You want female assassins with less than 24 hours to do their job? We’ve got female assassins with less than 24 hours to do their job! We’ve also got World War 2 stories. Terminally ill characters. A dozen true stories based on [insert famous person’s name here]. And let’s not forget a big bag of political scripts (equally balanced between left and right leaning, of course). That’s right, your 2017 Black List has arrived!

First thoughts? I’d say that Ruin (review here) is a worthy number 1 script, though I personally would’ve gone with Keeper of the Diary (review here). I’m pumped as all hell that Logan made the list with Meat (review here). Not just because his script deserves it, but because something unique actually made it onto a list that doesn’t celebrate “unique” the way it used to.

As for the scripts that have gotten me excited to read. “Hughes” sounds good. I’ve always wondered exactly that – why Hughes disappeared. Every article on him assumes the reason, but no one’s come out with anything definitive. I want to know the truth! Even if I can’t handle it.

“Valedictorian” has my interest. I’m a sucker for black humor high school stuff, like Election. This sounds like it’s up the same alley. I wouldn’t normally be interested in a true story about a blind musician, but “Key of Genius” made the list with no manager or agent! That’s hard to do! So the script must have something going for it.

“Gadabout” sounds weird and interesting, one of the few truly original sounding scripts on the list. Definitely want to check that out. Star Wars script “Strongman” is one I’ll open up for sure. I haaaaated that script “Chewie” from a few years ago on the Black List. It was the most copy-and-paste-events script I’ve ever read. But David Prowse, the guy behind Darth Vader, is supposed to have a notorious feud going with George Lucas that’s lasted 30 years. And he has good reason. Imagine you shoot an entire movie only to find out once you get to the premiere that they replaced your voice. Oh, and THAT CHARACTER GOES ON TO BECOME THE BEST VILLAIN OF ALL TIME. Yeah, I’d be pissed too.

Bios, about a guy who creates a robot to look after his dog sounds like a tear-jerker with an angle. Obviously influenced by The Dog Stars. And the biopic about the Dating Game serial killer is probably as fertile as you can get with serial killer subject matter. I’ll check that out. I like the idea behind cab-flick “Daddio.” It’s such a movie-specific idea. And very old-school spec-like. I’ll read that. Oh, and “Where I End” gets the highest concept on the list award. So you gotta give that a shot.

The JK Rowling script is probably worth a read if only because it’s the best writing-related rags-to-riches story in history. Might come in handy if you’re struggling to stay motivated on that rewrite. And, of course, there will be surprises, stuff that looks boring but turns out to be amazing. Like this one from two years ago.

Finally, we have some odd connections. There are two scripts covering subject matter that was seen here on Amateur Friday by other writers. One is covering that Jewish filmmaker who made the Nazi propaganda film (Wyler) and the other covering the origin story of Curious George’s author (George). Goes to show you that everybody’s chasing the same stuff.

If you read any of these scripts that haven’t been reviewed on the site, share your thoughts in any of the Comments sections. Together, we should be able to suss out who the real contenders are and who has really good agents.


68 votes – “Ruin” by Matthew Firpo, Ryan Firpo – A nameless ex-Nazi captain must navigate the ruins of post-WWII Germany to atone for his crimes during the war by hunting down and killing the surviving members of his former SS death squad.

42 votes – “Let Her Speak” by Mario Correa – The true story of Senator Wendy Davis and her 24-hour filibuster to save 75% of abortion clinics in Texas.

40 votes – “Daddio” by Christy Hall – A passenger and her cab driver reminisce about their relationships on the way from the airport to her apartment in New York.

32 votes – “Keeper of The Diary” by Samuel Franco & Evan Kilgore – Chronicles Otto Frank’s journey, with the help of a junior editor at Doubleday Press, to find a publisher for the diary his daughter Anne wrote during the Holocaust.

22 votes – “Where I End” by Imran Zaidi – 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.

20 votes – “When Lightning Strikes” by Anna Klaassen – The true story of 25-year-old Joanne Rowling as she weathers first loves, unexpected pregnancies, lost jobs, and depression on her journey to create Harry Potter.

19 votes – “Breaking News in Yuba County” by Amanda Idoko – After catching her husband in bed with a hooker, which causes him to die of a heart attack, Sue Bottom buries the body and takes advantage of the local celebrity status that comes from having a missing husband.

18 votes – “Sleep Well Tonight” by Freddie Skov – Behind the walls of a maximum security prison, a naive teenage inmate and a rookie correctional officer are forced into a drug- smuggling operation, while a looming conflict between rival gang members threatens to boil over.

17 votes – “The Great Nothing” by Cesar Vitale – A grieving thirteen-year-old girl hires a terminally ill, acerbic philosophy professor to prevent flunking the seventh grade. What begins as a homework assignment blossoms into an unlikely friendship and a new appreciation for life that neither will forget.

16 votes – “Trapline” by Brett Treacy & Dan Woodward – A captive boy’s lifestyle is upended when his abductor asks for his help kidnapping a second child.

16 votes – “When In Doubt, Seduce” by Allie Hagan – The true story of the early relationship between Elaine May and Mike Nichols.

15 votes – “The Expansion Project” by Leo Sardinian – 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.

15 votes – “Newsflash” by Ben Jacoby – On November 22nd, 1963, Walter Cronkite puts everything on the line to get the story right as a president is killed, a frightened nation weeps, and television comes of age.

14 votes – “V.I.N.” by Chiara Towne – As Alex Haley struggles to write the autobiography of Malcolm X, his editor at Playboy assigns him a new interview: George Lincoln Rockwell, head of the American Nazi Party.

13 votes – “Come As You Are” by Zach Baylin – 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.

13 votes – “Hughes” by Andrew Rothschild – The story of writer/director John Hughes, whose emotionally honest high school movies helped to define American culture in the 1980s–but who, at the very height of his success, abruptly abandoned filmmaking for reasons that have never been fully explained.

13 votes – “The Mother” by Misha Green – A female assassin comes out of hiding to protect the pre-teen daughter she gave up years before.

13 votes – “One Thousand Paper Cranes” by Ben Bolea – The incredible true story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl living in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped. Years later when she gets leukemia, she hears about the legend that if someone folds one thousand paper cranes, a wish will be granted. At the same time, aspiring writer Eleanor Coerr learns of Sadako’s story and becomes determined to bring her message of hope and peace to the world.

13 votes – “Ruthless” by John Swetnam – After she is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, a former assassin must carry out one last assignment in order to ensure her daughter’s future.

12 votes – “Jellyfish Summer” by Sarah Jane Inwards – A young black girl’s family in 1960s Mississippi decides to harbor two human-looking refugees who have mysteriously fallen from the sky.

12 votes – “Mad, Bad, And Dangerous to Know” by Jade Bartlett – Based on the book trilogy Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know by Chloe J. Esposito. An underdog identical twin accidentally kills her too-perfect sister only to discover murder suits her as she becomes compulsively embroiled in the life of a mafia assassin.

12 votes – “Valedictorian” by Cosmo Carlson – An obsessive type-A student vows to secure the valedictorian title before school ends by any means necessary, even murder.

11 votes – “Brosio” by Mattson Tomlin – 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.

11 votes – “Power” by Mattson Tomlin – 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.

10 votes – “Arc of Justice” by Max Borenstein & Rodney Barnes – Based on the book Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age written by Kevin Boyle. Chronicles the landmark civil rights trial of Dr. Ossian Sweet after he was charged with the murder of a white man.

