The Black List is here! I wish I could write some big fancy opening but I’m busy looking at multi-million dollar houses in the hills I’m going to buy once I win the California Mega-Lottery tonight. So here are the script loglines and my thoughts on each!  What do you guys think?  Too much cancer?

 by Andrew Sodroski
Logline: When a traditional Midwestern woman suspects her husband of infidelity, an amateur investigation unravels.
Thoughts: This script is being directed by Errol Morris. This is his first feature. He’s done a bunch of documentaries and is quite simply one of the best documentarians around. If you haven’t seen his old doc, The Thin Blue Line, go rent it. It’s an artistic approach to what’s traditionally a very nuts & bolts style of filmmaking. As for Andrew Sodroski, I can’t say I’ve ever heard of him before. I believe this is his breakthrough screenplay. Good job, Andrew!

 Aaron Berg
Logline: An exploration of the formation of Great Britain’s secret intelligence agency, Military Intelligence, Section 6, known as MI6.
Thoughts: The big spec sale of the year. I’ve read the first 15 pages of this script and found it to be very thick and hard to get through. Admittedly, it’s not my type of material, so I decided not to read the rest. The producers went on a campaign to get this script out of the public by getting all script links erased across the web. Which I think backfired. The harder something is to find, the more people want it, so the more people were trading it. So it’s definitely out there. Personally, I think this is a concept sell. Someone really really wanted to make a movie about the formation of MI6. Not a bad idea. Spy scripts sell!

 by Simon Stephenson
Logline: A forty-something pediatric allergist, who specializes in hazelnut and is facing a divorce, learns lessons in living from a wise-beyond-her-years terminally ill 15-year-old patient when she crashes his weekend trip to a conference in San Francisco.
Thoughts: I love the description of the main character (pediatric allergist). Never seen that character before in a script. But the “wise-beyond-her-years” terminally ill 15 year old?? Nooooooo. I see so many of these. That being said, these scripts are so execution-dependent that it could go either way.

 by Patrick Ness
Logline: An adolescent boy with a terminally ill single mother begins having visions of a tree monster, who tells him the truths about life in the form of three stories, helping him to eventually cope with his emotions over his dying mom.
Thoughts: Ahhh, another dying person. Gotta admit, I’m not a huge fan of “dying people” scripts. There’s this overarching tone of depression that makes the read a slog, even if it’s “good.” But this sounds inventive and a little different at least. Ness is a novelist whose book series “Chaos Walking,” is in development to become a film.

 by Debora Cahn
The true story of Jack Goldsmith, a young attorney who took charge of the White House’s Office of Legal Counsel, then courageously took on Vice President Cheney and his powerful inner circle when he discovered they were running a number of illegal activities through their so-called “Special Program”.
Thoughts: I’m still convinced that the main execs The Black List sends its voting list to work at a production company that operates out of the White House because there’s always one or two of these political scripts in the top 5, then you never hear from them again (seriously, who goes to watch political movies?). Let’s hope Debora’s script breaks that yucky streak.

 by Elijah Bynum
Logline: A teenager’s life spirals out of control when he befriends the town’s rebel, falls in love, and gets entangled in selling drugs over one summer in Cape Cod.
Thoughts: These coming-of-age scripts all depend on voice. Because they’re so common, you have to differentiate yourself somehow. And when you think about it, this is the ideal genre to exhibit your voice, since coming-of-age movies are almost always autobiographical. Elijah looks like a first timer so he could very well be the new voice a script like this needs.

by Geoff Tock and Greg Weidman
Logline: A man goes to space to destroy the ship that, upon going sentient, killed his wife.
Thoughts: Well it’s a highly ranked science fiction script on the Black List so, duh, I’m going to read it, but this logline doesn’t tell us much. I don’t know what a ship going sentient means. I think these two wrote an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles together, but it may have only been Weidman. Either way, another set of newcomers, which there seem to be a lot of on this list. Which is great!

by Jason Mark Hellerman
Logline: Over 24 hours, four teenage friends try to complete the “Shovel List” (a will/bucket list) left for them by their best friend before he died of Leukemia.
Thoughts: More cancer! More dying! Actually, at least this cancer dude’s already dead. I like the idea of shifting the “Bucket List” idea to kids. And I like the tight time frame (implies the story’s going to move – very spec-friendly). But it’s hard to sell death to audiences. Nobody likes to be depressed!

by Frank John Hughes
Logline: In the Old West, a group of soldiers go on a mission to slaughter a peaceful tribe in retaliation for another tribe’s attack on a white settlement, only to suffer at the hands of a devastating disease.
Thoughts: Mmmm, suffering at the hands of a disease. That sounds uplifting. Takes a good writer to keep that slow build of a Western interesting enough to keep the Twitter-raised reader of today interested. Frank John Hughes is actually an actor who’s been in a TON of stuff (including Catch Me If You Can and Bad Boys).

 by Lisa Joy Nolan
Logline: An “archeologist” whose technology allows you to relive your past finds himself abusing his own science to find the missing love of his life.
Thoughts: This was a huge sale that was read by everybody (which is probably why it made the list – pure numbers) but probably the more interesting story is that it was written by Jonathan Nolan’s wife, who will always be dogged by the assumption that it was sold due to nepotism. I haven’t read the script myself yet but the few people I’ve talked to who have didn’t have very nice things to say about it. With that said, kudos to her for sending it out without the “Nolan” name on it.

 by Evan Parter
Logline: With America’s first viable independent Presidential Candidate poised for victory, an idealistic young journalist uncovers a conspiracy, which places the fate of the election, and the country, in his hands.
Thoughts: Okay okay. This sounds a little different. I like the idea of an independent president winning the election (something we probably need). That’s all I ask. If you’re going to write about something we’ve seen before, find a new angle. That earlier political logline felt “been there done that.” This feels fresh and new.

 by Zach Dean
Logline: With the hope of starting over, a reformed criminal with an ultra-violent past returns home, but when he finds his own family leading his teenaged son down the same path of destruction, he will stop at nothing to save his child.
Thoughts: Don’t know much about Zach Dean but he seems to like these gritty crime pieces. His lone credit, Deadfall (starring Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde) is a gritty film about a casino heist. Again, the less high concept your idea is, the more execution-dependent it becomes. So we’ll only know if this thing’s any good when we read it.

 by Aaron and Jordan Kandell
Logline: The true story of how Carl Sagan fell in love while leading the wildest mission in NASA history: a golden record to encapsulate the experience of life on earth for advanced extraterrestrial life.
Thoughts: I am an unabashed fan of Contact, and I’ve always been intrigued by this idea of humanity creating a gold record to explain who we are to others. This could be schmaltzy and melodramatic if done wrong, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to read it. Could be awesome if this sibling writing team pulls it off.

 by Riley Stearns
Logline: An expert on cults is hired by a mother and father to kidnap and deprogram their brainwashed daughter. He soon begins to suspect the parents may be more destructive than the cult he’s been hired to save her from.
Thoughts: I love this idea! I love cults. They’re fucking freaky! And I always love when a script turns and doesn’t do the obvious thing (the parents being worse than the cult). Will be reading this one for sure!

 by Jack Stanley
Logline: A young hitwoman tries to escape the business but finds herself in more danger after a high school reunion and a one-night stand.
Thoughts: It drives me nuts they don’t provide genres for these. I’m guessing this is a comedy, which would make it a re-imagining of Grosse Pointe Black, with a female lead? That is an easy way to get noticed. Take a movie that worked before and change the gender of the main character. Go ahead, try it!

 Eric Slovin and Leo Allen
Logline: Temperamental tennis champion John McEnroe is sucked into a dangerous and ludicrous law enforcement sting during Wimbledon in 1980.
Thoughts: When I was a kid, tennis was my life. I’ve been dying for someone to write a good tennis script ever since I got to LA. That time may finally have come. And I love how it’s not an obvious premise. It sounds bizarre and very un-tennis-like, which is an advantage because I think tennis is boring to the lay-person. YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS! I am all over this.

by Nicole Riegel
Logline: A 15-year-old boy discovers that his kidnapped older brother has been living in a hidden, meth-producing compound, and infiltrates the camp in hopes of helping his brother escape.
Thoughts: Yeah baby. Breaking Bad meets high school! And yet another new voice! Haven’t heard of Nicole before.

by Rachel Long and Brian Pittman
Logline: After an American doctor has his identity stolen by a covert operative, he must assume the dangerous mission of the one who stole it in order to clear his name.
Thoughts: Gotta admit, this one sounds a little “been there done that.” Hope it’s got some juicy offbeat choices inside. Probably won’t seek this out unless someone I know tells me it’s good. These two wrote a movie for director Rob Cohen called 1950 about an American in Korea that was supposed to be the biggest movie ever shot in Korea. That was in 2011 though and I don’t know where the project stands.

 by Doug Simon
After a young teenage girl is murdered, her stepfather falls back on his dark and violent past to find her killer.
Thoughts: Okay, a little revenge title here. Sounds a bit generic but maybe they’re holding back the details. Remember that it isn’t the writers writing these loglines for the Black List (how could they? They don’t even know they’re on the list until it comes out). The agents or managers are often asked for loglines ahead of time, and they might not be so great at writing them.

