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The Black List Update: Picks 10 to 6 of 2007

It’s always comes as a surprise to look back on some of the bottom-feeders on some of these Black Lists. In 2007, Oscar winner for Best Picture Slumdog Millionaire (Simon Beaufoy) had six votes, Robert Siegel’s The Wrestler had five, an untitled Pharmaceutical script (later known as Love & other Drugs) by Charles Randolph would get four, with John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt and Jon Lucas & Scott Moore’s Hangover receiving three votes and Tony Gilroy’s Duplicity receiving a pair. It’s worth mentioning that those who received the least amount of votes could have simply not have been seen by enough eyes — the Black List isn’t perfect science.

It’s always comes as a surprise to look back on some of the bottom-feeders on some of these Black Lists. In 2007, Oscar winner for Best Picture Slumdog Millionaire (Simon Beaufoy) had six votes, Robert Siegel’s The Wrestler had five, an untitled Pharmaceutical script (later known as Love & other Drugs) by Charles Randolph would get four, with John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt and Jon Lucas & Scott Moore’s Hangover receiving three votes and Tony Gilroy’s Duplicity receiving a pair. It’s worth mentioning that those who received the least amount of votes could have simply not have been seen by enough eyes — the Black List isn’t perfect science. Here are some updates on picks 10 to 6 for 2007.

10. This Side of the Truth (Votes: 17)
Writer: Matt Robinson
Status: Released on October 2nd, 2009

One of the rare times where the Black List mentioned writer also gets behind the camera, Robinson teamed with Ricky Gervais on directing duties, and Gervais would topline with Jennifer Garner – making for not the most obvious pairing. Going by the title of The Invention of Lying, this garnered good critical praise, had a TIFF preem, but only made enough money at the box office to cover production costs (18 million), with a little bit more change in total B.O. Warner Bros. released the comedy in the highly charged fall season.

9. The Way Back (Votes: 21)
Writer: Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Status: In Development

Not to be confused with the Peter Weir film, this is 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”. Shawn Levy was originally set to direct and then Tom Bezucha was pegged last year, but then Adventureland was released in theaters. Mandate is still pushing forth on the project but the writing team landed the gig for (and another Black List mention) Alexander Payne’s The Descendants which should set them up with several other writing gigs.

8. The Road (Votes: 24)
Writer: Joe Penhall
Status: Released on November 7th, 2009.

Based on Cormac McCarthy’s heartbreaking novel, with preems at Venice, TIFF, London and AFI, and the excellent John Hillcoat in the director’s chair and Viggo Mortensen headlining, this had everything going for it except, a willing audience. It cost 20 million and if I have my numbers right, made half of that worldwide. Penhall had previously wrote Enduring Love and 2006 Black List favorite Hanna which will be released next April.

7. I Want to F— Your Sister (Votes: 25)
Writer: Melissa Stack
Status: In Development

In february of 2008, directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck climbed onto the Cyrus-like project, but no mention has been made since. This tells the tale of “a young man goes to great lengths to protect his younger sister from guys just like him”. Melissa Stack nabbed the pen duties for Pumas with Wayne McClammy is the director’s chair.

6. Curveball (Votes: 27)
Writer: Steve Knight
Status: In Development

If there hasn’t been much movement on this project it may have to do with the subject matter and the difficult political thriller market. This is bout “an informant offers deceptive information to the United States government about biological weapons in Iraq in order to justify an invasion” — and is based on the nonfiction book by Bob Drogin. It appears that Drogin has his name attached as the scribe, which isn’t a big deal for the already too busy Steve Knight.

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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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