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The 2007 Blacklist Update: Where are they Now?

The Blacklist (a list of favorite unproduced screenplays making the rounds in Hollywood created by Franklin Leonard) acts as a good indicator of the best original ideas to come out of agents/rep offices and to come out of an industry which is too dependent on sequels, prequels and remakes. So far, we are past the midway point of 2009 and I was curious to update the 2007 list and see, mostly what went into production and which of the top tier scripts were greenlite.

The Blacklist (a list of favorite unproduced screenplays making the rounds in Hollywood created by Franklin Leonard) acts as a good indicator of the best original ideas to come out of agents/rep offices and to come out of an industry which is too dependent on sequels, prequels and remakes. So far, we are past the midway point of 2009 and I was curious to update the 2007 list and see, mostly what went into production and which of the top tier scripts were greenlite. From 2007’s batch, only five screenplays out of the top sixteen are concrete films that we can speak about. Here is a status update on the top vote getters.

1. RECOUNT by Danny Strong (44 MENTIONS)
Status: Was broadcast on HBO. Jay Roach received directing awards. Laura Dern won a Golden Globe.

2. FARRAGUT NORTH by Beau Willimon (43 MENTIONS)
Status: Was made into a play an nominated for Best Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play. Smoke House didn’t bring the project over in the Clooney move. Appian Way and Warner Bros. are still at the script stage and perhaps there is a reluctancy for a political storyline, which sees idealistic communications director for a fast-rising
politician falls prey to backstabbing and trickery while working on a presidential campaign.

3. PASSENGERS by Jon Spaihts (38 MENTIONS)
Status: Script. Not the Rodrigo Garcia’s Passengers, Universal Pictures has had a harsh summer and seeing that sci-fi is a hot genre right now they should definitely look into this. A spaceship passenger is prematurely thawed from a cryogenic slumber a century before anyone else. Keanu Reeves’ prod co. Company Films are still in the script stage.

4. INFILTRATOR by Josh Zetumer (35 MENTIONS)
Status: In Development. Another Appian Way and WB project, David Benioff was brought in as a supervising writer for this tale of a British intelligence agency planting spies in the Irish Republican Army to monitor terrorist activities.

5. SELMA by Paul Webb (29 MENTIONS)
Status: Script. It would certainly have been a nice fit for this film to be in circulation when Obama was coming into office. With The Nelson Mandela project in post-production, we might wait a little while longer for this story to appear. This is abou Martin Luther King, Lyndon Baines Johnson and the civil rights marches that changed America. Slumdog Millionaire’s Christian Colson’s Cloud Nine Films would produce. 

6. CURVEBALL by Steve Knight (27 MENTIONS)
Status: Script. Focus features holds the rights on this story about an informant offers deceptive information to the United States government about biological weapons in Iraq in order to justify an invasion. Unfortunately, we’ve heard this storyline before: during Bush’s U.S. presidency. 

7. I WANT TO F— YOUR SISTER by Melissa Stack (25 MENTIONS)
Status: In Development. Josh Gordon and Will Speck are onboard to direct, Escape Artists, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies to produce and Paramount Pictures to distribute. I’m surprised that in this age of studio comedies that this still hasn’t been put into production. This is about A lothario goes to great lengths to protect his sister from guys just like him.

the road viggo

8. THE ROAD by Joe Penhall (24 MENTIONS)
Status: John Hillcoat directed the picture and Dimension finally releases this on October 16th. Can’t wait! 

9. THE WAY BACK by Nat Faxon & Jim Rash (21 MENTIONS)
Status: Not to be confused with the same named Peter Weir film, the rights are still available for this tale about a teenage boy comes into his own over the course of a summer through
an unlikely relationship with the man in charge of the local water
park.

10. THIS SIDE OF THE TRUTH by Matt Robinson (17 MENTIONS)
Status: Now going by the title The Invention of Lying, this will preem in Toronto before a wide release.

11. DUBAI by Adam Cozad (16 MENTIONS)
Status: Paramount has the rights on this script, and I believe it is now called The Rules of Deception. The stroyline sounds like The Fugitive, and tells the tale of a young economist who is forced to go on the run to prove his innocence
after Iranian operatives in Dubai use him as part of a plot to collapse
the United States economy. Di Bonaventura Pictures is producing.

12. PIERRE PIERRE by Edwin Cannistraci & Frederick Seton (14 MENTIONS)
Status: Script phase with Jim Carrey is attached to this Escape Artists’ project with Fox on board as the distributor. This is about a self-indulgent, lazy, French nihilist has to transport a stolen Mona
Lisa from Paris to London.

13T. THE NECESSARY DEATH OF CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN by Matt Drake (13 MENTIONS)
Status: Bona Fide Productions and Sidney Kimmel have the script in hand and have Dean Parisot in the director’s chair. The story takes us to Eastern Europe – after his mother dies of cancer, a young man named Charlie takes a
trip to Budapest. En route, the passenger next to him, an old
Hungarian man, dies. Charlie, who promised the man to bring his
daughter a gift, falls in love with her, then discovers that she has a
violent past.

13T. SOURCE CODE by Ben Ripley (13 MENTIONS)
Status: Shane Abbess is attached to direct and Universal is on board to produce and distribute, but no movement has been made on the project since April of 2008. As part of an experimental government program to investigate a
terrorist incident, a soldier finds himself living and reliving a
series of events that take place on a commuter train just prior to the
train exploding. Unfortunately we just received The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3. 

15T. EDWIN A. SALT by Kurt Wimmer (11 MENTIONS)
Status: In post-production, it’s weird how this one turned out. When Angelina Jolie got a hold of the script, she was able to convince Columbia Pictures to re-write the role for a lead female character. Phillip Noyce directed the pic – and will be a tentpole release for the studio: July 23rd of next year.

15T. THE HUMAN FACTOR by Anthony Peckham (11 MENTIONS)
Status: Clint Eastwood directed film should be an Oscar contender. Opens December 11th.

15T. UNION STATION by Doug Jung (11 MENTIONS)
Status: Overture has the rights on this one – but with Michael Mann’s Public Enemies just released it doesn’t look good for this screenplay which is based on the graphic novel by Ande Parks. A federal agent tries to
solve the 1933 Union Station massacre while contending with the
criminal underworld and a young bureaucrat named J. Edgar Hoover who is
using the case to seize power.

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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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