 by Stephanie Shannon
Logline: Inspired by true events, this is the story of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass” author Lewis Carroll (aka Charles L. Dodgson) and how his relationship with the real Alice Liddell and her family may have inspired one of the world’s most beloved pieces of children’s literature.
Thoughts: While typically not my thing, these scripts play like gangbusters on the Black List. Write about a famous author growing up and producers gravitate to your script like bees to honey. The Muppet Man, Seuss, A Boy And His Tiger (below). This may be the secret sauce that guarantees a Black List spot! Oh, Stephanie Shannon also won the Nicholl Fellowship with this script.

 by Declan O’Dwyer
Logline: After his brother is found brutally murdered, a man hellbent on revenge returns to his decrepit Irish fishing village home armed only with a mysterious list of names his brother left behind.
Thoughts: Another revenge movie! Although this one sounds a lot less generic. The setting feels different, and the “list of names” adds a mystery box element to the idea. Great news for those of you living outside the states. Declan doesn’t live in the U.S! (see, it can be done).

 by Bo Burnham
Logline: Two high school misfits become costumed vigilantes and take out their frustrations on the students who have bullied them throughout high school.
Thoughts: Uhhhh, this is easily the best title on the list (assuming you have a sense of humor). It’s a great reminder that you have to force someone to want to pick up your script amongst the others in the pile. Coming up with a clever or controversial title is an easy way to do that.

 by Stephany Folsom
Logline: With NASA’s Apollo program in trouble and the Soviets threatening nuclear war, a female PR operative conspires with NASA’s Public Affairs Office to stage a fake moon landing in case Armstrong and Aldren fail, the goal being to generate public excitement that will aid the U.S. in winning the Cold War. But the op is faced with the biggest challenge of all: Filming the fake lunar landing with temperamental Stanley Kubrick.
Thoughts: This sounds like it could be awesome. At least for nerds. Imagine how much fun you could have with Stanley Kubrick as one of your characters. This is obviously playing off the surprise success of Argo. And this one sounds like it could be more fun. Folsom is another new writer on the scene. She’s got a tiny TV show to her name (Ds2dio 360) but that’s it.

 by Richard Naing and Ian Goldberg
Logline: A father/son mortician team try to uncover the cause of death on a Jane Doe. The more they uncover, the more mysterious and terrifying their world becomes.
Thoughts: Okay, so obviously they don’t want to give too much away here. This could be a thriller or a straight-up horror. Hard to tell. But it sounds good. Making ends meet, co-writer Richard Naing produces the reality show “Behind The Mask” about the people behind sports mascots.

by Nick Creature and Michael Sweeney
Logline: When a difficult film shoot spirals hopelessly out of control into a living nightmare, an ambitious young director must face his greatest fears to turn a troubled production into the biggest movie of all time. Set on Martha’s Vineyard during the summer of 1974, this is the untold story of the making of Jaws.
Thoughts: One of two scripts about the making of Jaws. I know Grendl is going to be all over this!

 by Alexander Felix
Logline: A street-tough, white social worker in the slums of Detroit acts on a dangerous and violent personal vendetta when he protects a young girl and her mother from her recently incarcerated, AIDS-infected boyfriend, after he abruptly massacres a seedy strip club in a rage.
Thoughts: For those unaware, we discovered Mr. Felix right here on Scriptshadow on an Amateur Friday review! I LOVED it and put it in my Top 10. Alex went on to be managed by Energy, got agents at CAA. He got over 60 general meetings from the script and is up for some big assignments around town. Alex and I have been meeting every week or so and he’s keeping me up to date on what he can. The script was primed to be made before, but now that it’s on the Black List, I’m predicting really good things. Congrats Alex Felix!

by Alexis C. Jolly
Logline: Set in 1950s Manhattan, Fred Rogers journeys from a naive young man working for NBC to the host of the beloved children’s TV show, Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood.
Thoughts: Another biopic. Another no thank you. Another WAIT, I TAKE THAT BACK! Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood?? I’m in! However, these scripts only tend to work if the real life persona is the exact opposite of the TV persona. I’m not getting that sense here so I guess it’ll come down to if Fred Rogers led an interesting life. And who better to write Mr. Rogers than someone named “Jolly!”

 by Zak Olkewicz
Logline: When a female book editor visits the home of a horror writer so he can complete his novel, she finds that all of his creations are holding him hostage.
Thoughts: I reviewed this on my newsletter awhile back. I think it’s a strong marketable idea – very Stephen King’ish – but the execution needs some work. It was too muddied in the middle. But I’ll props to Zak, some of the creatures were terrifying.

by Dan Dollar
Logline: The true story of Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin & Hobbes.
Thoughts: “Dan Dollar?” you might be saying. “I recognize that name.” Yeah, Dan’s contributed plenty of times to the Comments Section of Scriptshadow. A big congratulations to him. Another reminder that with hard work and great writing, you can make it. Dan’s proof that it happens.

by Bac Delorme and Stephen Clarke
Logline: A war veteran slaughterhouse worker and his friend discover a small fortune in heroin hidden inside a processed cow and maneuver to hold onto their find and cash out to save his grandfather’s house as the bad guys come looking for their wayward stash.
Thoughts: Whoa! This logline’s a mouthful. Co-writer Bac Delorme is a longtime assistant director. You’re probably seen a ton of his movies. While the logline’s thrown me for a loop, I trust this one because it’s repped by David Karp at WME, who’s got some of the best taste in town.

 by Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman Blue
Based on Tim Madigan’s autobiographical novel of the same name. A journalist looking for a story about television’s role in the Columbine tragedy interviews TV’s Mr Rogers and, as a friendship develops between the two, he finds himself confronting his own issues at home.
Thoughts: This is just too weird. Two Mr. Rogers scripts in the same Black List? This is why I’m never surprised when someone comes to me with the same obscure logline as someone else. There’s something in the air with people. We’re all feeding off the same media cycle. We’re programmed to think alike. Which explains how there’s never been a Mr. Rogers script in history and then this year there’s 2 big ones.

 by Christina Hodson
Logline: After suffering a devastating miscarriage, a young woman and her fiance travel to Italy where she meets his family for the first time, but her grief turns to shock when the local doctor declares that she’s still pregnant. And while her fiance and his family seem delighted by the news, she begins to suspect their true motives are quiet sinister.
Thoughts: I really liked Hodson’s entry on last year’s Black List, Shut In, about A woman who takes care of her comatose teenaged son at home then starts getting visits from the ghost of a runaway boy. It totally kept you guessing. So I can only imagine this one’s going to be just as good.

 by Andrew Cypiot
Logline: Based on true events. CIA agent Edwin Wilson went behind enemy lines to secure weapons contracts and report information back to the CIA shortly after the Cold War. He had a meteoric rise until company policies changed and he was unceremoniously fired, but he continued to operate as a man without a country and became public enemy number one in the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Thoughts: Hmm, isn’t this the same thing as the NBC show “The Black List (ironically enough)?” I guess it’s based on a true story though. And people love spies! Why don’t I like spies? They’re inherently cool but I can’t seem to get into them. What’s crazy about this entry is that Cypiot only has one credit to his name, and it’s from 15 years ago on a TV movie! Way to stick with it, Andrew!

by Richard Cordiner
Logline: When his big break finally arrives, an idealistic young movie director, Steven Spielberg, risks failing to complete the movie Jaws when his 25-foot mechanical shark stops working.
Thoughts: Richard is a very talented writer who I actually gave notes to on this script a year ago. He’s got another cool script as well that producers should ask him about (which I don’t think I’m allowed to mention). I remember when I read this, Richard told me “This is my passion project.” And you could tell. That passion was on the page. Congrats, Richard!

by Max Hurwitz
Logline: In exchange for a lighter prison sentence, a young hacker goes undercover for the FBI in a sting operation to find and steal a super computer virus with the help of a team of unsuspecting hackers.
Thoughts: Max is another young writer/director who’s worked on some small TV shows. There isn’t too much to go on with this logline (it sounds a mite familiar) but I’ll be the first to congratulate him if it turns out great.

 by Shea and Evan Mirzai
Logline: While on a road trip to Mexico, two best friends are forced to enter a thousand-mile death race with no rules.
Thoughts: I love this concept! Death Race meets Cannonball Run. This could be awesome.

by Damien Ober
Logline: Follows a woman in the ’80s who works at an IBM-like company and is at the forefront of national intelligence research. When her project (named RANDLE) hits a major milestone indicating that she may have actually achieved AI, it is unexpectedly hijacked by the agenda of the company’s mysterious CEO. As she dives deeper into the corporate agenda, she learns that there may be a connection between her project and the 1981 assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan.
Thoughts: I thought for a second I’d stumbled on to the script itself! Big logline! This is a tough one. I kind of like it but there’s something “light” about inspecting an almost-assassination. Unless we get the tragedy of the assassination itself (JFK), do we really care?

by Jonathan Stokes
Logline: A conductor investigates the great composer’s seemingly unnatural death and unlocks the mysteries of the man himself while preparing to debut Tchaikovsky’s final symphony.
Thoughts: Stokes has been working hard, writing small feature films here and there. But nothing had that break-out appeal. This is a strong concept though. It’s got weight.

 by Cory Miller
Logline: Macbeth meets The Departed in the modern retelling of Shakespeare’s play, focusing on the tragic rise and fall of NYPD officer Sean Stewart, a heroic narcotics detective pushed to the dark side of police corruption by his scheming wife and a well-timed prophecy.
Thoughts: Cory Miller was a former investigator on the NYPD Internal Affairs unit, so you know he’s going to bring some authenticity to this. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in writing and directing.