10 votes – “Don’t Be Evil” by Gabriel Diani, Etta Devine & Evan Bates – Adapted from In the Plex by Steven Levy and I’m Feeling Lucky by Douglas Edwards. Google’s Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt struggle with their corporate motto, “Don’t Be Evil,” in the face of their meteoric rise to a multi-billion dollar valuation and a major Chinese hacking incident.

10 votes – “Escape from the North Pole” by Paul Laudiero & Ben Baker – A young girl partners up with an elf, a Russian explorer and a reindeer to rescue Santa Claus from a band of evil elves and save the North Pole.

10 votes – “Fubar” by Brent Hyman – An inept CIA psychologist is embedded on a globe-trotting mission with the agency’s most valuable operative who suffers from an extreme case of multiple personality disorder.

10 votes – “Infinite” by Ian Shorr – 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.

10 votes – “Kate” by Umair Aleem – When a veteran hitwoman is mysteriously poisoned on her last assignment in Tokyo, she has 24 hours to track down her killer before she dies.

10 votes – “Key of Genius” by Daniel Persitz & Devon Kliger – The true story of Derek Paravicini, a blind, severely autistic boy who needed an incredible teacher to help realize his world-class musical ability.

10 votes – “Kill Shelter” by Eric Beu and Greg Martin – A darkly comic crime thriller concerning three groups of people dealing with blackmail gone wrong.

10 votes – “The Man From Tomorrow” by Jordan Barel – The true story of visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk, who after being ousted from PayPal, guides SpaceX through it turbulent early years while simultaneously building Tesla.

10 votes – “Moxie” by Heather Quinn – 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.

9 votes – “Ballerina” (review here) by Shay Hatten – After her family is murdered, an assassin seeks revenge on the killers.

9 votes – “Escape” by JD Payne & Patrick McKay – When a wrongly accused man is shipped to an Australian penal colony for five years, he quickly realizes his only chance of seeing his family again is to escape the prison with a gang of colors and survive the deadly terrain that awaits on the outside.

9 votes – “Gadabout” by Ross Evans – In 1951, a manufacturing company stirs up controversy when they publish a user’s manual to a time machine called Gadabout TM-1050.

9 votes – “Heart of the Beast” by Cameron Alexander – A former Navy SEAL and his retired combat dog attempt to return to civilization after a catastrophic accident deep in the Alaskan wilderness.

9 votes – “Innocent Monsters” by Elaina Perpelitt – 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.

9 votes – “The Kingbreaker” by Andrew Bozalis & Derek Mether – A CIA operative experienced in taking down kings and installing their replacements is brought in to take down a dictator he helped install a few years prior.

9 votes – “Liberation” by Darby Kealey – The true story of Nancy Wake, the most decorated servicewoman in World War II, who led resistance fighters in a series of dangerous missions in Nazi-occupied France.

9 votes – “The Other Lamb” by Catherine McMullen – A young female coming-of-age story set within an alternative religion.

9 votes – “This is Jane” by Daniel Loflin – Based on the book The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service by Laura Kaplan. An ordinary group of women provide 11,000 safe, illegal abortions in Chicago from 1968 through 1973.

9 votes – “Wyler” by Michael Moskowitz – With Hitler laying waste to Europe and the United States refusing to answer the call to war, Jewish filmmaker William Wyler risks his career to make MRS. MINIVER, the most effective propaganda film of all time.

8 votes – “The Boxer” by Justine Juel Gillmer – A young Polish man escapes from a concentration camp in which he was forced by SS agents to box other Jews, travels to America to begin a successful career as a professional boxer, and reunites with the woman he lost.

8 votes – “George” by Jeremy Michael Cohen – The true story of the Reys, the husband and wife team who fell in love, created Curious George, and escaped the horrors of WWII in Europe together.

8 votes – “Hack” by Mike Schneider – Based on actual reports, a horrifying look inside the Democratic National Committee hack and the Russian manipulation of the 2016 election.

8 votes – “Lionhunters” by Will Beall – A rogue cop suffers a gunshot wound in 1987 and wakes from a coma thirty years later, where he is partnered with a mild- mannered progressive detective – his son.

8 votes – “The Saviors” by Travis Betz & Kevin Hamedani – A seemingly progressive suburban husband and wife renting their garage through AirBnB become suspicious of their Muslim guests. As they investigate their visitors, they unwittingly trigger events that will forever change the course of human history.

8 votes – “Strongman” by Nicholas Jacobson-Larson & Dalton Leeb – Based on the confusing, sometimes offensive, borderline-insane memories of David Prowse, the irascible Englishman behind Darth Vader’s mask.

7 votes – “Call Jane” by Hayley Schore & Roshan Sethi – Before Roe v. Wade in 1960s Chicago, a pregnant woman becomes a member of an underground group which provides abortions in a safe environment.

7 votes – “Dorothy Gale and Alice” by Justin Merz – Dorothy Gale and Alice meet in a home for those having nightmares and embark on a journey to save the imaginations of the world.

7 votes – “Greenland” by Chris Sparling – A disgraced father is determined to get his family to what, in four days, will be the only safe place on earth.

7 votes – “Jihotties” by Molly Prather – In an effort to fund their start-up, two women catfish ISIS and get more than they bargained for when the CIA recruits them as spies.

7 votes – “The Lodge” (review here) by Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala (Previous draft by Sergio Casci) – A supernatural evil haunts a woman and her stepchildren in a cabin on Christmas.

7 votes – “Meat” (review here) by Logan Martin – 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.

7 votes – “The Poison Squad” by Dreux Moreland & Joey DePaolo – Based on the true story of Harvey Wiley, an eccentric chemist who conducted the first experiment on human tolerance to poison, which catalyzed a movement resulting in the founding of the Food and Drug Administration.

7 votes – “The Prospect – Michael Jordan uses a year as a baseball prospect to find himself after his father’s death.

7 votes – “Rodney & Sheryl” by Ian MacAllister-McDonald – Based on the unbelievable true story of serial killer Rodney Alcala–detectives have estimated Alcala’s body count to be north of 130 victims. Despite being in the midst of a killing spree, Alcala appeared on and won a date with one of the contestants on THE DATING GAME.

7 votes – “Social Justice Warrior” by Emma Fletcher & Brett Weiner – When a liberal, white, college sophomore who knows exactly how to fix society accuses her equally liberal professor of hate speech, it throws the campus and both their lives into chaos as they wage war over the right way to stop discrimination.

7 votes – “The Thing About Jellyfish” by Molly Smith Metzler – After her best friend drowns, a seventh-grade girl is convinced the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory.

6 votes – “All My Life” by Todd Rosenberg – After discovering the groom has liver cancer, a couple move their wedding date up and get married before he passes away.

6 votes – “American Tabloid” by Adam Morrison – The true story of Generoso Pope, Jr., who with the help of the New York mob turned a small, local paper into the phenomenon that is The National Enquirer, laying the foundation for tabloid journalism as we know it today.

6 votes – “Bios” by Craig Luck & Ivor Powell – In a post-apocalyptic world, a man spends his dying days with the robot he created to look after his dog.

6 votes – “Cancer Inc.” by Marc Macaluso – The true story of the coporatization of cancer in the United States told through the eyes of a British Wall Street analyst who uncovers the corruption behind the approval of a drug intended to treat prostate cancer.

6 votes – “The Fifth Nixon” by Sharon Hoffman – Watergate as experienced through the eyes of President Richard Nixon’s personal secretary Rose Mary Woods.

6 votes – “The Grownup” by Natalie Krinsky – Based on the short story “The Grownup” (review here) 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.

