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Created in 2005 by Franklin Leonard and Dino Sijamic, the annual Black List is developed based on the opinions of Hollywood executives about the best screenplays that are yet to be produced. More than 290 film executives participated in this year’s survey.
As an indication of how influential the list has become, recent Black List scripts include two of the past four best picture Oscar winners - Slumdog Millionaire and The King’s Speech. The list has also featured the winners of five of the past 10 screenplays, specifically Juno, Slumdog Millionaire, The Social Network, The King’s Speech and The Descendants.
Projects selected for the list this year include films based on the life of public figures ranging from the early years of former Presidential nominee and current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to the notorious serial killer Ted Bundy – told from his perspective.
“I think this is the year of the biopic,” Leonard told The Hollywood Reporter. ”In general, true stories are well represented this year. If you look at films like [previous Black List script] Argo, if you do them well, there’s a market for them.”
Talking of the Black List’ decision to publish the list via the social media website Twitter, Leonard said: ”Twitter’s role, both in Hollywood and the world beyond it, is truly singular.
“Our mission has always been to celebrate exceptional screenwriting and the writers who do it. We think this partnership has extraordinary potential to do that more effectively than we ever could before.”
The Black List has recently moved into the script consultation business. In October, Leonard and Sijamic launched an online service allowing writers from all over the world to have their scripts considered by the Hollywood execs involved in the voting system.
1.) Draft Day, written by Rajiv Joseph, Scott Rothman, 65 votes. On the day of the NFL Draft, Buffalo Bills general manager Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to save football in the city when he trades for the No. 1 pick. He must quickly decide what he’s willing to sacrifice in the pursuit of perfection as the lines between his personal and professional life become blurred.
2.) A Country of Strangers, written by Sean Armstrong, 43 votes. A chronicle of Inspector Geoff Harper’s 40-year search for the Beaumont Children, three siblings taken from an Australian beach in January 1966.
2.) Seuss, written by Eyal Podell and Jonathan Stewart, 43 mentions. A biopic about the author of the Seuss series Ted Geisel and his wife Helen, who inspired him to write The Cat in the Hat.
4.) Rodham, written by Young Il Kim, 39 mentions. Set during the height of the Watergate scandal, the film depicts a young Hillary Rodham, the youngest lawyer chosen for the House Judiciary Committee, which is attempting to impeach Nixon based on the articles published by the New York Times.
5.) Wunderkind, written by Patrick Aison, 33 mentions. A Mossad agent and his CIA-employed son work together to hunt an escaped Nazi.
6.) Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, written by Michael Werwie, 31 mentions. Told from the perspective of notorious serial killer Ted Bundy, the film follows the law student whose horrific crimes are revealed after a routine traffic stop unveils the serial rapist and murderer to the Amercan public. Bundy’s repeated escapes from prison, before he acted as his own attorney in a nationally televised murder trial, will also be dramatised in the film.