by Josh Simon
Logline: After the death of Princess Diana, a reluctant investigator is hired to ascertain whether her death was premeditated. And in the process, he begins to uncover a conspiracy that compromises his own safely.
Thoughts: This was a really big sale earlier in the year. I read the script though and was kind of disappointed. It’s really sad. It’s basically about this father (of Princess Diana’s boyfriend, also killed in the crash) who can’t let go of the fact that his son died in an accident, so he has to create a conspiracy in order to cope. Not bad but it’s not what you expect.

by Ian Shorr
Logline: A young man’s life is turned upside down when he mysteriously begins to receive metallic capsules containing messages from his future self.
Thoughts: A bit familiar but this idea can work when done well. Ian Shorr made the Black List last year too!

 by Jake Morse and Scott Wolman
Logline: An R-rated talking car from the ’80s is brought back into service and teamed up with the son of his former partner, a befuddled cop looking to earn his stripes.
Management: Kaplan/Perrone
Manager: Josh Goldenberg
Producer: Hurwitz & Schlossberg Productions
Thoughts: This sounds really funny. Knight Rider meets Beverly Hills Cop?

 by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy
Logline: The true-life account of the Boston Globe’s breaking of the Catholic priest scandal in 2003.
Thoughts: Gotta say, this sounds a little bit snore-worthy. Isn’t the Catholic priest thing old news by now?

by Spenser Cohen
Logline: A man must do everything he can to save his family from an alien invasion.
Thoughts: This comes from the young writing-producing team of Spenser Cohen (who also directs) and Anna Halberg. These two are a couple of the smartest up-and-comers I’ve met in town. Mark my words. At some point they’ll have the next Bad Robot!

 by Hernany Perla
Logline: A prison psychiatrist meets a death row inmate on the verge of his execution who claims to be the only thing stopping the end of the world. As she begins to investigate his predictions, she finds them to be eerily accurate, and that she may be a central figure in the events to come.
Thoughts: Okay, we’re getting into some high concept ideas finally. This sounds good. Love the conflict inherent in the logline (something needs to break). Hernany produced the fun horror comedy, “Ghost Team One,” and was a supervising producer on Ah-nold’s “The Last Stand.” He’s also been on a lot of sets as a crew member. So he’s had some Hollywood experience.

 by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis
Logline: After his girlfriend dies in a car accident, a man finds his true soulmate, only to wake from a coma to learn his perfect life was just a dream — one he is determined to make real.
Thoughts: Yet ANOTHER high concept. Nice. We’re on a roll here. These are the kinds of scripts writers need to be writing to get noticed. It seems like these two made it to the second round of the Austin screenplay competition with another script, Between, but didn’t advance.

 by Ryan Belenzon and Jeffrey Gelber
Logline: What if a world woke up tomorrow to scientific proof of the afterlife?
Thoughts: Okay readers, don’t get your panties in a bunch. Obviously, this isn’t a logline. It’s more of a “teaser,” and I’m guessing the writer didn’t write it. But either way, it’s another high concept idea that has a lot of potential. I’d give it ten pages!

 by Matthew Bass and Theodore Bressman
Logline: A disgraced governor and his underachieving accomplice go on the run from the FBI, U.S. Marshals and a gang of hardened drug dealers.
Thoughts: This is that really big sale from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s assistants that made big waves a month ago. Another idea that sounds pretty bland on paper. But if the writers are funny, that may not matter. I’m curious if these guys have the goods or if they just got Seth Rogen really high and tricked him into writing a check.

by Jason Dean Hall
Logline: Based on Chris Kyle’s autobiography American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper In U.S. Military History.
Thoughts: This is that big sale that had Steven Spielberg and Bradley Cooper attached for 10 seconds. I read the script and found it to be really really bland. A big problem here is that it’s hard to make a character who’s hiding from all the action interesting. No matter how I spin it in my head, I don’t know how you make sniping dramatically compelling. But people back in the Midwest say this guy is a bona fide hero and that the conservatives will come out in droves to see a movie about him. They just need to do something way more interesting with the story. It’s too bland and too straight-forward now.

 by Sang Kyu Kim
Logline: A corrupt border crossing agent must decide what is more important — saving his soul or inflating his bank account — when he discovers a young illegal boy who escaped a cartel hit on the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
Thoughts: Kim is a TV writer who wrote an episode of The Walking Dead and a bunch of episodes of Crash (the TV show). Looks like he’s finally making the jump to features. This one sounds a bit garden variety on first glance.

 by David Weil
Logline: A young man who is inadvertently rescued after living 10 years in the basement of the child predator who abducted him, struggles to reunite with his family, while the detective in charge of his case investigates the link between his discovery and the recent disappearance of another local boy.
Thoughts: Hmmmm, Prisoners 2???

 by Nick Santora
Logline: Based on a true story, Dale Julin (a low-level Fresno affiliate morning show host) stumbles upon the biggest story of his life — and though he has reached the midpoint of his career without ever being a “real journalist” — risks his safety and his marriage to uncover the truth that a small atomic bomb exploded in Central Valley, California, during the Korean War — a secret that has been hidden for decades.
Thoughts: Okay, this sounds pretty cool. But I’d ask, what are the stakes? Much like the Reagan assassination script earlier, who cares if he finds out a bomb was dropped 50 years ago? What changes? Santora is a HUGE TV writer and producer, producing such shows as Prison Break and Vegas.

 by Patrick Tobin
Logline: A woman who’s been suffering from chronic pain since the car accident that cost the life of her child finds the will to go on from the most unexpected places.
Thoughts: Whoa, not going to lie. This one sounded reaaaaalllly depressing and boring. So I went on a hunt for a better logline than the Black List presented. I found this, which sounds much better. This should be a lesson to everyone writing generic loglines! Be more specific! – A dark comedy about a self-destructive woman whose obsession with the suicide of someone in her chronic pain support group leads to an affair with the dead woman’s husband, a drug run to Mexico, and a stop at one of the last drive-in theaters in the country.

by Donald Margulies
Logline: Upon hearing of David Foster Wallace’s suicide, writer David Lipsky recalls his 1996 interview with him.
Thoughts: Wallace is a writer probably best known for his novel, Infinite Jest, which I keep seeing at bookstores and wanting to buy but it’s so damn big. Sadly, these scripts where it looks like depression on top of depression aren’t for me. I need some hope in my stories. Plus this doesn’t so dramatically compelling at all. Someone’s remember someone’s interview? Eek, how do you make that exciting?

 by Leo Sardarian
Logline: With the Roman Empire on the brink of collapse, a fourth century bishop takes up arms to lead the armies of Constantine the Great into battle against the ruthless emperor, changing the face of Rome and begetting one of the greatest legends in history.
Thoughts: This sounds epic. It’ll all depend on what kind of filmmaker they get to film it. But I like this kind of period piece. If you’re going to do one, might as well make it big! — Sardarian is another writer who came to Hollywood and did a whole bunch of film jobs (casting, production, PR) to grow his network and establish himself in the industry. He then used those contacts when he wrote something great. That’s the way you do it, folks!

by Neville Kiser
Logline: Based on true events, the story centers on Oscar Wilde who goes from renowned playwright to losing everything personally and professionally.
Thoughts: Okay, I can dig a grandiose tragedy about a famous person. And I don’t know as much about Oscar Wilde as I probably should, so I’m in. Kiser has spent most of life battling whether to pursue film or become a man of the cloth. Right now, film is winning.

 by Adam Barker
Logline: After his villainous father-in-law kidnaps his daughters, Sol, a tough-as-nails mountain man, travels across the frigid Appalachian mountains seeking vengeance.
Thoughts: Our THIRD revenge script. Hey, revenge provides a clear-cut story with a clean goal for the protagonist (kill the bad dude) so it usually works.

by Bill Kennedy
Logline: A man who works in wealth management, and also has his hands in a number of less than ethical enterprises, begins collaborating with a Los Angeles-based drug dealer. The dealer just so happens to have the man’s son as one of his runners in the drug-fueled LA nightlife.
Thoughts: Honestly, I had to read through this logline 3 times to fully understand it, which is never good. Where are our Scriptshadow logline geniuses to fix this up???

 by Barbara Stepansky
Logline: A 14-year-old female prodigy finds companionship for the first time when she befriends a handsome older man.
Thoughts: Always seems to be one of these “inappropriate relationship” scripts on the Black List every year. But the prodigy aspect adds just enough of a twist that I’m intrigued. Stepansky has written and directed a lot of shorts and small films, one of which was titled, “I Hate L.A.”

 by Chris Sparling
Logline: An American man takes a journey into the infamous “Suicide Forest” at the foothills of Mount Fuji with the intention of taking his own life. When he is interrupted by a Japanese man who has had second thoughts about his own suicide, and is trying to find his way out of the forest, the two begin a journey of reflection and survival.
Thoughts: Our favorite Buried screenwriter and the king of the contained thriller is back! But Chris seems to realize that it’s time to grow a little and this definitely sounds different. I don’t like depressing movies (if you couldn’t tell yet) and don’t like movies/scripts where characters are planning to kill themselves (unless it’s a comedy). But Chris has such a breezy easy way about his writing that I’d still read this.