6 votes – “Green Rush” by Matt Tente – A paroled ex-con agrees to help his daughter steal medical marijuana tax dollars from City Hall.

6 votes – “Health and Wellness” by Joe Epstein – A sociopath obsessed with self-improvement claws her way to the top of the fitness world, leaving a trail of broken bodies in her wake.

6 votes – “Little Boy” by Hayley Schore & Roshan Sethi – The true story of the man
who dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima and his unexpected journey back to ground zero.

6 votes – “On” by Ryan Jennifer Jones – 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.

6 votes – “Panopticon” by Emily Jerome – A look at the criminal justice and private prison system, told from the perspectives of a new inmate, a correctional officer, and a Wall Street hotshot.

6 votes – “Queen Elizabeth” by Shatara Michelle Ford – An uptight high-achieving, black post-grad who becomes (increasingly) irreverent and (slightly) destructive when she realizes that the life she’s living is not the life she wants.

6 votes – “Skyward” by Joe Ballerini – The true story of two families who attempt to escape over the Berlin Wall using a hot air balloon in 1979.

6 votes – “The Sleepover” by Sarah Rothschild – When bad guys break into their home and kidnap their parents, siblings Kevin and Clancy are forced to confront the fact that there may be way more to their stay-at-home mom than meets the eye.

6 votes – “The White Devils” by Leon Hendrix III – Cassius raises his sons, Malcolm and Mandela, isolated and alone in the woods. They have never met another person in their entire lives. The boys have learned to survive and protect their fragile family at all cost. When they find a mysterious wounded white girl, June, alone and lost in their woods, prejudice, lies and love set them on a collision course with the real world that puts all their lives at risk.

  • Poe_Serling

    Thanks, Carson!

    • PQOTD

      A feast for the imagination would be good. Fingers crossed…

      • E.C. Henry

        Can’t wait to see what you guys do respond well too. You’re a hard bunch to figure out.

    • ThomasBrownen

      I love it when the Black List comes out! It’s always inspiring to see people making it, and the industry recognizing good writing.

  • RO

    There’s totally going to be a cancer and political script in this list. I mean, look who’s president. Someone has probably made some sort of comedy about it that’s on that list.

    • carsonreeves1

      Sigh. I know. :(

      However, if someone can mix the two genres in a fresh way……….

      • Citizen M

        When a hi-tech company detects the President has an
        aggressive form of cancer with no symptoms, they must keep him alive
        long enough to sign a bill that will be worth billions to them, without
        his ambitious vice-president, their biggest opponent, finding out.

        • r.w. hahn

          Title: POTUS FLOATUS

          • Citizen M


          • A Man is No one

            I’m stealing this title.

    • Scott Crawford

      The biggest problem, in my view, is that nobody has heard of these scripts. These are the best… sorry, MOST LIKED scripts of 2017 and yet when Carson won’t know most of them, screenwriters discussing them on podcasts have never heard of them. None of them will have “gone out” and “made the rounds” let alone sold.

      Few will have even made the BlackList website’s Script of the Moment thingy.

      So where are these scripts coming from, or rather, where are they being hiddden? And how come only these 150 industry insiders have read them and can vote on them?

      The whole thing stinks like week-old belly button fluff.

      • PQOTD

        Wow! It’s only 150 who get to choose, but outsiders don’t get to know who chooses them? That’s pretty dodgy.

        • Scott Crawford

          The man in charge is a Senor Maduro of Caracas.

      • ScreenWriter44

        Good point. (Applause emoji)

        • Scott Crawford

          Smash the system!!!

      • carsonreeves1

        It would be nice if the voting process were more transparent. I’m not as skeptical as you about where the scripts come from. Most scripts get sent out but receive zero publicity because they didn’t land a splashy sale or director attachment. Also, most scripts on the list get single-digit votes and it’s feasible to me that 8 or 9 people in Hollywood voted on them. There are some lists where I sincerely doubt the number of votes they’re getting. I’ll leave it at that. :)

  • scriptfeels

    I havent finished reading all of the last black list. And the hit list just came out too. Excited to find something new nonetheless though!

  • ripleyy

    I saw a few good ones over on the Hitlist, so here’s hoping there’s at least something that will stand out.

    • Citizen M

      I heard the title was “Girls, Tokes, and Agencies”, an expose of pussy-grabbing, drug-taking and payola in modern-day Hollywood.

      • Scott Crawford

        Sorry you were pun-ished.

        Play with words and you’ll get burnt.

        I should quip while I’m a “head.”

  • Scott Crawford

    Young Oprah.

  • Scott Crawford

    There was Chappaquidick a few years back. Believe it got made.

    My bet.. well, everyone knows my bet by now. Something in the style of Blonde Ambition (well-written, but best script of the year… seriously?!).

    • shiv maharaj

      I wonder if Anna Klassen secured the rights to J.K. Rowling’s life with her biopic called ‘When Lightning Strikes’ – which I would love to read if anybody finds a copy.

      • Scott Crawford

        The problem is not just securing the rights to a person’s life. You might just about get away with writing a script about someone as long as you cover well-known facts and not libelous conjecture.

        The problem IS trading off the popularity of Harry Potter. Warners owns the film rights to Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and if anyone’s going to make a Jo Rowling biopic it’ll be them.

        Don’t have the script.

  • Scott Serradell

    Meanwhile, the Golden Globes were also announced this morning.

    Kind of surprised/delighted that “The Shape of Water” leads with 7 nominations. Also that “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” received 6. If this is an indicator of what the Oscars might look like, I may actually tune in this year.

    Not surprised that “Twin Peaks: The Return” received nothing ( ALMOST nothing: Kyle McLaughlin got a Best Actor nod, which is wholly deserved.) Outside critics and ardent fans (myself included) the show wasn’t received by a large audience. That’s not to say it hasn’t been recognized: Sight & Sound (and the consensus of some 140+ critics) named it the number 2 best “film” of the year, and Cahiers du Cinema put it at number 1.

    • Scott Crawford

      Ha, ha, Christopher Plummer! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!


      • Scott Serradell

        I know, right? Talk about rubbing salt on an open wound (you KNEW that was precisely what Spacy was gunning for from the old trailers.)

    • Scott Crawford

      Erm, The Big Sick?

    • Poe_Serling


      I haven’t seen it yet, but it seems to be a love letter to del Toro to himself and, in
      turn, all the folks that enjoy what he crafts in his cinematic workshop on the
      corner of Wildly Imaginative and Nostalgic.

      Based on what I’ve read and other various reviews, the pic goes way beyond just being a knowing nod to Creature from the Black Lagoon.

      What was hinted at in Creature – a romantic angle of sorts (more a Gill-man crush
      than Julie Adams thing) – is fully explored in the Shape story line.

      I’m really looking forward to checking it out on the big screen.

      • Scott Serradell

        Truth be told I just saw “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “The Devil’s Backbone” only very recently (in 35 mm, which was nice) and was taken aback by the high level of storytelling del Toro achieved in both of those films; in “Pan’s” especially, it was such a wonderfully told tale. It really opened my eyes, not only to his filmmaking abilities, but also to what can result when an artist truly embraces their passions and makes no deviations in realizing them. It was an inspiring night, for sure.

        So yeah: More than eager to see “The Shape of Water”.

        • Poe_Serling

          “Truth be told I just saw “PL” and “TDB” only very recently … ”

          Osgood (aka Joe E. Brown): “Well, nobody’s perfect.”


  • Dan B

    Was there a hit list G-Drive posted anywhere?

  • Scott Crawford

    R.i.p. Keith Chegwin. This will only mean something to U.K. Scriptshadowers but he was something of a national treasure… if only for hosting the worlds first naked quiz show.

