a murder on a moon colony.
Producer: Ram Bergman
BIRD BOX by Eric Heisserer (13 votes)
A woman tries to lead her children to safety after the world is invaded by monsters who turn you insane upon sight.
Producer: Universal, Chris Morgan
YELLOWSTONE FALLS by Daniel Kunka (13 votes)
After an apocalyptic event, a mother wolf is separated from her mate and the rest of the pack, and has to protect her cubs from swarms of mutated humans.
SYNDROME (E) by Mark Heyman (12 votes)
A detective solving the case of a disturbing film with subliminal images that is killing people who come in contact with it discovers a greater evil.
THE SHOWER by Jac Schaeffer (10 votes)
At a baby shower for their longtime friend, the attendees suddenly find themselves in the middle of a different type of shower: meteors that release a vapor turning men into blood-hungry aliens.
CELERITAS by Kimberly Barrante (9 votes)
When a missing astronaut crash lands forty years after he launched having not aged a day, his elderly twin brother helps him escape the NASA scientists hunting him. As the government closes in, neither brother is who they claim to be.
MORGAN by Seth W Owen (8 votes)
A corporate risk management consultant is summoned to a remote research lab to determine whether or not to terminate an at-risk artificial being.
SHADOW RUN by Joe Gazzam (8 votes)
A viral attack puts lives in danger, forcing a CIA agent to initiate a secret prisoner exchange of Russia’s most notorious spy for the American scientist who can create a cure.
THE BRINGING by Brandon Murphey and Philip Murphey (8 votes)
A private investigator investigates a mysterious murder at a downtown Los Angeles hotel and uncovers its dark supernatural history. Based on true events.
ERIN’S VOICE by Greg Sullivan (7 votes)
A deaf computer genius’ world is thrown into turmoil when he meets a troubled coffee shop waitress whose voice turns out to be the only thing he can miraculously hear.
THE EDEN PROJECT by Christina Hodson (7 votes)
When a race of genetically modified humans living secretly among us declare war on Man, the fate of the world is in the hands of a rogue “Synthetic” named Eve and a young girl who is about to discover she’s not all human.
A GARDEN AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Gary Graham (6 votes)
In a post-apocalyptic world, a recluse, trying to recreate trees to produce new life, takes in a young girl who is on the run from some bad men, including her father.
Can we put a moratorium on the phrase “in a post-apocalyptic world”?