Franklin Leonard and Dino Simone have released this year’s Black List, a collection of “most liked” (not “best of”) unproduced screenplays as voted on by over 275 film executives who could choose up to 10 scripts each. 76 scripts made the cut this year by receiving 6 votes or more. Over 325 previous Black List scripts have been produced (movies like I, Tonya, Whiplash, The Revenant, Spotlight, Slumdog Millionaire, Juno, The King’s Speech, Looper, and John Wick), and they’ve grossed over $26 billion worldwide and won 4 of the last 9 Best Picture Oscars and half of the last 20 Best Screenplay Oscars. Not every Black List script has gone on to great success *cough* Meet Dave *cough*, but you can expect to see some of these winning awards soon.
This year’s first place script with 68 votes is Ruin, which already has Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) and director Justin Kurzel attached. It’s about an ex-Nazi captain trying to atone by killing other Nazis after WWII ends. Considering Kurzel is directing, we have to wonder if Michael Fassbender’s going to play the lead.
This year’s scripts also fell into a pattern. While last year saw several competing biopics, this year’s list has two scripts — both with the name “Jane” in the title — about the same underground group which performed abortions in Chicago in the ’60s (This Is Jane and Call Jane). The list also includes four different scripts about a female assassin, two of whom (The Mother and Ruthless) are protecting their daughter and the other two of whom are seeking revenge. It’s almost as if women have a reason to be angry about the state of the world. Hmmm.
Speaking of women, this year’s list moved a little closer to equal representation. As Franklin Leonard said in an official statement, “There were more than twice as many scripts written by women (25) this year than our historical average (12) and more than twice as many scripts with – based on the logline — a female protagonist (34 vs. 16.) Now we’ll see whether the trend will continue, on future Black Lists and in movie theaters.”
As we’ve done in previous years, we’re going to highlight the scripts with a sci-fi and supernatural bent, although some of the other scripts sound fun, too. Such as Come As You Are, described as “An idealistic young woman’s life begins to unravel when her job in social media exposes her to the darkest corners of humanity, sending her on a violent mission to take down not just the web’s most vicious content, but its creators as well.” Yeah, I’d watch that, maybe even waving a foam “We’re #1” finger in the theater.
Here are the sixteen sci-fi and supernatural Black List 2017 screenplays:
Where I End by Imran Zaidi (22 votes)
In a world where your life can be saved, uploaded to a computer, and restarted in the case of your untimely demise, a husband returns from the dead, suspecting his wife may have been involved in his death.
The Expansion Project by Leo Sardarian (15 votes)
A rookie Marine gets stranded on a hostile planet during humanity’s space colonization with nothing but her exo-suit that’s running out of fusion power.
Jellyfish Summer by Sarah Jane Inwards (12 votes)
A young black girl’s family in 1960s Mississippi decides to harbor two human-looking refugees who have mysteriously fallen from the sky.
Brosio by Mattson Tomlin (11 votes)
Inspired by the work of artist John Brosio. When a man begins to lose all of the people close to him in a series of increasingly absurd natural disasters, he must find out why his world has been turned upside down.
Power by Mattson Tomlin (11 votes)
When a young drug dealer is kidnapped by a man hellbent on finding his missing daughter, they must team up to get to the bottom of the mystery of the intense street drug known as Power.
Based on the The Reincarnationist Papers written by D. Eric Maikranz. The hallucinations of a schizophrenic are revealed to be memories from past lives where he obtained talents that he still has to this day.
Moxie by Heather Quinn (10 votes)
To combat crime in near-future Los Angeles, the FBI creates supercops based on specific genetic sequences. To their shock, their best candidate is a vulgar stripper named Moxie.
Gadabout by Ross Evans (9 votes)
In 1951, a manufacturing company stirs up curiosity when they publish a user’s manual to a time machine called Gadabout TM-1050.
Innocent Monsters by Elaina Perpelitt (9 votes)
A writer struggling to crack her second novel starts to lose her sense of reality as the book bleeds into her life…and her life bleeds back.
Dorothy & Alice by Justin Merz (7 votes)
Dorothy Gale and Alice meet in a home for those having nightmares and embark on a journey to save the imaginations of the world.
Greenland by Chris Sparling (7 votes)
A disgraced father is determined to get his family to what, in four days, will be the only safe place on earth.
A supernatural evil haunts a woman and her stepchildren in a cabin on Christmas.
Meat by Logan Martin (7 votes)
A misanthropic man notices bizarre changes in himself, his wife, and the animals inhabiting the territory around their homestead as they attempt to survive self-imposed isolation.
Bios by Craig Luck and Ivor Powell (6 votes)
In a post-apocalyptic world, a man spends his dying days with the robot he created to look after his dog.
The Grownup by Natalie Krinsky (6 votes)
Based on the short story “The Grownup” by Gillian Flynn. A con woman who pretends to read auras is hired by a wealthy woman to banish an evil spirit from her house, but it is soon clear that the fake exorcist is in over her head.
On by Ryan Jennifer Jones (6 votes)
In a slightly futuristic/hyper-efficient Manhattan, a newly-single book editor purchases a customizable sex android to assuage her broken heart. When her toy’s closed feedback loop starts to alter her personality, she must reevaluate the merits of a perfectly compatible partner.
The full list of unproduced screenplays is available in this .PDF file.