    In the 00s he announced he was an alcoholic, live on daytime television (he’s been sober ever since). He’d make a good subject for a Black List script…

    He was also a former child star and here is singing in MACBETH:

    • BMCHB

      Loved his appearances in Extras and Life’s Too Short. RIP Cheggers :-(

  • Ashley Sanders

    Just because not much is happening here today, I was looking at some interactive infographics stuff for work and I happened across two fascinating ones about screenwriting and the Bechdel test. Big data tells you which movie studios are the most sexist etc.
    Lots of fun … if you really like a graph …

    and this one:

    (My own lastest script doesn’t pass the Bechdel test.)

  • 1st10

    What’s the over/under for how many times a presenter uses “honor” in one form or another? “I’m honored.” “It’s my honor.” The 2016 list had 73(?) scripts, so I’m going with 70. Let the honoring begin.

    • Scott Crawford

      Do. Not. Watch. I tried last year, it goes on for AGES and is SO tedious. Even if one of your favorite people announces the script… there’s that weird bit where it becomes clear that they don’t personally think much of the sound of that script.

      But they’re happy for the writer(s).

      • 1st10

        But I HAVE to (I’ll be doing a running tally). The whole “honor” thing’s really just a pet peeve of mine. In an industry (screenwriting) where you’re supposed to be original and avoid cliches, the SAME WORD gets used 99% of the time.

        I’m hoping Franklin will hear about this and in 2018 he’ll tell the presenters, “And please do NOT use the word ‘honor’ in any way. shape or form. C’mon people, you’re better than that.” Ridiculous? Absolutely.

      • 1st10

        Got my ass handed to me with that prediction. “Honor” was so 2016, this was the year of “Excited.”

  • andyjaxfl

    GET OUT is a comedy?

    • carsonreeves1

      Golden Globes has been running this clever con for decades. Split movie winners into two categories which allows them to get twice the stars to attend (which increases ratings). If the Drama category overflows, just throw it on over into Comedy.

    • Buddy

      it’s a satyre and the ending is really a B movie.
      So yes, I’d say, GET OUT is a very serious comedy ;-)


    Any truth to the rumor that there is a Carson Reeves biopic on this year’s Blacklist?

    I Am Llama Man


    • Malibo Jackk

      Write Llama Man.
      It will get you noticed.
      — Q. Tarantino

  • shewrites

    Does anyone have the script for ‘Get Out”, please?

  • 1st10

    “HONOR” running tally (continually updated):

  • andyjaxfl

    I read the script but have not seen the movie. The script is not a comedy.

  • Scott Crawford

    Black List early thoughts:

    Script about Russians hacking the DNC… too soon. We don’t have all the facts. We know they did it! But this seems rushed.

    Script about Mike Nicholls and Elaine May. Cool. But more inside Hollywood stuff. Movies about movies.

  • Scott Crawford
    • hickeyyy

      Well deserved!

    • carsonreeves1

      That’s pretty cool to have an Oscar winner announce your screenplay.

    • Bfied

      Will you be posting your usual link to these scripts in Dropbox, SC?

    • Justin

      I had a feeling someone from Scriptshadow would be on the BlackList… can’t believe I was right.

      As a huge fan of “Meat,” I couldn’t be more excited for Logan than if a script of mine had been announced itself.


    • Malibo Jackk

      Anyone else
      sending their script to Diablo Cody?

    • scriptfeels

      Very inspiring!

  • Poe_Serling

    Logan Martin’s script just made the Black List.

    • Scott Crawford

      Fucking yeah it did!

  • Scott Crawford
    • Tomfun

      My Hero. Thank you!

  • Scott Crawford

    Won’t post all of these, but Edgar makes a really good point, a point many people have made here about WANTING to read a script based on its idea:

  • shiv maharaj

    Actually it has three Jane Wick movies: Ballerina, Ruthless and Kate… I’m now glad I didn’t try adding to that list

  • Poe_Serling

    Chiara Towne…

    Just made the list. Daughter of Robert ‘Chinatown’ Towne.

    • Scott Crawford

      Strong genes and a good mentor.

      • BMCHB

        What if Chiara married Max and had a baby?!

        • Scott Crawford

          A Chiara-mera.

          Don’t know if that joke works here, but somewhere Aristotle’s pissing himself.

          • BMCHB

            I was thinking the kid would be named – drum roll _/ _/ _/ –

            MAX LANDIS-TOWNE

            I am now starting my Black List entry for 2018!

          • PQOTD

            Late to the party (time zone, sleeping kind-of thing) and the joke worked for me. :)

    • Matt Bishop

      Wyler was a spec submitted to The Tracking Board for coverage too.

  • Scott Crawford

    Too. Many. Female. Assassins.

    WAY too many.

    • E.C. Henry

      Why are you hating on women? They need to get out their aggressions too.

    • Wes Mantooth

      And not enough Hellpigs.

  • 1st10

    What are the odds of the word “Jellyfish” appearing in two of the titles?

    • Scott Crawford

      I was going to say. Also two about Hiroshima. I guess it’s a subject that hasn’t been done so much and it’s time.

      (After Avatar, Cameron said he was going to do a Hiroshima movie. Would’ve been cool, but the guy who’s book he was adapting turned out to be a bit ropey or something so it fell through.

      But writing about Hiroshima makes more sense, to me, than writing the biopic of a Hollywood star when you don’t have the rights. LITTLE bit less of that this year.).

      • BMCHB

        Maybe Chinese investors are happy to finance films wherein WW2 era Japan gets nuked?! :-/

        • Scott Crawford

          Fuck, yeah! I was watching a bit of Unbroken last night. Also there was that Chariots of Fire sequel about Eric Liddel in a Jap POW camp that was made pretty much exclusively for the Chinese market.

          • E.C. Henry

            Too much swearing by you, what’s up, pal?

  • Scott Crawford
  • Scott Crawford

    Another feckin’ hit woman script. Gawd help us! That’s about four or five now.

    • 1st10

      I think they screwed up. That was the exact same logline for a previous script.

      • Scott Crawford

        Yeah… I just thought it was Deja Vu. The 24 hours, it rang a bell.

        This is bad, this is REAL bad.

        • 1st10

          YEP. Greenland has the same logline as Kate.

          Female Assassin scripts (so far):
          Greenland (?)

          • Scott Crawford

            I’m thinking maybe Greenland is a DIFFERENT script about, for example, the island of Greenland. They just gave the people the wrong logline to read. We’ll see.

      • E.C. Henry

        LOVE the new avatar. Good job! #trendingupward

  • Scott Crawford

    Sorry for so many posts, want to get thoughts down as they’re fresh in my head. Some of these scripts, like NEWSFLASH and THE FIFTH NIXON, are telling the same that’s been told before (JFK assassination, Watergate) but from the POV of a different person.

    Is that really enough?

    • hickeyyy

      Might be enough if the writing is quality enough!

      • Scott Crawford

        I think you’re setting yourself a difficult task, like having an entire movie take place inside a closet with only two characters. FIFTH NIXON in particular I think, just telling the story from the POV of Nixon’s secretary… well, the writing had better be good, because I’m snoring already.

        • BMCHB

          Time for you to write ARGYLE, the Die Hard film from Argyle’s POV. You could keep it as a contained (in the limo) thriller!

          • Scott Crawford

            How the feck do you remember that? Are you one of those screenwriters following me on Twitter (I hope you agree with all my liberal retweets)? Are you stalking me?