 by Zach Frankel
Logline: A 14-year-old boy with terminal cancer has one last wish — to lose his virginity — and convinces his reluctant football star Make-A-Wish partner to help him score.
Thoughts: If an alien were to come down to earth and learn about the world only through the black list, he would think that every 15 year old boy and girl is dying of cancer. Enough with these ideas! Ahhhhh!!! Although I do like the comedy angle and the idea that he gets a football star to help him get laid. That gives me a sliver of hope. But still.


 by Justin Kremer
Logline: A desperate, attention-hungry journalist concocts a story that ironically proves to be true and finds himself engulfed in a dangerous underworld of murder and mayhem.
Thoughts: This sounds good. Reminds me of that old Mel Gibson movie, Conspiracy Theory, a little bit. Kremer made last year’s Black List as well. Congrats, Justin, on two in a row. ☺

 by Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani
Logline: A tragic accident in a coastal English town sets off a chain of violence when a malevolent assassin attempts to punish all involved, including a dirty cop who is intent on covering up the truth.
Thoughts: Some crucial piece of information is missing in this logline that’s making it sound generic. Co-writer Haines has reached the Nicholl Semi-finals a few times and has directed a couple of award-winning shorts. Take your career into your own hands people. Direct some shorts!

 by Jon Boyer
Logline: After being diagnosed with dementia, a retired fifty-something stunt motorcyclist sets out to perform one last jump.
Thoughts: Hey, I know Jon! One of the nicest writers out there. Excited to see him make the list. And this idea sounds really original. Have never heard of anything like it before. I shall be checking it out! Congratulations, Jon!

 by Annie Neal
Logline: An unhappily married woman and her best friend go on a road trip to Las Vegas to compete in the Miss Married America competition.
Thoughts: I don’t know what the Miss Married competition is, so I’m not sure I can comment on this. But it does sound like a script written by women for women, so I’m not going to put my judgment stamp on it!

 by Meaghan Oppenheimer
Logline: Three former childhood friends with a complicated history get back together to spread the ashes of their friend who recently died.
Thoughts: Death. Spreading ashes. Noooooooooo. Oppenheimer also got on the Black List in 2010 with her script “Hot Mess.”

by Leo Nichols
Logline: Two lovable losers run into trouble after they start a service cleaning up the stuff you don’t want your loved ones to find once you die.
Thoughts: Oooh, very clever idea!

by Jason Fuchs
Logline: A prequel to JM Barrie’s Peter Pan. When an orphan is taken to the magical world of Neverland, he becomes a hero to the natives and leads a revolt against the evil pirates.
Thoughts: I’m going to tell you a secret right now. If you’re ever in a pinch for an idea – incorporate Peter Pan somehow. Hollywood LOVES Peter Pan. I see so many Peter Pan specs sell. You gotta find a unique angle. It can’t just be any old Pan script. But if you do, it will sell!

 by Olivia Milch
Logline: The story of four best girlfriends who must learn how to move forward without moving on, as they come down off their “high” of high school in this “Fast Times-esque” teenage comedy.
Thoughts: This is so general and so about teenage girls, that I don’t think there’s any chance I would be interested in it. That’s not to say others wouldn’t, but this ain’t my thing.

 by Michael Le
Logline: In a post-apocalyptic world full of zombies, a man who speaks their language questions the undead in order to find a cure for his infected wife.
Thoughts: Zombies shalt never die! So stop trying to kill them!

 by Elijah Bynum
Logline: In the middle of major financial problems, a down on his luck Southerner’s life begins to unravel when he accidentally runs over and kills a runaway girl.
Thoughts: Well well well, we’ve got the rare DOUBLE OCCUPANT on the Black List. Bynum also wrote the script up above, Hot Summer Nights. Hey, as long as it’s better than Mud (the most overrated movie of the year), I’ll read it!

  • JakeBarnes12

    Man, sure would be great if there was somewhere to go to download all these great scripts. For educational purposes, of course.

    • Alex Palmer

      Perhaps Edward Snowden has a few.

      • Midnight Luck

        now that is funny.

        • Alex Palmer

          I’m betting that the only reason the US government is that he’s threatening to leak the Avengers 2 script. :P

    • Fistacuffs


    • Michael

      Last year some kind soul bundled all the scripts on the list into one download and posted a link. It would be nice if it happens again.

      • blueiis0112

        Carson did that at one point last year. That was how I finally got to read the script I was chasing to read.

        • Mike

          Never mind new socks and a sweater, *that* would be a pretty awesome Christmas present.

    • RayFinkleLacesOut

      I got what you need.

  • lonestarr357

    Seed – Hello, Rosemary’s Baby!

    Bury the Lead reminds me more of 1987’s Street Smart, where a reporter (Christopher Reeve) makes up a story about a pimp and the details are pretty close to those of a real pimp (Morgan Freeman in a deservedly Oscar-nominated performance) on trial for murder. Think Freeman’s always the wise old guy? He is fucking scary in this movie. Hard to believe it was released by Cannon Films.

    Elsewhere, Gay Kid and Fat Chick and Sweetheart sound like must-reads to me.

    When I saw the title ‘Where Angels Die’, it took a few moments to click in my brain, then I said, ‘wait, is this that script where the bad guy mows down a strip joint while in drag?!’. Takes all kinds, I guess.

    • Poe_Serling

      Bury the Lead reminds me more of 1987’s Street Smart… Hard to believe it was released by Cannon Films.

      As the story goes: Christopher Reeve got the company to make Street Smart as part of his overall deal for putting the cape back on for Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, which was being produced by Cannon’s owners Golan and Globus rather than the Salkinds by ’87.

  • Alexander Felix

    It is amazing to be on The Black List, Carson ;) I did not write that logline, however. But yeah, super stoked all around!

    • hickeyyy

      Congrats on all the success, my friend!

    • gazrow

      Huge congrats, Alexander!! :)

    • Alex Palmer

      Enjoyed Where Angels Die, happy to see it on here.Congratulations!

    • Fistacuffs

      Congrats, man!

    • Acarl

      Big congrats, Mr. Felix!

    • John Bradley

      Just out of curiosity, is the only way to get on The Black List to submit to the Black List?

      • klmn

        You don’t get on the Black List by submitting to the Black List. The real Black List is compiled from nominations of industry pros- producers, agents, managers- am I forgetting some?

        The Black List you submit to is a script review service, based on ratings by former or current pro readers.

        • John Bradley

          Thanks klmn, I was wondering if it was a pay to play situation. Your answer clears that up for me=)

    • ThomasBrownen

      Congrats Alex!! Looking forward to seeing more from you!

    • andyjaxfl

      Congrats! Your Disqus photo is pretty awesome, by the way. I hope you write a great role for Van Damme in a future script!

      • Alexander Felix

        I try to write Van Damme in all my films. Van Damme would be great as Marcus ;)

    • David Sarnecki

      Hahaha I was going down the list and I had to double take. “When Angels… Die… Wait, I know that scri… This logline, wait… HOLY SHIT!”

    • romer6

      Congratulations, Mr. Felix! Don’t forget the community at the Oscar! :)

    • Lukas Ridge

      Give us your logline. Congratulations, by the way.

  • Andrea Moss

    Holy Christ! It’s Cancer Week in The Black List or what? Nope! It’s Mr. Rogers Week! Two scripts in a row about the same guy! Take that, Lincoln! Or it’s Jaws Week? Again, two scripts about THE MAKING OF THE SAME MOVIE? Or it’s Biopic Week? What do you think? My two cents? Every passing year is more and more clear Frankilin Leonard is using The Black List to promote his own agenda and turn his list into a tool for promoting the work of established writers or movies already attached to a big studio.

    • Guest

      I think the most interesting one is 1969. I don’t recall ever seeing anyone play with the Moon Landing conspiracy idea. Considering my birthday is the same day as the moon landing, you think I would’ve thought of it first!

      • wrymartini

        There’s always – although about Mars as opposed to the Moon. Bonus: OJ Simpson as an astronaut.

        • Poe_Serling

          A few years back, i remember they were toying with the idea of a Capricorn One remake… but it must still be stuck in development.

          • klmn

            They’re waiting until OJ gets out of prison.

          • Ambrose*

            And searches for his ex-wife’s killer on every golf course in America.

      • Fistacuffs

        In The Event Of A Moon Disaster was on it a few years ago. Not really about the conspiracy, but if you are interested in the Moon Landing you’d love it.

      • SandbaggerOne

        I urge everyone to see this amazing film with the exact same concept:

        It is really well done and came out about 12 years ago.

  • hickeyyy

    I think the most interesting one is 1969. I don’t recall ever seeing anyone play with the Moon Landing conspiracy idea. Considering my birthday is the same day as the moon landing, you think I would’ve thought of it first! :)

    • Eddie Panta

      Kubrick was behind the fake moon landing.

    • davejc

      One of the James Bond movies touched on the idea of a fake moon landing, Goldfinger it was I think. Whichever one was in Las Vegas and had Charles Gray always carrying around a cat.

      • davejc

        My bad. It was Diamonds Are Forever.

    • Graham

      ‘Capricorn One’ posits a a faked manned mission to Mars, but obviously is riffing off the notion of faked moon landings…

    • SandbaggerOne

      I urge everyone to see this amazing film with the exact same concept:

      It is really well done and came out about 12 years ago.

    • filmklassik

      Co-wrote a script, many years ago — a space-comedy/adventure movie called THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE ADVENTURES OF NEIL ARMSTRONG: WHAT *REALLY* HAPPENED ON THE MOON.

      I’m only talking about it now because I’m giving it to my agents after the holidays.

