In preparation of the 2010 unveiling of the Franklin Leonard’s annual The Black List of the most liked unproduced screenplays (which is now in it’s 6th year), we’ve decided to look back at the top tier voted screenplays of the previous years dating all the way back to 2006. We’ll attempt to update those that got made and those who haven’t yet received the desired greenlight. Today we start picks 15 to 11 of 2006.
15. The Men Who Stare at Goats (Votes: 9)
Writer: Peter Straughan (based on the novel by Jon Ronson)
Status: Released on November 6th, 2009.
Clooney’s Smokehouse partner Grant Heslov’s directing debut had double preems at Venice and TIFF in 2009, and a release in the high traffic month of November via the Overture Films. This goofy oddity starring Ewan McGregor, George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, and Kevin Spacey managed to score slightly better than average with critics and pulled in approximately 70 million world-wide with about 32 million domestically in a wide release. Straughan penned the English language remake for The Debt and the 2011 to be released Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
14. It Is What It Is (Votes: 9)
Writer: Susanna Fogel & Joni Lefkowitz
Not much is known on the screenplay which the Scriptshadow folks call a Reality Bites type of project in this read-worthy breakdown of the screenplay. A little digging shows that the writing team of Susanna Fogel & Joni Lefkowitz are busy on different platforms: they have Little Darlings currently set up with prod co. Bad Robot and Paramount and they also had a web series and HBO pilot in the works.
13. 500 Days of Summer (Votes: 9)
Writer: Scott Neustadter & Michael Weber
Status: Released on July 17th, 2009.
A breakout hit at the 09′ edition of Sundance, the under 8 million dollar budgeted rom com would ply out theatrical in mid summer and make about 33 million domestically at the box office for Fox Searchlight. Audiences dug the chemistry between Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the film officially granted commercials director Mark Webb access to a deal as the director who would reboot the Spiderman franchise. The writing duo of Neustadter and Weber would receive a WGA nom and would win the Indie Spirit award for Best Screenplay which ultimately landed the writing duo jobs with No Relation, Beginner’s Greek and Rosaline.
12. The Changeling (Votes: 10)
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Status: Released on October 24th, 2008
Perhaps to avoid confusion with the 1980 horror title, the “The” would be dropped from the title and the studio film began it’s festival life in Cannes, where Clint Eastwood is much-appreciated by the French. It would receive a NYFF North American premiere before a fall date that pandered towards awards season that would eventually earn the film three Oscar noms including a Best Actress mention for Angelina Jolie, Best Cinematography for Tom Stern and Best Art Direction for James J. Murakami and Gary Fettis. Universal Pictures received a lackluster box office results with a 35 million dollar take, but made about 110 million worldwide. Straczynski received a ton of assignments afterwards, here are just a few: Ninja Assassin, Thor, Underworld 4, World War Z, They Marched Into Sunlight, Forbidden Planet and Silver Surfer.
11. Hanna (Votes: 10)
Writer: Seth Lochhead
Status: To be released on April 8th, 2011
Joe Penhall (The Road) , David Farr and helmer Joe Wright would all contribute to the final working screenplay originally penned by Lochhead, who since his Black List mention has yet to attached to any other project, which I imagine should change once Focus Features release the picture this spring. This features Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana and Saoirse Ronan in the role of Hanna, the 14 year-old killing machine.