          • BMCHB

            I’m an elephant! Don’t know you on twitter.

          • Scott Crawford


            I’m only on twitter to read posts from people I follow and upvote or retweet things I agree with. Annoys me that anyone who finds out my twitter handle immediately knows everyone I follow and everything I like. Seems rather a personal invasion. Have to try and change my settings.

    • 1st10

      TWO scripts on illegal abortions. Wonder if any of those woman were so depressed they became assassins?

      The Black List is swimming in redundancy.

      • Scott Crawford

        One of them sounded quite interesting and of the moment. But two…

        … when Carson posts his post-proper, I’ll share a few thoughts on why people might have the same ideas and how we can try and find different ones. Nothing mind-blowingly intellectual. Just seems that people are looking in the same place and the same things.

  • Scott Crawford

    A David Prowse biopic. OK. He has a book and there was a Netflix doc (I Am Your Father). If the writers used those two as primary sources (which I guess they did), then they NEED those rights.

    • brenkilco

      A David Prowse bio? Will there be five script’s next year about movie star stand-ins? Better get crackin on ‘The Kenny Baker Story.’

      • Scott Crawford

        hasn’t been a decent stunt man movie for years. Or maybe ever, except for THE STUNT MAN. Be a good project for Simon Crane to direct… he’s probably the best stunt coordinator/second-unit director in the world and he’s been trying to direct for over ten years now, so unlucky. Keanu pulled out of his last attempt at the last minute.

        So, anyway, there could be the Richard Farnsworth story, the stuntman AND actor who had a second career as an actor (Misery, The Straight Story) before taking his own life (Hemingway style) when he got cancer.

        Or A.J. Bakunas who jumped 250 feet from a building on to an airbag for HOOPER (at that height, the airbag looks the size of a matchbook), before learning that someone had beaten his record (300 feet, but not for a movie) so he tried to do an even HIGHER fall for STEEL… and it killed him.

        Or Sonja Davis, Angela Basset’s stunt double, who died on the set of A VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN, also while falling onto an airbag (believe it or not, but the BRITISH practice of falling onto cardboard boxes (as Joe Powell did at the end of THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING) is MUCH safer). Her death, along with Brandon Lee’s, shocked the industry as much as anything since THE TWILIGHT ZONE MOVIE. Stunt man deaths are now much rarer (though one is too many).

        Lots of stuff there.

        • brenkilco

          Or maybe a Hal Needham bio. On an old fifties TV show You Asked For It, he jumped out of a flying plane and knocked a rider off a galloping horse. Did all kinds of insane stuff like that and still wound up dying of old age.

          • klmn

            Hal Needham’s first directorial effort wasn’t bad. Hooper. After that his films went downhill.

          • Scott Crawford

            Smokey, surely. Then Hooper. Then THE VILLAIN (CACTUS JACK) which didn’t really work. Then THE CANNONBALL RUN, a lazy SMOKEY sequel, MEGAFORCE, CANNONBALL 2, STROKER ACE (“Hey, Burt. It’s Jim Brooks. I want you to play an astronaut who falls in love with Shirley McClain. Wrote it for you.” “Love to, Jim, but these guys are paying four.”), and probably a few other TV stuff.

            Smokey’s a great debut, a funny script, with funny performances, and THEN the car stuff on top.

          • Scott Crawford

            I liked HOOPER, didn’t love it, but Robert Klein as the director partly modeled on Peter Bogdanovich but a smart reference to Needham, the actual director, when they say “When your last movie made over $100 million, you can pretty much do what you want.”

            Needham took out an ad after the poor reviews of SMOKEY 2 (a poor sequel to a great first film) with him sitting in a wheelbarrow of all the money he made. Still, after a few more movies people came to the conclusion, as Roger Ebert did, that car crashes aren’t funny.

          • brenkilco

            But if he’d quit after Smokey II we wouldn’t have the timeless classic that is ‘Stroker Ace’.

  • Scott Crawford

    HUGHES repost. Black List fucking up big-style today!

  • Scott Crawford

    And it’s done. See you on the next post with the full results and hopefully half the scripts.

    • E.C. Henry

      Lead on, captain. Lead on!

    • 1st10

      FIVE Female Assassin Scripts:
      1. MOTHER
      2. BALLERINA
      3. RUTHLESS
      4. KATE

      Anyone currently writing a female assassin script, DROP IT. Your window has just officially slammed shut.

      • Scott Crawford

        Yeah, but I’ve said that for YEARS about ZOMBIE scripts. Still happening.

        if I was a more important person than I am and if I saw that a script was about zombies (or female assassins) I would probably not bother with it. And maybe I’d be missing out on a “well-written” script by an up-and-coming writer.

        But I’d take that chance (If I was an important person) because I’d think that, even if the script was “well-written,” it’s still going to hit the same story points. And it would be difficult to market in a saturated… market.

        And I’d wonder why a talented up-and-coming writer had chosen such an obvious subject. Evidently not a personal script.

      • Midnight Luck

        Saturation point has been met, and exceeded.
        Every time I turn around I keep seeing this trailer as well:

        PROUD MARY

        • 1st10

          The first time I saw the Proud Mary trailer I thought Taraji’s character from Smokin’ Aces got a spinoff. Have 50 Cal, will travel.

          • Malibo Jackk

            What’s interesting about that scene
            — the cops are shooting back out the window at a building
            across the street, without aiming or concern for who the bullets
            might hit.
            It’s done purely to add action and drama to the movie.

            Nothing wrong with that.
            It just wouldn’t pass the AOW test.

          • Erica

            It’s funny, was thinking the same thing when I saw the movie a while ago. With the adrenaline pumping, plus what was going on, out of desperation it would surprise me if they did widely shoot at the build. So it could almost be accurate.

          • lonestarr357

            When I first saw the trailer, I was thinking about SMOKIN’ ACES, too. Could be fun.

        • Matt Bishop

          That trailer is fun. And you gotta like that song.

          • Scott Crawford

            My mother loves that song. But she wouldn’t like the movie!

          • klmn

            But is it enough to get you into the theater?

        • brenkilco

          Is it less than PC to suggest that Ms. Henson is about twenty years too old for this sort of nonsense?

          • Scott Crawford

            Point but… Liam Neeson too old?

          • brenkilco

            Well, as long he doesn’t start doing these revenge movies in skintight pants……

          • Scott Crawford

            I have a particular set of skills. Like tucking my balls between my legs.

          • Midnight Luck

            Taraji was born in 1970, Charlize in 1975, so one is 47 ish, the other 42, ish, Keanu Reeves in 64, so he’s 53, Liam Neeson is 65.

            Honestly they all look rather ridiculous, doing what they’re doing.

            Though somehow Bruce Willis (1955, age 62) still seems totally cool, and looks perfectly fine doing it.

      • PQOTD

        Oh, ffs… Five? Really?

        That’s like watching seagulls at the beach descending on some poor schmuck with a sandwich.

        • BMCHB

          What kind of sandwich?

          • PQOTD

            For mine, it’s gotta be lashings of Vegemite and a smidge of butter on grainy bread. It’s an acquired taste, though. Then again, seagulls don’t seem to be fussy. :)

          • BMCHB

            Turkey, ‘Slaw, and grated red cheddar is the only sandwich I’d descend from the skies for… if I was a seagull.

      • Jarrean

        I wouldn’t drop it. Wasn’t 10 Cloverfield Lane retrofitted? Same could happen or you’ll have a better Universe to play in. Meh

      • BMCHB

        Imagine how Gal Gadot, Saoirse Ronan, and Charlize Theron feel when their agent hands them ANOTHER one of these scripts? “Not again!”