      It is exactly what the title suggests. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin not only WENT to the moon… but had the most incredible, phantasmagorical, George Lucas/Gene Roddenberry adventure up there which they never, EVER breathed a word about.

      • hickeyyy

        I love this idea! If you are amenable to it, I’d really like to read that!

        • filmklassik

          Thanks, hickeyyy! And you may yet! As of now, though — right now — we are still figuring out strategy.

      • A Tribe Called Guest

        This sounds awesome.

  • Eddie Panta

    If anyone has any luck with finding Section 6 script please report back.

    • Eddie Panta

      Also, if anyone out there has a any screenplay by Bret Easton Ellis please reply.

    • wrymartini

      Yes, please do! Thanks.

  • gazrow

    “Zombies shalt never die! So stop trying to kill them!”

    Agreed! My own script breathes new life into the undead! A zom-com that promises to bring something new to the genre!

    Should be ready early in the new year. Watch out world – the zombies are coming!! :)

    • Poe_Serling

      lol. Go for it, g! As they say, “no guts no glory.’

      • Hadley’s Hope

        No pain no brains!

        • Midnight Luck

          Or for the lucky Zombies
          No Brains, No Pains

      • gazrow

        My thoughts exactly, Poe! :)

  • Poe_Serling

    As I was skimming over the list, the script that made me do a double take was ELSEWHERE
 by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis.

    Logline: After his girlfriend dies in a car accident, a man finds his true soulmate, only to wake from a coma to learn his perfect life was just a dream — one he is determined to make real.

    I’ve noticed this particular writing duo scoring with several projects over the past year or so. I guess when you’re hot, you’re hot.

    >>The ‘Elsewhere’ script also just notched a place on this year’s Tracking Board Hit List. It was described as ‘The Vow” meets ‘The Sixth Sense’ on that site.

    >>The writing team had two different scripts as finalists in the 2013 Austin Film Festival. Sc-fi category: ‘Godless.’ Drama category: ‘Between.’

    >>They recently won the grand prize at Story Pros for an action/adventure project entitled ‘Pursuit.’

    **You can check out the full-length script for ‘Pursuit’ over at Story Pros if you like… the duo’s writing style is quite lean and dynamic.

    • GoIrish

      That one caught my attention as well but for a different reason. I understand these were not the writers’ loglines, but I was really getting hung up on the use of “perfect life” and “dead girlfriend.”

      the other that gave me pause was Make a Wish. I’m kind of curious about how that one is executed. Does the wish come true? And if so, how old is the girl? Could be viewed as a little young. Enlisting an adult also raises some red flags (feels a little creepy particularly if the girl is 14). It’s a comedy, so maybe the writer was able to pull it off.

  • Citizen M

    I plotted the Black List scores graphically. Not sure what it shows, except that there are only a few standouts and plenty which are at more or less the same level lower down.

    Also shown are Black List scripts which appear on The Tracking Board’s Hit List as well. The scores don’t always agree. For instance, A Boy And His Tiger is No 2 on the Hit List, but only mid-level on the Black List; Mississippi Mud gets 50 votes on the Hit List, but only six votes on the Black List.

    • garrett_h

      Cool graph!

      Also, Dan and his script are pretty popular over at The Tracking Board site, so I’m guessing that’s how it landed at #2 on their list.

  • Felip Serradell

    Christopher Nolan’s wife’s name is Emma Thomas and she’s been the producer on most his films. Are you thinking of Jonathan Nolan?

    • ChadStuart

      Yes, he was. Joy is married to Jonathan.

  • Cfrancis1

    Man Of Sorrow… Hasn’t this ground already been covered very well in the movie Wilde and the play Gross Indecency? Stephen Fry IS Oscar Wilde.

    Last Minute Maids sounds awesome!

  • Alex Palmer

    Dear Santa,

    This year I would like unremitting (and quite illegal) access to all scripts. Like, ever.

    Yours sincerely,
    A good boy (allegedly)

  • wlubake

    Glad to see the list didn’t fall prey to the “profanity in the title” trick that dominated it in years past.
    I can’t help but feel that the Blacklist is moving in the direction of the Nicholl. Character-driven drama seems to be rewarded. Industry people love to read it. Sadly, moviegoers don’t turn out in droves to watch it.

    • fragglewriter

      I think as long as you put a spin on a drama and not fall into melodrama, hit the same emotion beats, over act or cheat the audience, audiences will go see a drama.

    • Alex Palmer

      True. I’m not sensing a new “Balls Out” on the list.

  • hickeyyy

    Congrats on making the list!

  • Eddie Panta

    I am only interested in graphs that chart the amount of female screenwriters on the hot lists.

  • klmn

    The title THE KILLING FLOOR reminds me of Skip James’s classic, HARD TIMES KILLING FLOOR.

    I like this version better than Skip’s.

  • James Lion

    Carson, As I understand it Mister Rogers of the eponymous show wore those sweaters to hide his military tattoos. He was one tough bad-ass before he had a change of heart.

  • drifting in space

    I read the first 40 of the MI6 script. I have the same problem with it as 47 Ronin and Passengers. Just too god damn thick to read through. And although it would make a decent movie, I have NO IDEA how they are going to release it with a new James Bond movie coming out every now and then. They are WAAAAAAY too similar for American movie-goers.

    A Boy and his Tiger is absolutely my favorite on the list. Dan is a really cool guy and that script really spoke to me.

    Patient Z, in my opinion, was alright and the ending was ridiculous. I won’t spoil anything but… meh.

    I’m rooting for WAD, mostly because of Alex coming through our part of town. The concept isn’t really that intriguing to me, but the guy seems to a be a top-notch fella.

    I am sad that this list does NOT represent what it is advertised for. A number of these people (most) are not “up and coming” and are actually already in the game. Some of the concepts are interesting, but there are a few doubles.

    I was also sad to see one of the loglines matching very closely to my current project. Until I thought more about it… and realized they are entirely different. One sentence can only show so many.

    For me, it all seems to come back to… just go out and write. Get better at it. A lot of these won’t be made into movies (my opinion) but they are probably great sample pieces.

    • garrett_h

      Man, the ending of Patient Z seems to be universally hated. I started reading it as I was going through the Blood List, but didn’t finish. Kinda glad I didn’t once I saw all the backlash.

      • drifting in space

        You should read it. It’s absolutely absurd. Which sucks because the story was pretty decent until then.

    • ripleyy

      I was really glad to see the list dominated by women this year around. People think it’s male-driven, but as you can clearly see, a lot of women write and going off the loglines, pretty damn well!

    • drifting in space

      Okay, so… I just finished reading Holland, Michigan.

      Someone please tell me I’m wrong, but… how was that the #1 script? It was so… bland. And very lazy writing. Every choice made was predictable. The twist was alright, but it happened WAY too late. I’m surprised anyone got that far before putting it down.

      • Bfied

        I Just finished reading it as well.

        I guess this may just be a case of differing tastes, but for the most part I enjoyed it.

        For the sake of discussion, which aspects of the script did you find to be bland and lazy (in general)? Just curious.

        For me, the writing as far as the ‘words on the page’ to tell the story sufficed. Nothing really spectacular, but I thought it was a smooth, efficient read.

        Agreed, the revelation was alright. Maybe a little bit late, but I was hooked in the read and didn’t seem to mind where it arrived as far as page count. I was interested in mainly how Nancy, Dave, and Fred’s relationships to one another would pan out. For me, the revelation made for a very engaging final 50 pages or so – very creepy.

        Definitely a lot I liked in this script, but I agree it has its faults…

        We’ve definitely seen this investigative type of narrative before… Protagonist gets suspicious, starts snooping around, finds out there’s more than meets the eye, you know the rest…

        But what I liked the most was how this writer brought their own – and I almost kind of hate to say it – voice’ to this script… the Dutch/midwestern subculture, off-beat tone, comedy sprinkled throughout to compliment the drama, the little details (the figurines), and the story having something to say about trust, secrets, truth, etc through their relationships.

        It probably won’t be my favorite script of the 2013 BL, but I think I can see why this was a big favorite.

        [x] impressive, in my opinion.

  • garrett_h

    I’m a huge fan of The Black List and what they’re doing. But as the years go by I’m starting to feel like they should just change the name to The Biopic List.

    More and more these true stories are dominating the list. This year it’s Jaws and Mr. Rogers. Years past saw Star Wars and Jurrasic Park. Then there’s always the author scripts or the “untold story” behind some movie or political event, etc.

    The sad thing is, as Carson said, most of these just disappear.

    Sure, Argo got made, but what happened to Imitation Game? Is that still in development? Saving Mr. Banks is another successful one. But what happened to the Hillary Rodham Clinton one? And countless others…

    It’s almost like writers are targeting these stories as Black List bait.

    Gotta admit, I’m more partial to The Tracking Board’s high concept oriented Hit List and Kailey Marsh’s horror themed Blood List. Still, I’m going to work my way through the list bottom to top, starting tonight, like I do every year. Just might skip the true stories this time.

    • Nate

      Imitation Game is still in development. Benedict Cumberbatch is playing Alan Turing.

      • Ambrose*

        He was the actor I suggested for the role here on Scriptshadow when we discussed the script.
        I hope they don’t screw up that good script.
        And I hope it keeps a British film feel and they don’t Hollywoodize it. It shouldn’t be flashy.

  • Midnight Luck

    Seems like a discussion worth having,

    How does the list fare now for newbies (complete unknowns) compared to years past? Has it become just a list of repped and working writers?

