Baseball, Boston, and Bubbles the chimp highlight 2015 list

By Devan Coggan
Updated December 14, 2015 at 07:34 PM EST
Mike Coppola/Getty Images
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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

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