  • Levres de Sang

    On first look…

    Cancer, abortion, female assassins, CIA operatives with 24 hours to live etc., etc.

    Honestly, “Congratulations!” to Logan because MEAT is easily one of the most original ideas on this year’s list.

    ** All My Life must be the most depressing logline I’ve ever read. :/

    • Scott Crawford

      What I’ve decided concerns me most is how impersonal many of these scripts SOUND. Might be wrong. But that’s why I think you’re seeing multiples of the same concept.

      What are you interested in? I’m interested in Fort Knox, trains, high finance, terrorism and hijacking, international politics, food, guns, aircraft, space travel, science. All I have to do is look at the books I have – fiction and non-fiction – to see what I’m interested in (obviously, I’m interested in movies, screenwriting, and general storytelling, but I don’t want to write anything too masturbatory… another subject I’m interested in).

      Then there’s what has happened in my life. I work in a betting shop, I live in England, I have no kids, I suffer from depression, my father has Alzheimers and I’m worried that I’ll get it myself. And other stuff I won’t really go into.

      Then there are ideas and themes and VALUES that are important to me. Courage of convictions, self-potential, helping others. Issues that could be explored.

      Run all these things together, well, not all of them, but a combination of them and you have a script that is going to be nothing like any other persons script.

      “A British fighter pilot suffering from early stage Alzheimers hijacks his own plane for a final suicide mission against international terrorists.”

      Fairly unique. Or, a little less crazy:

      “A man with early stage Alzherimer’s decides to murder the doctor who failed to spot his condition years earlier, knowing that even if he’s sent to prison he’ll have a better life than someone in a care home.”

      Wow. Fucking depressing, right? Unfortunately, from my experience, all fucking true. And that’s my point; by going personal, you make something real, something people who have not gone through the same experience (my father was failed by his doctor and is now stuck in a care home with less rights than a prisoner) could not have come up with.

      But I won’t write it. Either of them. I still prefer a happy script, something that I might like to read myself.

      • Levres de Sang

        Absolutely agree as to the “personal” / “impersonal” thing. And I came across a great quote recently that frames this perfectly, but unfortunately I can’t find it! Anyway, the gist is that great artists hit the same themes in ALL their work.

        As for myself, I think “identity” is a theme that seems to recur; whereas my short script is probably the most cathartic piece I’ve ever written (hence my ongoing curiosity as to this now mythic contest).

        • BMCHB

          I wonder how many started out as personal projects before notes from managers and agents constricted them to something “more marketable”? I’d guess most…

          • Scott Crawford

            Rolling Thunder is a classic example. Paul Schrader wrote a movie about a man who comes back to his home town from Vietnam and goes on a killing spree against Mexicans, who he starts to see as the enemy.

            It was rewritten as a more straightforward revenge movie (it has its fans, like Tarantino, who named one of his companies after it).

            Schrader later said: “I wrote a script about fascism; they made a fascist movie.”

            A few years later he would write Taxi Driver, which was closer to his original intention with RT. And then direct his own material.

            My Stepmother is an Alien, famously, the original writer claimed it was a much more serious, personal project about child abuse (or summit) before the studio made it into a wacky (and fun) movie.

            I’m sure some other people here can think of some recent examples, my mind can’t at the minute. Four whiskeys last night.

  • brenkilco

    Looks like the biggest vote getter is the post WWII tale Ruin, which generated an unhappy reaction from Carson.

    Another I noticed was Newsflash, Walter Cronkite anchoring the nonstop TV coverage of the Kennedy assassination on. Hats off to the writer if he found a workable story with that material. Sounds like the sequel to Parkland that nobody was asking for.

    • Scott Crawford

      Sorry, can’t read. It was Ruin.

      I suppose it’s an “ironic” logline. Though it sounds depressing.

    • Matt Bishop

      I thought Carson gave it an Impressive rating.

      • Scott Crawford

        I think that was Combat. Combat had a less high-concept idea but (his opinion) was very well-written.

        Still, Nazis are bad people, very contemporary message.

      • brenkilco

        Worth the read. He thought it went depressingly astray after a promising opening.

        • Scott Crawford

          Oh yeah. I forgot about that one, I think because I was picturing a man as the lead, not a woman.

          Man, I need Brian’s memory.

        • JakeBarnes12

          Not true.

          Read it.

          • Scott Crawford

            Thicko, here… do you mean red it or reed it?

            I was never taught grammar terms at school, though I’m fairly literate.

          • PQOTD

            ‘Read’ as in ‘reed’ it.

          • Scott Crawford

            Right, command, as in I command you to.

          • PQOTD

            That’s the one. :)

  • Scott Crawford

    It was the Wendy Davis script. I sort of called it based on that video.

    Meat very low down, lower than most of those female assassin scripts. Anti-Carson predjudice? Well, if the movie gets made, who cares?

    • klmn

      Is anyone planning to see the female assassin stories – if they should be filmed?

      • klmn

        Or the Wendy Davis one?

        • Scott Crawford

          Made for Netflix.

      • 1st10

        I’ll wait for casting and director before deciding. But most likely either Redbox or Netflix and kill.

      • Scott Crawford

        One might get made. I assume the same people didn’t vote for all then same scripts. So if they had to list ten scripts they liked, ONE might be a female assassin script.

        I had a female assassin script. Assassination is called “wetwork” because people get wet with blood. Assassins are called “wetboys.”

        I’m not sure the world is ready for WETGIRL.

        Gal Gadot is WETGIRL.

        • klmn

          Submit it to AOW.

          • Scott Crawford

            It’s not a real script! Just an excuse for punning.

            She’ll blow you… away.

            If I was going to do a female assassin script, I’d combine it with another idea. Like an assassin who is also a master baker… if I was interested in baking. Or an assassin who has to kill someone who likes dancing, so she has to learn dancing… if I was interested in dancing.

          • BMCHB

            Masterbaking wetgirl? I’m sure there’s a market for that…

          • Scott Crawford

            I know, there could be a kitchen fight, and she could kill people with a lemon squeezer.

            See, I DO like food… not really a cook. It’s that sort of thing, you combine different ideas.

            “An Israeli assassin who plans to murder the vice-president of Iran with a poisoned birthday cake learns the art of baking and reluctantly falls in love with both a cake maker and cake making.”

            I’ll work on it.

          • PQOTD

            There was a film festival script doing the rounds called ‘The Baker’ iirc: a gay German baker goes to Israel and gets a job in a kosher cafe, and it turns out he was the lover of the bakery owner’s late husband.

          • Scott Crawford

            There’s a movie about baking with Jonathan Pryce, I think called DOUGH, something about marjiuana as well! It’s on Netflix.

            The Israeli thing is just to cast Gal Gadot. Or Natalie Portman.

      • Jarrean

        The Mother by Misha is already set up with Netflix.

  • hickeyyy

    Running through these, Rodney and Sheryl sounds like it could incredibly entertaining.

    • Scott Crawford

      As I posted, the IDEA is enough to get Edgar Wright to want to read it (and maybe produce if not direct it). True story or not, that’s what you want to achieve.

  • hickeyyy


    “The true story of two families who attempt to escape over the Berlin Wall using a hot air balloon in 1979.”

    Who the hell was in the comments last week talking about their big hot air balloon script?


    Two Chicago underground abortion network scripts is a complete sign-of-the-fearful-times script with a Vice President who’d repeal Roe v Wade in a heartbeat if he could.