    I worry it should be called the RepsList or the AgentsList, as it seems it is now just a list for Agents and Managers who want to get their writers noticed and get them work. That isn’t a bad thing for those writers who may have gotten lost in the shuffle, or who do need work. But not so good for new writers as they are being forgotten and crowded out of a short list.

  • John Bradley

    Hey guys I’m looking for a little help picking a title for one of my scripts. The logline is, “It seemed like Randy had it all–a loving family, a dream job. But after a long, hard fall from grace leads to deadly consequences, he’s forced to relive his life backwards. Yesterday by yesterday, Randy tries to understand where it all went wrong, and how he can possibly put things right in a world where tomorrow never comes.”

    Right now it is titled “Twist of Fate” but I have gotten a couple complaints that the title is too generic. I have been brainstorming a new title that fits the story and the one I have come up with is, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”…………….So I’m wondering “Twist of Fate” or “Nothing Gold Can Stay” or if based on the logline you have a better title, I’d love to hear it. Thanks in advance.

    • Midnight Luck

      I like what you actually just wrote in this description:

      Yesterday by Yesterday
      or just
      The Yesterdays

      by the way, are you the person who posted a few days back you were looking for someone to read a script you were working on? If you are, I would take a look if you still need it.

      m (at) blackluck dot com

      • ChadStuart

        I agree with that. “Yesterday by Yesterday” works much better.

      • John Bradley

        Thanks Poe, Drifting, and Midnight. I will add Yesterday to my list, also Midnight gave me an idea of taking a title form my logline, what about Tomorrow Never Comes? Hindsight is also good and a possibility. I’m going to run those names by a few people.

        Thanks for the offer Midnight! You give really amazing notes. I am in the middle of doing some touch up work on the script today, but can send it to you in about 4-5 hours=)

        • Midnight Luck

          there already is a movie called Tomorrow Never Comes

          not that it really matters much, it was in 1978.
          Also there is the 007 James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies.
          and the disaster flick Day After Tomorrow

          My problem with titles like that is they all sound the same, and I never remember them. Titles should grab you and stick in your head.

          Just like Edge of Tomorrow, a huge movie coming out, well the title kind of bores. Whereas the original title All You Need is Kill, is awesome and sticks to the brain.

          So I would try to find something that really speaks to the soul of the story, but has intrigue, maybe a title that could mean more than one thing, or has Irony.

          I always think of titles by Tarantino, his earlier works. You have True Romance, which absolutely nails the story right on, and is fun and easy to say, memorable and charming. Then Reservoir Dogs, well, that one just hit it out of the park, as did Pulp Fiction. Just gut punch memorable titles.

          • John Bradley

            Thanks Chad and Roger, love everyone at Scriptshadow, I asked for help and you guys gave me more ideas in an hour than I’ve had in 2 days thinking it over!

      • John Bradley

        Okay sent, thanks MNight=)

      • Stephjones

        My vote is for Yesterday by Yesterday. Seems perfect.

    • drifting in space


      I have an undying love for one word titles.

      Twist of Fate doesn’t really capture the logline.

    • Poe_Serling

      I agree with ML… Keep it simple: Yesterday.

    • RoberJ

      How about “Rewind”? Meaning you’re going back in time…

      • Citizen M

        I like “Rewind”
        Yesterday Once More
        Past Present
        See You Yesterday
        Time Before Time

        • John Bradley

          More good suggestions. My original title for the script was Timeless. I was worried about having the word “Time” in my title. I like Yesterday Once More the most from those 5. Thanks M=)

          • Crcbonjour

            Fall Back

    • Chris Mulligan

      Day after Yesterday.
      Tomorrow Never Comes.
      Biff’s Almanac

      • John Bradley

        lol @ Biff’s Almanac. But I like Day After Yesterday, that’s a good one.

    • wlubake

      Looking Forward to Yesterday
      All My Future Yesterdays
      Life in Reverse
      Wishing for Tomorrow
      Coming Undone

      • John Bradley

        The first two on your list are my favorites. I’m adding them to mine to run by my writing partner!

        • drifting in space

          Looking Forward to Yesterday is a winner. Love that.

          • Hadley’s Hope

            I like that.

            How about “Yesterday Today”? Sort of a “True Lies” kind of wordplay.

            “The Man From Yesterday”

        • lesbiancannibal

          There was a Carpenters’ song – Yesterday Once More

    • TomG

      How about ‘Relapse’ or ‘Re-Collect’… I think I saw this featured on Triggerstreet, congrats. From a poster visual, I like the idea of ‘Yesterday’ spelled so it wraps back on itself into shadows. If you want to swap reviews on an updated draft let me know.

      • John Bradley

        Yeah that would be cool. My email is johnrushbradley(at)

    • wlubake

      Trim that logline too. “A man fallen from grace must relive his life backwards, hoping to find and fix the moment where his good life went bad.”
      Obviously that isn’t perfect, but it captures the idea without all those words. Sounds cool.

      • John Bradley

        Yeah, mine is a little wordy. Loglines are my least favorite thing to write but they are so important. I’ll definitely trim it a bit.

    • jlugozjr

      I swear I came across this script on Triggerstreet? No? It was one of my assignments.

      • John Bradley

        Yuppers it’s on there=) I love Triggerstreet, great place.

        • jlugozjr

          You love Triggerstreet? Interesting. I had a polar opposite experience with it. And I don’t mean to be harsh, but it’s because Twist of Fate was my first assignment. I just couldn’t get through it.

          And for those who don’t know, if you want your script reviewed on Triggerstreet you have to finish several assignments first. Basically you have to read several other screenplays to build credit.

          So why couldn’t I finish Twist of Fate?

          I swear Randy your gonna be late for your own funeral.
          Alright mom, take it easy.

          This is just one example, but the problem is that people just don’t talk like this.

          Story choices:
          Randy knocks on his friend’s door. No answer so he enters. And once inside a PAINT CAN drops on his head. What?! Was this his friends way of protecting his house from intruders? Why wouldn’t he just LOCK THE DOOR.

          Now the purpose of this has to do with the concept. Remember, he’s going to repeat this day over again. So the second time he opens that door…

          But who cares if he gets a second chance at each day if what happens the first time MAKES NO SENSE.

          And the final insult before I closed the script:

          Randy gets a blowjob from a girl while he’s driving and…

          1. HE CLOSES HIS EYES! (Which of course causes him to crash)

          2. And you’re gonna love this… The reason he closes his eyes is so that he can remember (in a flashback) a Christmas with his 8 year old son!

          Yes, he’s receiving a blowjob and decides to think about his child.

          Then the truck crashes.

          I’ll be honest, I was very disappointed to find out that if I wanted to use Triggerstreet, I would be required to fulfill these assignments first. That’s why I cancelled my account.

          • John Bradley

            Sorry I ruined your experience. Actually, it’s now a featured script there. I guess they’ll advertise all types of shitty scripts. Thanks for putting me in my place. Happy Holidays=)

          • jlugozjr

            I never said your writing was shitty. Nor am I furious at an entire website.

            But the 3 issues I mentioned kinda bothered me. A paint can. Closing your eyes while driving. Maybe I just didn’t understand your choices, but the point of my response wasn’t directed toward your writing. It was meant to be an opinion on Triggerstreet. I’m just not a fan of the system they have in place there.

          • John Bradley

            “And I don’t mean to be harsh” Yes you did, you were thinking “I’m going to humiliate this little bitch in front of everyone on this site!>=)”

            The paint can along with Justin’s black eye makes sense when you get further in the script (which you didn’t do).

            He didn’t close his eyes, he was black-out drunk and was passing out (I guess the 4 page bar scene of him getting shit-faced didn’t set that up well enough)
            And some people who are experiencing extreme emotional trauma act out sexually. Randy was about to lose his family and had a quick image of his family flash through his mind in the scene. I was not glorifying a child molester as you ranted in your review. Your welcome to look at all the reviews I got and see no one else saw it that way.
            My script’s still a work in progress and I happily welcome any constructive criticism. But you have not said one constructive word to me in any of our encounters. You posted here because you personally don’t like me and it felt gratifying for you to try and publicly humiliate me. I hope you enjoyed it, but it didn’t hurt me the way I know you wanted it to.

          • jlugozjr

            Damn, I thought I deleted that script.

          • John Bradley

            Would you like to exchange friendship bracelets with me? I feel like if you got to know me better we could totally be besties=)

          • Stephjones

            There is the distinct possibility the ” help others, help yourself” aspect of TriggerStreet is a concept that’s just too hard for you to wrap your head around…but no worries…what IS the point of being stupid, unless you can prove it?

          • John Bradley

            I believe every writer’s goal is to create an emotional response in someone. And with him I feel I accomplished that. 1/2 of one of my scripts made him furious at an entire website and months removed from reading it was still able to remember exact quotes. I actually feel quite proud=)

          • jlugozjr

            Yes, I’m stupid because I don’t prefer the system that Triggerstreet has in place. Sorry.

            But I do enjoy Scriptshadow’s method. 5 amateur scripts on Saturday. Read as much as you like, stop whenever you want. If it’s not your thing, don’t finish it. No big deal.

            I’m just not a fan of having assignments. So Triggerstreet wasn’t my thing.

