The life of the Russian monarch Catherin The Great is the topic of the screenplay topping this year’s Black List, a poll of junior Hollywood executives of the best unproduced screenplays that they have read over the past year.
Seventy films have made it onto the 10th annual edition of the List, ranging across the genres from comedies to biopics to dramas to science-fiction and horror tales.
The Black List was created in 2005 by 2005 by Franklin Leonard and Dino Sijamic and was immediately validated its very first year, when its number one voted screenplay went on to be the hit Juno. Previous Black List scripts include three of the last six best picture Oscar winners – Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech and Argo – and seven of the last 13 screenwriting Oscar winners – Juno, Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, Argo, The Social Network, The Descendants and Django Unchained).
Here’s the top ten vote getters on this year’s list, followed by the remaining screenplays who have made the list.
1. CATHERINE THE GREAT (51 votes)
Kristina Lauren Anderson
Sophia Augusta takes control of her life, her marriage, andher kingdom becoming Russia’s most celebrated and beloved monarch: Catherine the Great.
2. ROCKINGHAM (38 votes)
A look into the mania of the OJ Simpson trial, through the eyes of Simpson’s sports agent Mike Gilbert and Los Angeles Police Department Detective Mark Fuhrman.
3. THE SWIMSUIT ISSUE (35 votes)
A nerdy high schooler, who fancies himself an amateur photographer, attempts to create a “Swimsuit Issue” featuring his high school classmates in hopes of raising enough money to go to summer camp.
4. THE BABYSITTER (34 votes)
A lonely twelve year old boy in love with his babysitter discovers some hard truths about life, love, and murder.
5. ROTHCHILD (32 votes)
John Patton Ford
A young, well-educated loner kills the members of his mother’s estranged family one-by-one in hopes that he will inherit the family’s vast fortune.
6. THE WALL (30 votes)
A sniper and his spotter must kill and avoid being killed, separated from an enemy sniper by only a 16x6ft prayer wall.
7. THE CASCADE (25 votes)
Based on the documentary style film “The Day Britain Stopped” directed by Gabriel Range, an oil tanker collides with an Iranian patrol boat in the Strait of Hormuz, triggering a chain of tragic disastrous events.
8. AETHER (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.
9. SITUATION COMEDY (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.”
10. TAU (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.
A CIA drone coordinator battles his own psychological health while trying to decipher whether his wife has been replaced.
In the late 1970s to mid 1980s, Barry Seal, a TWA pilot recruited by the CIA to provide reconnaissance on the burgeoning communist threat in Central America finds himself in charge of one of the biggest covert CIA operations in the history of the United States, one that spawned the birth of the Medellin cartel and eventually almost brought down the Reagan White House with the Iran Contra scandal.
A genre bending action comedy about a pill popping thug who begins to develop superpowers.
NORTH OF RENO
Banipal Ablakhad, Benhur Ablakhad
A down and out prison guard attempts to murder a recently released inmate and steal a half million dollars in hidden heist money.
ON THE BASIS OF SEX
The story of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, as she faced numerous obstacles to her fight for equal rights throughout her career.
The investigation of a murder on a moon colony.
A little person private eye investigates the disappearance of a young actress in 1930s Hollywood, leading him to uncover conspiracies involving THE WIZARD OF OZ and Metro Goldwyn Mayer brass.
A prison psychologist has 48 hours to convince a serial killer to tell her the location of her final victim before she is executed.
After the Edward Snowden affair, an intelligence contractor defects to North Korea, taking a mysterious bag with him, and the CIA hires an expert trained during the Cold War to help with the case.
THE LONG HAUL
A self-destructive trucker estranged from his son travels cross country with a problematic nephew whom he barely knows.
F. Scott Frazier
As the Berlin Wall is being constructed at the height of the Cold War, a veteran CIA agent searches for a Soviet mole who has already killed several fellow agents, including a young agent he’s mentored.
ONE FELL SWOOP
A self-centered divorce attorney’s life takes an unexpected turn when he is guilted into spending time with the family of a one night stand who dies in a freak accident.
A woman tries to lead her children to safety after the world is invaded by monsters who turn you insane upon sight.
Anthony Ragnone II
A girl tracks down the man responsible for her father’s death and avenges him.
IN THE DEEP
A lone surfer attacked by a shark and stranded on a reef must find a way back to shore before succumbing to her injuries.
The origin story of McDonald’s and Raymond Albert “Ray” Kroc.
An expert tracker battles his demons while on a journey to rescue his estranged older brother who has vanished in the uncharted wilderness of the Northwest.
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.
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 manager of a fast food chain in Muncie, Indiana gets in over his head with some bookies.
Jonathan Stewart, Jake Crane
On the eve of a US-Soviet disarmament treaty, a British scientist and a NATO medical investigator discover a secret Soviet plot to unleash a terrifying biological weapon.
When a young boy finds out that the cartoon character he’s in love with is based on a real girl, he drags his single father on a road trip to track her down.