    • Levres de Sang

      Pretty sure there’s actually a THIRD abortion script in there…

    • BMCHB

      Nah, it’s a sign that two cynical screenwriters were sure that such scripts would sell in liberal Hollywood! ;-) Looks like they were right.

  • Stevetmp

    Just finishing up a script and found myself browsing the Black List for guidance on which of my ideas to write next…

    Nope. Stop it, Stephen!

    I bet not a single person on this year’s list wrote what they wrote because of what made a previous list. Reminding myself to pick the idea that I’m most excited by and passionate about, regardless of the subject matter. It’ll come through in the writing.

    Never more inspired to write than on Black List announcement day!

    2018 Black List. Go go go!

  • carsonreeves1

    Post is officially updated! The list is up. Anybody read any of these? Thoughts??

    • BMCHB

      Haven’t read The Expansion Project but I guarantee the pitch went: “It’s Gravity meets The Martian.” Exec: “We’ll buy it!”

    • Scott Crawford

      Scripts I have so far:

      Not many. And probably not the ones you’ll all want to read. Give it time. It’s a start.

      • ScreenWriter44

        Thanks, Scott!

    • Levres de Sang

      Daddio: Love the strategy employed by this script. Assured prose, too, for the most part.

  • ripleyy

    This is Jane… Call Jane…?

    Still, I’m liking what I see but until I get the full list of scripts, I’ll likely dabble in them.

  • Adam McCulloch

    Where would screenwriters be without Nazis?

    • klmn

      On Youtube, looking for more cliches.

    • Scott Crawford

      Don’t know. What’s wrong with the commies?

      • Adam McCulloch

        Exactly, right? The Nazis offer moral certainty which I just find a little dull.

        • Scott Crawford

          So many great movies, but THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD…

          … possible MINOR SPOILERS…

          … compares an East German official who’s Jewish, intelligent, and a true believer in communism, with another East German agent who’s a murderous thug AND a former Nazi who only works for the communists for his own grubby ends.

          Or FUNERAL IN BERLIN, also compares the (somewhat) noble communists, the horrid Nazis, and those who would profit from both.

          Yeah… the moral UNcertainty is much more interesting.


    Hold on a sad second, “GADABOUT” is not a script about Gal Gadot going on an adventure in the Australian outback. Damn, that’s a waste of a great title!

    • Scott Crawford

      It’s about a female assassin who shoots people in the crotch when they pronounce her name Gad-oh.

      • BMCHB

        She’s not a French gal! ;-)

        • Scott Crawford

          I wouldn’t have the gall to call her a Gaul.

          Tell I read a lot of Asterix. (That’s present tense, Jake.).

          • BMCHB

            There’s never enough dramatic tension.

  • RO

    Wow, Mattson Tomlin is on the list twice! He had a script with similar number of votes last year and personally I don’t think it was worthy of a blacklist selection. Now the guy has TWO! I’m going to check them out to see how much he grew in terms of character motivation and plot compared to his last script.

  • klmn

    OT. News of the day.

    What I learned: Don’t date werewolf-women.

    • Scott Crawford

      “the incident had been caused by alcohol and drugs.”

      I had four whiskeys at the office Christmas party last night and afterwards I tried to tear another man’s bollock out. With my teeth.

      • klmn

        There is no try. Do or not do.

        • Scott Crawford

          Speaking of… Frank Oz has just joined Twitter!

    • brenkilco

      Her employer must have heard about it. The neighbors were all asking if she got the sack.

  • Poe_Serling


    Wait, wait, wait… how did I miss this one on first glance?

    An Arctic setting, evil elves, Santa … and a race to save the day. Okay, this
    project just did a Rudolph-like jump over all of the other scripts to take the
    No. 1 spot on my personal list.

    I gotta say – it’s the ideal screenplay for this time of the year and for someone
    to review on a Wacky Wednesday.

    And perfect timing in my case…

    I’ve been starting to watch some of my holiday favorites. Yesterday I did
    the double-bill of:

    Elf and Fred Claus

    In many ways sort of the same movie but told from two different point of
    views of characters passing each other heading in opposite directions.

    >>Elf – a human/elf leaves the comfy confines of Santa’s North Pole and
    travels to the big city.

    Lighthearted adventure ensues for him… with a big finale involving old St.
    Nick’s sleigh and learning the true nature of having the holiday spirit.

    >>Fred Claus – a human/Claus relative leaves the big city and journeys to
    Santa’s North Pole.

    A bit edgier adventure ensues… with a big finale involving old St. Nick’s
    sleigh and learning pretty much a similar lesson.

  • Levres de Sang

    Actually like the sound of Escape from the North Pole. Appears to be one of the few not beholden to anything ‘important’…

    • Scott Crawford

      It does sound a bit like a number of other movies (and unproduced screenplays) from the past. But – yeah – good to have something that’s just for the hell of it. Darn few comedies on this list.

    • BMCHB

      Sounds fun, slightly crazy, and something different for sure.

      • Scott Crawford

        I won’t say WHO but someone pitched me something along the same lines. Except THEIR version was a lot DARKER.

        If they’re reading this (actually, I’ll just email him)… do it, do it NOW!

        • BMCHB

          Feck Darker!

          Is this on your list, Scott? I don’t want to have to check the list twice. This is the first one I am going to read.

          • Scott Crawford

            I haven’t got Escape from the North Pole yet. You’ll have to settle for this one instead:

          • Midnight Luck

            SCROOGED kicks ass!
            “It’s LEE MAJORS!”
            Greatest Christmas comedy of all time!

        • Stephjones

          Wasn’t there a batshit crazy North Pole/santa script featured here a few years ago? I loved it.

          • Scott Crawford

            The Kris Kringle one, written in first person? Too much for MY taste, and I’m less impressed with scripts that seem to be written for th3 amusement of (some) readers rathe4 than as a potential great film.

            But… talented writer. Wish him well.

      • Levres de Sang

        Absolutely! Despite everything, Untitled Lax Mandis Project is the only script I can remember from last year’s list.

  • Scott Crawford

    OK, so, what I wanted to talk about was how there are so many scripts on the list that are similar to each other, the same subjects and concepts, and why that might happen and how I think you can avoid it.

    1. Look further afield for ideas.

    Don’t just look at what’s happening in the news, or what’s trending on Twitter. And certainly not what’s just made a lot of money in theaters. Or do. But don’t limit yourself to that. Read books, visit libraries, travel, talk to people… including outside the mainstream.

    2. Make it personal.

    Look for subjects that you personally are interested in and know a lot about but that other people might also be interested in BUT DON’T know a lot about. Themes that resonate with you. Personal experiences you can draw on. I’ve never been in a plane crash but I have been in a car crash. I’ve had money, I’ve had no money, I’ve been in debt. Things I draw upon.

    3. Combine ideas.

    Take a pack of cards. 52 cards. Shuffle them. That pack of cards, the exact order of those cards, will be unique. No one, in the history of the universe, will have shuffled their cards in the EXACT same order. It’s a statistical fact. The number of different orders of cards in a pack of cards is 52 x 52 x52, and so on 52 times. It’s called 52 shriek or 52 with a exclamation point (52!).

    If you take ONE of your ideas for a script (a hitman wants to retire after doing one last job) and combine it with another (a man returns to his home town to tell his parents he’s gay and getting married) you get a script that, like the pack of cards (hopefully) no one will have ever come up with.

    “An assassin returns to his home town to do one last job and while there come out to his homophobic parents.”

    My feeling – just a feeling – is that SOME of these writers are writing these projects not because… well, they might find the subject interesting, i hope they do, because if they got picked up they’re going to have to work on them for many years. Imagine writing THE POST and then thinking “Shit, do I REALLY have to keep writing about this stuff AGAIN. I just wanted to get on the Black List.”