          • Stephjones

            My response to you was more about the snarky dump you took on John’s script for what appeared to be no apparent reason. I see now there’s some history there. Oh well. Don’t need to be in the middle of that.
            I just want to say both sites have a lot on offer. There’s a ton of wonderful energy on this site for discussing aspects of writing and for how to get your work out there. I really like Carson’s take on stuff and I have revised my latest screenplay a dozen times because of things I’ve picked up here. Unfortunately, my screenplays are probably not his thing so my chances of being picked for AF are remote.
            But, just as Carson says, you gotta get feedback on your writing and TS is my go to for that.
            One thing you might not have realized about TS assignments is you can remove them until you find something you want to read. It’s a great set-up and, like here, you can make some strong connections offsite.
            So, unless you get picked for AF or can afford to pay for feedback, TS could be another resource for you.

          • A Tribe Called Guest

            Yup, same. Also, that submitting to them automatically makes the scripts property of Spacey & pals (if you don’t read fine print by the year 2013, then get better glasses and get to it).

    • Malibo Jackk

      Back to the Future.

      • John Bradley

        That’s perfect yet strangely familiar……..Although Forward to the Past might fit the concept better

      • Poe_Serling

        Or Spaceman from Pluto.

      • Ambrose*

        I laughed out loud with that one.

    • Andrea Moss

      “Erase and Rewind”.

    • Midnight Luck

      I am still a big fan of Yesterday, or Yesterday by Yesterday.

      I think Yesterday by Yesterday says exactly what the script is and what happens in it, without having to resort to using an overused word like Time or Tomorrow.

      I think it is great. (and subconsciously You came up with it which is even better!)

      Thanks for sending the script. I assume it was the one you were asking if anyone would read for you last Friday right?

      I will take a look at it and write back to your email address.

      • John Bradley

        Yes that is the one and thank you so much! I’m really looking forward to your thoughts.

    • Ambrose*

      All My Yesterdays

    • Linkthis83

      Just wanted to give this a shot:

      -Yesterday’s Tomorrow (my fav)
      -Day by Yesterday (saying Yesterday twice annoyed me :)
      -One Yesterday at a Time
      -Only Yesterdays to Come
      -Long Hard Fall (as stated by John Bradley in his logline)

      • John Bradley

        I like them all except Long Hard Fall. Thanks Link! I’ve had this script over a year and you guys came up with15 better names than I had.

        • Poe_Serling

          “I like them all except Long Hard Fall.”

          lol. That shows what I know.

      • Poe_Serling

        I’m digging Long Hard Fall… it reminds me of the country song by Carlene Carter. I even think some of the song lyrics kinda capture the vibe of JB’s logline.

        It was sometime late September/The leaves were gold and green/
        My baby’s eyes were the saddest sight I’d ever seen/Two summers back I loved him/Two years I cried and tried/But I tell you, too many teardrops falling down cannot be dried/It’s been a long hard fall.

        • John Bradley

          Haha I like the name but it captures the low concept drama side of my script. I think to have a catchy name it has to be something that plays off the high concept idea that makes the script unique.

        • Linkthis83

          I actually thought it was THE ONE when I isolated it. I know it doesn’t capture the obviousness of his story, but I think it’s a very strong title.

          If he doesn’t want it, then I will find the narrative that will fulfill that title. :)

    • Midnight Luck


      by the way, a trailer for a movie call WELCOME TO YESTERDAY was just released. It is about time travel.

      just an FYI.

      Strange how there is always a kind of mind link in the world going on. Sort of similar ideas, or styles or inventions seemingly come out of nowhere, and then appear all at once. One character in it even says “I want to have my own Groundhog Day” or something similar.


      • John Bradley

        I will have to check it out, I will be a sad panda if it is too similar=

        • Midnight Luck

          not to worry, you can still be a happy panda, it is mostly a time travel movie about teenagers messing with their pasts and the consequences of that. different from yours.

          i like that if you sat 100 writers down, gave them all a log line, and story idea, then had them all write a screenplay for it, every single story would be completely different. every beginning and every ending would be its own.

          i just thought it was odd after everyone was talking names, talking about your story, and some about time travel, suddenly Welcome to Tomorrow appears. just strange how the universe works. Even Edge of Tomorrow’s trailer is similar in some ways: a guy fighting an alien race dies and ends up having to repeat the same day of his death over and over continually.

  • Midnight Luck

    Something about Gay Kid and Fat Chick reminds me of the AF script from an SS reader, I think his name was Zack. Don’t remember the title off the top of my head, oh wait, I think it was called “Reunion”. His was a story of a kid who comes back during a High School Reunion and plays havoc on those who treated him wrong. I remember Piranhas in the pool and manglings. I remember a ton of people really liked it, and I believe he got some interest and maybe representation. This isn’t an update of that story is it?

    • garrett_h

      That was Adam Zopf, and it was a straight up horror movie. Gay Kid and Fat Chick sounds like a black comedy to me. Maybe like Jawbreaker. Or maybe they went the Mean Girls route. Seems completely different than Reunion. But I love the title. Can’t wait to read it.

      • Midnight Luck

        ah, ok, thanks. appreciate the info. It sounded a bit different, but still had some similarities it seemed. Just taking a wild guess. Since people don’t necessarily use their real names on the scripts on this site.

    • drifting in space

      No, this is from Bo Burnham, accomplished comedian, musician, and writer.

      This one sounds a little too similar to Kick-Ass for me.

      • Midnight Luck

        great, thanks for letting me know, and I wasn’t sure about his name either.

      • ripleyy

        I was sure as hell that I knew the name Bo Burnham before. Now I know!

      • klmn

        Maybe FATTIES can make the list next year.

  • Paul DeWolf

    I tweeted this question at Carson last night-Do these screenwriters have permission from their principle subjects? I realize Mr. Rodgers is dead but what about Spielberg, Waterson(a renown recluse)-and Hilary (Rodham from a few lists ago)-From someone who wrote a screenplay that gets criticism about fictionalizing true events, how does this work? Do they get picked up and then cleared with the pronciples later?

    • garrett_h

      Well, they don’t get cleared because most of them never get made. At least that’s been the current trend.

      But to answer your question, no, the majority of them don’t have permission.

      That was actually a big thing with Saving Mr. Banks, which was on the Black List. No one thought it’d ever get purchased because only one studio in town, Disney, could legitimately make it.

      • Ambrose*

        I think it might have been more a case of: what other studio would want to glorify the founder of their competition? And advertise their family entertainment brand?
        Hence, Disney was the only studio that would probably have made it.

    • Sam M

      If a person is a public figure, you don’t need permission to make a movie about them (or write a book) and legally there’s nothing they or their estate can do about it. How else do you think they made Social Network?

      Pubic figure is defined as anyone who has been a subject of multiple articles in newspapers, magazines, books, media, …

      As long as your research doesn’t involve one or two source material, you can do whatever you want.

      • sigmund fraud

        Pubic figure?

        In my line of work, we call that a Fraudian slip.

        • Sam M.

          Oops. :)

        • Ambrose*

          You beat me by a hair.

      • klmn

        I believe California has laws pertaining to celebrities. I’m not sure what they are, but anyone attempting such a project should find out. As for creative types, their work is subject to copyright laws.

      • Paul DeWolf

        Always been curious about that-I wrote a baseball movie and fictionalized a player that was part of a historic play but have constantly run into feedback that said that that hurdle was too much for the story to overcome if it was to ever get optioned-

        • Sam M

          Paul, there’s a lot of misconception about this matter. I learned this from a class at USC film school. The guest lecturers were entertainment lawyers and one lawyer spent a good amount of time explaining what I summarized above. The best or worst part is that you don’t even have to be honest about the facts. Dramatize as much as you want.

          It’s similar to parody. Legally, you can make fun of any work, person or entity and no one can sue you (well, they can but it’ll most likely get thrown out). If that weren’t the case, SNL wouldn’t be able to stay on air.

          • wlubake

            Yeah, if you had to have the rights, W never would have been made.

          • A Tribe Called Guest

            Dude this is hugely helpful information that will make my Mother Teresa action bio-pic “Top Nun” all the more appealing.

            *whispers* Thank you.

          • Sam M.

            You’re welcome. Just make sure you use multiple source material as your reference and save all of them. If all or most of your research is from one book or one article, the author of that book or article can and will sue you.

          • Midnight Luck

            that is hilarious.

            Now if only you can make it to part 3,
            (Machine Gun in hand, a poster like Star Wars or Chevy Chase in Vacation)

            Top Nun 3 : The Holy Trinity

          • A Tribe Called Guest

            I love that you skipped Top Nun 2: Happiness is a Warm Nun and went straight to the concluding chapter.

            A buddy of mine just pointed out that the podcast, “How Did this Get Made” trumped us both:


          • Ambrose*

            Careful. Nunsense is habit-forming.

          • Citizen M

            Nun But The Brave

          • Ambrose*

            Her weapon of choice: Nunchucks.

          • Ambrose*

            Stallone had her lined up for ‘The Expendables’ but she had to go and die.

          • Midnight Luck

            I thought she was up for the lead roll in The Untouchables.

          • Ambrose*

            Would that be ‘The Nuntouchables’?

          • Midnight Luck

            nice, how did i miss that?

          • Linkthis83

            You need to get Kenny Loggins to do Hunger Zone.

          • klmn

            I wrote a short titled “Damien And Teresa.” Logline: Before she was Mother Teresa, she was Sister Teresa, a young nun working with Father Damien among the lepers of Molokai.

