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Greenhalgh’s Nowhere Boy tops annual Brit List poll

He captured the last days of Joy Division’s lead singer Ian Curtis with his screenwork for Control and now his script based on the early days of John Lennon tops the 2nd annual Brit List which sorts the most liked and recommended unproduced screenplays in the UK and Ireland.

He captured the last days of Joy Division’s lead singer Ian Curtis with his screenwork for Control and now his script based on the early days of John Lennon tops the 2nd annual Brit List which sorts the most liked and recommended unproduced screenplays in the UK and Ireland.  

Written by Matt Greenhalgh, Nowhere Boy is based on John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird’s book Imagine This: Growing Up With My Brother John Lennon. The young future Beatle was raised by his aunt and then discovered his real mother lived around the corner; the family has a struggle as he is reunited with his mother and also discovers rock and roll. It also describes his first meetings with Paul McCartney.

While the Britt List doesn’t have the girth of say Hollywood’s Blacklist, it manages to give us an idea of what is worth checking out as early as next year. Last year’s inaugural list saw Peter Straughan‘s script top the chart — Men Who Stare at Goats is now in pre-production with George Clooney, Ewan McGregor and Kevin Spacey on board to act and producer Grant Heslov making his directorial debut.

The 2008 Brit List saw 2nd place go to a new adaptation of Jane Eyre by Moira Buffini and bronze went to Mike Lesslie’s War Reporting For Cowards. The list is generated anonymously by industry players, is intended as an annual poll. To qualify, the script should not be written by a US writer nor be greenlit for production at time of circulation. For inclusion, the script should score at least two votes from the industry people surveyed across all levels of seniority and sectors.

The first 17 projects on the list is as follows:
1. Nowhere Boy Matt Greenhalgh
2. Jane Eyre Moira Buffini
3. War Reporting For Cowards Mike Lesslie
4. Blackout Dennis Kelly
4. Bobby Fischer Goes To War Shawn Slovo
4. Necropolis Lydia Adetunji
4. Never Let Me Go Alex Garland
5. Canyonland Toby Finlay
6. Attack The Estate Joe Cornish
6. Barafundle Bay Vaughan Sivell
6. Bel Ami Rachel Bennette
6. Gaza Frank Deasy
6. My Week With Marilyn Adrian Hodges
6. Put Together Tom Rob Smith
6. The Debt Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughan
6. We Need To Talk About Kevin Lynne Ramsay
6. Wuthering Heights Olivia Hetreed

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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