Baseball, Boston, and Bubbles the chimp highlight 2015 list
Every year, Franklin Leonard’s Black List polls top film industry executives and compiles a list of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. This year, filmmakers and stars like Ava DuVernay, Reese Witherspoon, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Nicholas Hoult, Damon Lindelof, and Channing Tatum (who apparently can neither read nor spell) all helped to announce the winning scripts on the official Black List Twitter account.
The most-read screenplay turned out to be Bubbles, a script from Isaac Adamson that tells the inside story of Michael Jackson from the vantage point of his pet chimp. Baseball was also very popular, as there are of-interest screenplays making the rounds about polarizing pitcher Roger Clemens and infamous Chicago Cubs fan, Steve Bartman, who was scapegoated for interfering with a foul ball during the 2003 playoffs.
Some of this year’s most critically adored films, including The Revenant and Spotlight, started as Black List scripts. More than 300 of those films have gone on to be produced for theatrical distribution, and previous Black List selections like Argo, The King’s Speech, and Slumdog Millionaire all went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars. Only a few weeks ago, Barbra Streisand officially signed on to direct last year’s top selection, Kristina Lauren Anderson’s Catherine the Great.
The 2015 list includes 81 scripts. See the full list below, beginning with the top-10 most cited scripts:
1. Bubbles by Isaac Adamson
A baby chimp is adopted by the pop star Michael Jackson. Narrating his own story, Bubbles the Chimp details his life within The King of Pop’s inner circle through the scandals that later rocked Jackson’s life and eventually led to Bubbles’ release.
2. Stronger by John Pollono and Scott Silver
The true story of Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and became an integral part of helping the police locate the Tsarnaev brothers.
3. The Libertine by Ben Kopit
After the Head of the French National Assembly is placed under house arrest for accusations of sexual assault, he must live in a guarded apartment with his estranged wife until the case comes to a close.
4. Rocket* by Jeffrey Gelber and Ryan Belenzon
Roger “The Rocket” Clemens, one of the greatest pitchers of all time, has 4,672 strikeouts, 354 wins and a record 7 Cy Young awards. This is the story of why he is not in the Hall of Fame.
5. Crater by John J. Griffin
On the moon, five teens take an unauthorized and adventure-filled road trip just before one of them is to be sent away on a seventy-five year journey to another planet, leaving behind his best friends.
6. Miss Sloane by Jonny Perera
A powerful lobbyist sacrifices her career on Capitol Hill so she can push through an amendment enforcing stricter federal laws regulating guns.
7. True Fan by John Whittington
After interfering with a foul ball during a Chicago Cubs playoff game, Steve Bartman was tortured and stalked by die hard Cub fans for potentially costing them their first National League pennant since 1945. Years later, in a new town with a new identity— but depressed, overweight and working a dead end job — Steve meets a woman who gives him a new lease on life and reason to live.
8. Pale Blue Dot by Brian C Brown and Elliot DiGuisseppi
Twelve months after returning from a space mission, decorated astronaut Laura Pepper is arrested for the attempted murder of a fellow astronaut.
9. Reagan by Mike Rosolio
When Ronald Reagan falls into dementia at the start of his second term, an ambitious intern is tasked with convincing the commander-in-chief that he is an actor playing the president in a movie.
10 (tie). Bump by Ori Guendelman and Rob McClelland
After an accidental hit and run, a young lawyer’s entire life unravels over the span of one night as he attempts to dispose of a corpse that turns out to be way more than an innocent victim.
Eli by David Chirchirillo
Having moved into a “clean house” to treat his auto-immune disorder, eleven-year-old Eli begins to believe that the house is haunted. Unable to leave, Eli soon realizes that the house, and the doctor who runs it, are more sinister than they appear.
For plot details about the rest of the titles that made the list, click here.
An African Western by Chloe Castellon and Ridgeway Wilson
Queen of the Air by Cat Vasko
The Canyon by Alex Koplow
The Fisherman by Will Dunn
Crimson Trail by Jeremy Shipp
105 and Rising by Andrew Cypiot
Landslide by Will Staples and Tony Camerino
Preconception by Jake Morse and Scott Wolman
Bed Rest by Lori Evans Taylor
Salem by Mark Bianculli and Jeff Richard
Blackfriars by Chris Bremner
Carnival by Matias Caruso
Dreamland by Nicolaas Zwart
Cut and Run by Zoe McCarthy
Pandemonium, Splendidly Managed by Brett Conrad
Morningstar by David Birke
The Wretched Emily Derringer by Chris Thomas Devlin
Boy by Mattson Tomlin
Treasure Island by James Coyne
I Believe In America by Terry Clyne
Star One by David Coggeshall
Wish Upon by Barbara Marshall
Septillion to One by Adam Perlman and Graham Sack
Mayday 109 by Samuel V Franco and Evan Kilgore
Our Week With Waller by Shea Mirzai and Evan Mirzai
Boomtown by Matt King
Castle Drive by Matthew Scott Weiner
Circle of Treason by Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel
Militia by Henry Dunham
Free Agent by Sam Regnier
Bare Knuckle by Dave Matillo
Verona by Neil Widener and Gavin James
All The Money In The World by David Scarpa
Green River Killer by Michael Sheen
The Set Up by Kari Granlund
Great Falls by Andy Friedhof
Atlantic Wall by Zach Dean
Francis and the Godfather by Andrew Farotte
Crook County by Gita Pullapilly and Aron Gaudet
Do Not Harm by Julia Cox
Resurface by Pete Bridges
Songs of Treblinka by Viorica Blan
Hammerspace by Mike Van Waes
The Boy by Owen Egerton
Untitled Sociopath Project by Topher Rhys-Lawrence
The Virginian by Michael Russell Gunn
Labyrinth by Christian Contreras
The Burning Woman by Brad Ingelsby
Ares by Geneva Robertson-Dworet
Lou by Maggie McGowan Cohn
Nyad by Robert Specland
The Shave by Thomas White and Miles Hubley
A Speck In The Sea by Jeff Pope
Final Journey by Michael Lee Barlin
Hunting Eichmann by Matthew Orton
Senior Year by Andrew Knauer and Arthur Pielli
A Life Fantastic by Natalie Antoci
Homegrown by Jacques Edeline
Three Months by Jared Frieder
Set It Up by Katie Silberman
White Boy Rick by Logan Miller and Noah Miller
Tomorrow On The Runway by Frederick Seton
Untitled Larry Hillblom Project by Matt Portenoy
Spring Offensive by Matthew McInerney-Lacombe
Damsel by Bryan McMullin
Battle of New Orleans by Dan Kunka
Move That Body by Lucia Aniello and Paul W Downs
The Water Man by Emma Needell
Chappaquiddick by Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan
Ida Tarbell by Mark McDevitt