  • ZellJr

    Gratz to everyone who made the Black List. Haven’t read any of these scripts, but still trying to get a hold of a few. If I do, I’ll be sure to leave comments.

    In the meantime, does anyone have the “Hidden” script by The Duffer Brothers? It was part of the 2011 Blacklist. If so, please send it over.


  • Murphy

    Good list overall.

    Last Minute Maids does remind me of Sunshine Cleaning however.

    Looking forward to reading some of these, the Moon landings one sounds like it could be an excellent script and on paper at least I think is the one that interested me most.

    The Oscar Wilde one could be good, I do like Oscar Wilde, though it doesn’t seem too long ago that Stephen Fry starred in an okay’ish Wilde Biopic.

  • Sam M.

    Carson, I like your post, but I beg to differ with you when you say, “seriously, who goes to watch political movies?” (your thoughts on The Special Program)

    I have a few friends who primarily watch political movies and TV shows, either fiction (House of Cards, The Ides of March, West Wing …) or non-fiction (Recount, Charlie Wilson’s War …) Interesting enough, they are all young and middle age professionals (lawyer’s, doctors and engineers).

    A few years ago when I was still at USC, a studio exec came to our class and a student asked him how does a low rating show like West Wing stay on air especially on network TV. He laughed and said it’s because doctors and lawyers watch it and so we can charge more for ads.

    Yes, the market is small, but it’s a market.

    • Murphy

      I LOVE political shows and movies, it probably is my favourite “genre” though not really a genre, there is enough material out there.

      The West Wing remains my favourite TV show of all time, and I still watch it. And this years “House of Cards” was excellent. Veep is great, especially the second season and from the UK “The thick of it” is superbly funny.

      Mentioned it yesterday but I have been watching a Danish political drama called “Borgen”. It is about a female leader of a minority party who takes the country by surprise by ending up Prime Minister of a coalition Government of other minority parties. It is really well written and I have enjoyed watching it an awful lot.

      And no, I am not a Doctor but I did get to see inside the Tardis once and no, it is not as big inside as it looks on TV.

      • A Tribe Called Guest

        “Borgen” is d-o-p-e and I’m on board with all y’all about the political dramas.

        A huge part of their appeal to me is the behind-the-scenes behaviour of the players involved.

    • John Bradley

      I love House of Cards too and watch about a half hour of CNN a day and John Stewart religiously. Carson is missing out.

      • Ambrose*

        ‘In The Loop’ (2009) was a pretty good comedy that dealt with politics on both sides of the Atlantic.

        • John Bradley

          I will keep an eye out for it, hopefully Netflix has it.

        • Murphy

          If you enjoyed In The Loop then I would certainly recommend checking out the TV series that spawned it. ‘The Thick Of It” is brilliant and very funny. It features one of the best TV characters ever created in Malcom Tucker.

    • Alex Palmer

      Personally, I’m a big fan political comedies, since government lends itself so well to satire.

      Yes Minister, 2012, and The Thick of It to name a few.

      The latter is almost my favourite TV programme (narrowly beaten by Peep Show). You may have heard of In the Loop or the US remake, Veep.

    • klmn

      I enjoyed the Brit movie SCANDAL about the Profumo affair.

  • ThomasBrownen

    Congrats Jon! I’m looking forward to hearing more about this script (and others!).

  • ripleyy

    I’m loving some of these loglines. “Fully Wrecked”, “Gay Kid and Fat Chick” and “Sovereign” sound amazing. Can’t wait until “Fully Wrecked” is reviewed!

  • Christian Zilko

    Does anyone have a copy of A Boy and his Tiger they wouldn’t mind sending me? I’m Thanks!

  • ChadStuart

    Two scripts about the making of “JAWS”? One purports to be the untold story? Well, I’ve seen several very long documentaries on the making of that movie and I’m pretty sure I know it all, and there’s not that spectacular of a story there. Sure, the shark didn’t work and sure the studio tried to shut down production once or twice. That’s two complications, but neither is all that interesting. “Saving Mr. Banks” had to pile on some psychobabble about the author’s dad to make it semi-interesting. JAWS doesn’t have that.

    Look, I love that movie as much as the next film nerd, but people generally don’t care to watch movies about movies. Just about every movie out there has a “making of” doc on the DVD so it’s well covered territory.

    Hell, a more interesting “making of” movie would be about the original “The Omen” and the two planes that carried cast and crew being struck by lightning over the Atlantic Ocean. At least that you can pad with some more weird coincidences and make it seem like the devil was trying to stop it. Or even “Poltergeist” with all the death that surrounded that series.

    Actually, I call dibs on both of those ideas!

  • Alex Palmer

    Well done! I like the concept, which has the potential to be funny, heartfelt and
    dark. Right up my alley, so to speak.

    You probably shouldn’t have reminded him that he has a copy, though. I’m sure Carson won’t resist the opportunity review the script of a Scriptshadow alumnus :P

  • Zadora

    Thanks for posting your thoughts on the scripts. It helps narrow down which ones I’ll read. :)

  • nick silverman

    Why so few (I counted two, maybe three) comedies?

  • Ambrose*

    Carson, you and I are in complete agreement about the need for each script listing to include its genre. That’s my one big complaint.

    And I’ve seen the list divided by agencies, managers, etc. but, again, no genre list.
    It would be very interesting to be able to see at a glance just what type of scripts are most popular with the industry each year. Sci-fi? Comedies? Action?

    Thanks for the alternate logline for ‘Cake’, too. That one sounds a lot better.

    Also, Carson –
    Your comment about ‘Sea of Trees’ that you don’t like movies/scripts where the characters are planning to kill themselves immediately brought to mind ‘Leaving Las Vegas’.
    What did you think of that movie/script?

    And I’ve been meaning to congratulate Dan Dollar for weeks about selling his script.
    So, Dan, here’s a belated Congratulations! and I hope it’s the first of many more to come.
    In adddition to your writing ability you always show class in the comments section.

    And Congratulations as well to all of the other writers on the Black List who have Scriptshadow connections.
    Slowly but surely Carson is taking over Hollywood, one writer at a time.

  • kenglo

    Better late than never! CONGRATS ALEX!

  • Ambrose*

    Another year of the Black List and another year without a script by Carson’s favorite writer, “Lizard” on it.
    That just goes to show that some truly talented writers still can’t break through.
    It’s a conspiracy.

  • blueiis0112

    As soon as I saw the titles “The Mayor of Shark City” and “The Shark is Not Working”, I knew that these were from “Jaws”. I remember the line and seeing the documentary about the radio messages. Considering that this movie was such a huge hit, it would be fun to see how it was put together. I tried to read “American Sniper”, but you took it down before I could. I do think that the story is really not his TDY, but events lead up to his murder.

  • jonny_b

    Thanks for the list, congrats to Alexander Felix!

  • M

    Thanks for this, cool write up. Also, Billy Kennedy (THE FIXER) is a writer on House of Cards, so I’m quite sure that logline didn’t come from him.

  • David Sarnecki

    I hate to be “this” guy, but so many of these blacklist log lines are not the flashy fun high concept type that are interest catchers. The Imitation Game is a GREAT great script, but you’d never know from a log line. If only we could have the first ten pages or something.

  • mike_b

    Great list, thank you Carson.

  • romer6

    “Sovereign” is actually the name of a sentient ship in the Mass Effect game franchise. Which is being taken to the big screen also, as far as I know.

  • Alex Palmer

    Scroll down to the comments, Rochee links the entire black list.

    Hurry, before they’re taken down!

  • charliesb

    Dying to read “Killing Floor”. Who’s got it?

  • jridge32

    Started reading “Seed”. 15 pages in, action is well written but the dialogue can be a little too on-the-nose. Still can’t figure out if Leila really wanted the baby (hence whether or not she’s really saddened over the loss), or if not having it was a blessing for her (because of finances, etc.).
    “Extinction” next.

  • august4

    Started to read “Last Minute Maids” YIKES!! This made the Blacklist?? Anyone else find this REALLY bad? On the nose dialogue, poor characters, boring… This thing actually sold?

    • m_v_s

      I thought it was awful, along with Diablo Run, junk! Section 6 was fantastic. Starting to read The Sea of Trees – wow! Great stuff.

  • jeaux

    Read a little over half of Clarity. Thought it was going to be Sci fi. Up to that point it was a really boring drama with not a lot happening. Well written but too boring for me. I bailed.

    Halfway through Extinction. Way too much ‘unfilmable’ writing in this one. Seems every third or fourth description has the writer being heard instead of story being told. Storywise nothing great. Sticking with it though.

  • jeaux

    Ok just finished Extinction. Nice twist at the end. Worth the read.

  • ChadStuart

    I read both scripts about “Jaws”. First, I think it’s an interesting case study between the difference of showing versus telling. One script tells the story, the other shows us what happened and is far, far better. Second, neither is strong enough to be a movie. I love JAWS, and like most people who do I’ve seen the fantastic documentaries about the making of the movie on the LaserDisc, DVD and Blu-ray. So to any fan of the movie, it’s well covered territory. If either of these scripts are made into movies, they’ll sell more JAWS discs than tickets (much in the same way “Hitchcock” revived interest in “Psycho” more so than it generated interest in itself). Finally, I just think it’s weird to make movies about people that are still alive. Spielberg’s still here to tell us these stories (and it doesn’t tak a lot of asking to get him started). It’s hard to separate the myth from the man since the man is still here to help with that.