ROAD TO OZ
The early days of brilliant, whimsical author L. Frank Baum, who gave the world The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
BIG TIME ADOLESCENCE
A sixteen year old virgin with a growth deficiency slowly gets corrupted by his hero, an aimless college dropout.
Lyndon Johnson goes from powerful Senate Majority Leader, powerless Vice President to President of the United States following the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
POSSESSION: A LOVE STORY
In a seemingly perfect marriage, a man discovers that he is actually wedded to a demon inhabiting another woman’s body.
THE SECRET INGREDIENTS OF ROCKEY COLA
Twin brothers with opposite personalities are separated at a young age and go on to live drastically different lives, eventually being reunited in the effort to save the company ‘Rocket Cola’ despite their love of the same woman.
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.
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.
I AM RYAN REYNOLDS
An inside look at the marriage, career, and mental state of 2010’s Sexiest Man Alive.
After a group of bumbling teachers win a large amount of money, their greed and incompetence put them on a hilarious path toward death and destruction.
Just out of a long term relationship and realizing that all her friends have married, Rachel discovers that her only remaining wingwoman is Summer, a loud and oversharing wildcard.
A dark, reimagining of the Willy Wonka story beginning in World War II and culminating with his takeover of the chocolate factory.
Evan Mirzi, Shea Mirzai
After they unwittingly get their daughters disqualified from the child beauty circuit, two warring stagemothers are forced to go head to head in an adult beauty pageant.
As Britain struggles through the darkest hours of World War II, a naval officer, raw from the loss of his ship during the evacuation of Dunkirk, is thrust into the thick of the hunt for the Nazi superbattleship, Bismarck. Based on a true story.
Seth W Owen
A corporate risk management consultant is summoned to a remote research lab to determine whether or not to terminate an at-risk artificial being.
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.
Brandon Murphey, Philip Murphey
A private investigator investigates a mysterious murder at a downtown Los Angeles hotel and uncovers its dark supernatural history. Based on true events.
A young, play-it-safe, art restorer is swept up in a whirlwind romance with her charming boss, who turns out to be a worldclass thief.
Years after being fully paralyzed during an infamous bank robbery, a man is taken hostage for the secrets in his head. His only form of communicating with the outside world – and outsmarting his captors – is his ability to blink.
In the 1960s, a determined detective puts his life and career on the line to solve the case of the Boston Strangler.
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.
EVERYONE WANTS EVERYTHING
As his life reaches its neurosis-inducing midpoint, a married man asks himself an eternal question with no real answer — “Am I living the life I want to be living, or do I need to start over before its too late?” Torn between two lives, he’s forced to do the one thing he doesn’t want to do — make a choice.
A thirty year old man attempts to continue raising his deceased sister’s seven year old daughter, a kid-genius, while battling his own mother for custody.
An uncle is forced to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father dies.
Andrew Bozalis, Derek Mether
When a disgraced former soldier finds success by working for a private security company, the illegal tactics the company employs challenges his worldview.
A famous children’s author, with an affinity for drugs and hookers, finds himself on a journey of self-discovery with a dead stripper and her eight year old son.
THE EDEN PROJECT
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.
Brian C Brown, Elliott DiGuiseppi
The little-known personal, heartbreaking, and darker side of cartoonist/author Shel Silverstein.
A GARDEN AT THE END OF THE WORLD
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.
COFFEE & KAREEM
An overweight, foul-mouthed nine year old reluctantly teams with the straight edge cop sleeping with his mom to take down Detroit’s most ruthless drug lord.
How Mike Wallace helped to create 60 Minutes and how years later, he confronted and dealt with his own depression.
IN REAL TIME
A young man convinced that his mentally unstable sister needs to relive her high school prom from ten years prior to overcome her depression goes to great lengths to recreate that event.
IN THIS, MY DARKEST HOUR
A man rises to power during the California gold rush, tearing his family apart.
Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf, Jamie Linden
After a man loses all his money in the stock market by following the advice of a Wall Street TV host, he takes the money adviser hostage on live television.
MY FRIEND DAHMER
Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by John Backderf, Jeffrey Dahmer struggles with a difficult family life as a young boy and during his teenage years he slowly transforms, edging closer to the serial killer he becomes.
SEDUCING INGRID BERGMAN
Based on Chris Greenhalgh’s eponymous novel. Ingrid Bergman and war photographer Robert Capa engage in a passionate, life changing romance in post-World War II Paris.
THE BEAUTIFUL GAME
A high school soccer star’s personal life becomes complicated leading up to his championship game as he develops a relationship with his soccer coach.
THE MAN IN THE ROCKEFELLER SUIT
David Bar Katz
The story of Clark Rockefeller, a con artist thought to be American royalty until he kidnapped his young daughter initiating a manhunt that revealed his true identity.
The Wilde Ones
In a corrupt Southern town, a dangerous sociopath runs bareknuckle boxing fights that pit its youths against each other.