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The Black List Update: Picks 5 to 1 of 2006

Of all the Black List years (dating back to 2005), 2006 has the distinction of being the only year where the top voted screenplay hasn’t already been filmed. 2005 topper Things We Lost in the Fire was quickly put into production, 2007’s Recount was an HBO film, 2008’s The Beaver by Kyle Killen (read our profile) is in the can and ready to go forth with a theatrical release, and finally last year’s The Muppet Man is currently lensing and still adding more faces (Emily Blunt and Ricky Gervais) while in production and it’s pegged with a Holiday release next year. Here are updates on the top 5 screenplays for 2006.

Of all the Black List years (dating back to 2005), 2006 has the distinction of being the only year where the top voted screenplay hasn’t already been filmed. 2005 topper Things We Lost in the Fire was quickly put into production, 2007’s Recount was an HBO film, 2008’s The Beaver by Kyle Killen (read our profile) is in the can and ready to go forth with a theatrical release, and finally last year’s The Muppet Man is currently lensing and still adding more faces (Emily Blunt and Ricky Gervais) while in production and it’s pegged with a Holiday release next year. Here are updates on the top 5 screenplays for 2006.

5. The Grackle (Votes: 16)
Writer: Mike Arnold & Chris Poole
Status: In Development

The last we heard is that this comedy about a “New Orleans barroom brawler starts his own business settling disputes for people who can’t afford a lawyer,” was finally being set in motion when New Line Cinema set Matthew McConaughey on board to star and David O. Russell to direct, but that was April of 2009. No production news since. The Black List mention appears to have ignited plenty of interest in the writing combo – they boarded other comedies such as Homeschooled, Captain Awesome, Beaujolais and Craig Zobel‘s The Litigator.

4. Villain (Votes: 17)
Writer: Josh Zetumer
Status: In Development

Lynette Howell and Doug Day’s Silverwood Films are currently housing the project (a thriller about a forest-fire spotter living in the remote wilderness of the Pacific Northwest who is visited by his mentally disturbed brother) with not much movement over the years. Despite the stalled status, Zetumer has moved onto penning The Infiltrator (another Black List item) and a Dune remake.

3. Rendition (Votes: 19)
Writer: Kelley Sane
Status: Released on October 10th, 2007.

Set up as a first studio assignment for Foreign Oscar winning director Gavin Hood, the difficult to market political thriller starring Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard and Meryl Streep can be considered a box office bomb. It failed to make more than 10 million at the box office and made less than 20 million worldwide, surely the the fact that it was showered by critics with mixed reviews at TIFF and beyond didn’t help matters. Scribe Kelley Sane hasn’t been heard from for anything else since.  

2. State of Play (Votes: 23)
Writer: Matt Carnahan
Status: Released on April 17th, 2009.

Based on the Brit television series, the Kevin Macdonald directed pic made 36 million and a little bit more than double that total worldwide. Scribes Paul Abbott, Tony Gilroy and Billy Ray boarded the project which only meant that Carnahan would move onto other politco type projects in The Kingdom, Lions for Lambs and he most recently penned zombie pic World War Z for Marc Forster. The ensemble included Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren and Robin Wright Penn which appeared to fancy film critics and audiences alike.

1. The Brigands of Rattleborge (Votes: 30)
Writer: Craig Zahler
Status: In Development

Scriptshadow reviewed the original screenplay just prior to the initial option that Warner Bros. took on the script ran out. Brad Fischer, in a deal brokered by United Talent Agency and Dallas Sonnier at Caliber Media Company. I imagine that Westerns, no matter how good they are are still a difficult sell. This tells the of a small frontier town called Rattleborge which is plundered by a gang of thieves, the bereaved sheriff and an angry doctor team up in search of revenge. Zahler has since had a gig in Alexandre Courtes’ horror film Incident at Sans Asylum for Vertigo Ent. and was one among the many scribes to have worked on Robotech.

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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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