    But I think some people DO write stuff JUST to get on the Black List, or one of the lists, or just to grab attention. Or because it’s what they THINK they SHOULD be writing.

    I don’t know… it just feels TO ME that some of these scripts are a little IMpersonal, and that’s why they sound so similar.

    (I accept that some of the loglines are shit and that the scripts are MUCH better but the loglines need a bit of workshopping.).

    • JasonTremblay

      I believe 52! is 52 x 51 x 50 … which equals:


      • Scott Crawford

        Yeah, it’s something like that.
        (thinking about it)
        Yeah, becsause the first card is one out 52, then the second is one of 51 because you already know the first one.
        (searches for video)
        Here it is!

    • scriptfeels

      I hadn’t heard of the 52 strategy before! Really like that idea!

  • ShiroKabocha

    Not that I was expecting anything from this list, but based on loglines solely, I’d only watch Kill Shelter and Jihotties.

    A lot of those scripts cover subjects and genres I have no interest in or probably know too much about already (that’s the problem with biographical / historical scripts). As for the remaining, their loglines are abysmally vague / boring / generic / random / impersonal.

    • Midnight Luck

      another reason why I have hesitations about how important a logline is.

      they don’t give a good essence of what a script is like, or what is inside it, or even what the story is like.
      they tend to just give a vague, typically, uninteresting skim of subject matter.
      very difficult to get everything you want to put for the reader, into one line (two max!).

      Obviously these all won, yet I DOUBT they won based on their LOGLINES!

      • Scott Crawford

        No, a lot of them have very crappy loglines, but I suspect these loglines have been written by management types who don’t specialise in such things. They could do better.

        It’s the SUBJECTS, mostly, that get people interested. No zombie scripts this year, nor superhero. But stories about serial killers appearing on the Dating Game? People’ll read that.

    • Midnight Luck

      Wow, JiHotties, sounds like some terrible comedy ala “White Chicks” or something, but I have to say, it does sound pretty damn interesting. I’d definitely watch that.

      Not sold on the Title though.

      • Scott Crawford

        Not being too PC but it’s a slightly sexist title. Why, just because their women, do they have to be called hotties? If it was two men joining ISIS for the CIA, would it have been called Dishy Daeshis? No. Because that’s a terrible title.

        But not much worse.

    • Wes Mantooth

      “Ruin” is the only logline that would make me want to buy a ticket. “Let her Speak” sounds an awful lot like watching CSPAN for two hours.

      None of the others grabbed me. Best of luck to Logan Martin, tho. Well done Meat.

  • brenkilco

    “When In Doubt, Seduce” by Allie Hagan – The true story of the early relationship between Elaine May and Mike Nichols.

    An idea with potential since the subjects are brilliant and funny and their comedy historically important, and since Nichols and May are hardly remembered today though the famed director is hardly cold and I think May still acts occasionally. But God, where would you begin securing rights to their lives and material? Anyway something that could be good.

    “Wyler” by Michael Moskowitz – With Hitler laying waste to Europe and the United States refusing to answer the call to war, Jewish filmmaker William Wyler risks his career to make MRS. MINIVER, the most effective propaganda film of all time.

    Most effective? Holy Leni Riefenstahl. Wyler was the most famous and successful director in Hollywood at the time. And I’ve never heard this big budget, cozy, sentimental, pro British melodrama involved any personal risk at all. Curious anyway

    “Where I End” by Imran Zaidi – 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.

    Take away the computer upload and this is a premise as old as the hills. A character returning from the beyond to solve a mystery (Ghost, The Time of Their Lives, The Reincarnation of Peter Proud, You Never Can Tell etc.) Sometimes a new coat of paint is enough.

  • Scott Crawford

    It’s HERE!!! It’s fucking HERE!!! All of them, HERE:

    Get reading!

    Carson – Strongman
    Shiro – KillShelter and Jhotties
    Everyone one – Escape from the North Pole

    Now, move!

    • Justin

      You’re the best, Scott.

      • Scott Crawford

        I have lovely friends. Some of them have scripts.

    • RO

      This is awesome. I noticed that Trapline doesn’t have a title page on the file. Weird.

    • ScreenWriter44

      Thanks, Scott!

    • Pugsley

      Thanks, Scott!

    • ripleyy

      You’re seriously the best, Scott.


    ** Awaiting 7v7s’ inevitable review of logline for Escape From The North Pole.

    “Terrible premise, Santa Claus doesn’t exist therefore this script screams amateur.”

    Screw you, 7v7.

    • Scott Crawford

      He did actually reply to that article, eventually, by telling us we were all (or mostly) going to fail at screenwriting if we couldn’t take criticism.

      Given that he didn’t read any of the scripts…

      There’s a difference between prodding someone to do better and shifting all over them from a snipers nest, if you’ll forgive the mixed met her four.

      • RS

        Sounds like the criticism of his criticism didn’t go down so well. I guess he won’t make it as a critic.

        • PQOTD


      • Midnight Luck

        It’s a fine line

        • Scott Crawford

          The key rule (in life) is don’t be a dick. Critique all you want, but don’t be a dick. And if you don’t know you’re bing a dick, someone else will tell before too long.

  • klmn

    OT. Saudi Arabia to bring back movie theaters.

    Quick Carson, time to rewrite Half-Llama Man. New title, Half-Camel Man.

    • PQOTD

      OMG – the sky will fall! Next thing you know, there’ll be teenagers playing tonsil hockey in the dark…

  • M
    • shewrites

      I love LA!

    • Malibo Jackk

      Give that man a ticket to the premiere.

  • brenkilco

    Notice how many of these are designed to be interesting by association. A movie about the writing of Roots, about getting Ann Frank’s diary published, about a small part player in Star Wars, about reporting on the JFK assassination, about John Hughes not making movies, about Michael Jordan not playing basketball. These seem even more questionable hooks than the cancer ridden, schizophrenic, desperate for redemption, slow poison ingesting, female CIA assassin who seems to be the protagonist of most of the others.

  • GBlivins

    Two thoughts: 1) there are no high-concept ideas here. 2) THE PROSPECT (The Michael Jordan saga) shows how lame this list really is.

  • Malibo Jackk

    OT (Sorry. Wanted to give a heads up.)
    Watching GRAY STATE on A&E
    — which is really about the making of the movie GRAY STATE
    and the writer/director who used a whole wall of his house to outline
    the script with hundreds of postit like notes, used Joseph Campbell’s
    hero’s journey, talked like an expert on screenwriting, worked with his
    wife who was his right hand on the movie, planned to take his trailer to
    Hollywood and raise 30 million…
    but murdered his wife and kid instead — and wrote Allahu Akbar on
    the wall with her blood.

  • scriptfeels

    Opened up strongman, first 5 pages establishes the character well and makes you sympathetic towards the strongman. I think the writing style is easy to read and theres no aow mistakes i could spot. And it hasnt included a hook, but the pages are entertaining. Interested to read more

  • Omoizele Okoawo

    The Great Nothing sounds like Finding Forester with a sex change, but it’s the only one I’m sort of interested in.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Casting my vote for WHERE I END.

    (Note to E.C.
    It’s Where I End, not Where Me End.)

  • scriptfeels

    that concept actually intrigues me. like a god living among us basically. or how vampires age over centuries and develop skills along the way, but here the person inherets their knowledge in this story’s own mythology. I haven’t read capsule, but i’m interested in reading some black list sci-fi.