Written by Dan Kolinko
A rookie Marine gets stranded on a hostile planet during humanity’s space colonization as her suit runs out of power; two families escape over the Berlin Wall in a hot air balloon; a sociopath fights her way to the top of the fitness world with no broken bones spared; and a man spends his last few days with his post-apocalyptic, dog-sitting robot. These are just a few of the films topping this year’s Black List.
The Black List, an annual list of Hollywood’s top screenplays that have yet to be produced, was revealed this week. Biopics, World War II stories, women assassins, and abortion-rights dramas lead this year’s list. This year, twenty-five of the seventy-six scripts were written by women, an improvement from the previous average of only twelve.
The top of the list is Matthew and Ryan Firpo’s unproduced screenplay Ruin, which follows “a nameless ex-Nazi captain [who] must navigate the ruins of post-WWII Germany to atone for his crimes during the war by hunting down and killing the surviving members of his former SS death squad.”
Second place is about Texas’s very own state senator Wendy Davis and her fight to protect abortion rights by staging a 13-hour filibuster in the Texas House. Let Her Speak is penned by Mario Correa and already has Sandra Bullock slated to star as Davis.
From the Black List’s website: “Over 300 Black List screenplays have been made as feature films. Those films have earned over $26 billion in worldwide box office, have been nominated for 264 Academy Awards, and have won 48…[including] ten of the last twenty screenwriting Oscars.” Some of these films include Juno, Argo, and Spotlight. Additionally, this year’s I, Tonya and The Post are 2016 Black List finalists getting Oscar buzz this season.
Franklin Leonard, the Black List founder and film executive, emphasizes “that these are not the best unproduced screenplays but the most liked,” as reported by Harvard Magazine. “These are the stories that a critical mass found moving, thrilling, or fun.” Moreover, this list is a litmus test of where the excitement is in Hollywood.
And I’ll just say—this year’s Daddio is one to keep an eye on.