In 2004, film executive Franklin Leonard started listing and then naming the best and most popular scripts in Hollywood limbo, according to a huge consensus of executives in the top tiers of filmmaking. The goal was to champion screenplays by talented but not necessarily well-known screenwriters based on the quality of the writing ,and not how many connections the writer had in the business.
In seven years there have been 125 Black List screenplays turned into movies. Between them they have won 20 Oscars and grossed approximately $10 billion worldwide.
The Black List is probably the greatest resource available for producers trying to find source material for their next big movie, and produced scripts include Juno, 500 Days Of Summer, Lars and the Real Girl, No Strings Attached and Inglourious Basterds.
Already in production from last year’s Black List are Snow White and the Huntsman, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Oz the Great and Powerful.
OK, point made: The Black List has been a big deal.
The news now is that the Franklin Leonard is launching a new site that will track the most popular scripts in real time, an advance for a film industry where trends are constantly shifting.
Not only that, the site will also expand its polling to include the opinions of agents and leading directors, making the site a more valuable resource than ever before.
The new site (blcklst.com) will also absorb two popular film blogs: Scot Myers’ gointothestory will become gointothestory.blcklst.com and Xander Bennett’s Screenwriting Tips… You Hack will become screenwritingtips.blcklst.com.
Personally, I’m very much in favour of The Black List. If every movie produced in Hollywood was based on an original screenplay from the List rather than being just another cut-and-paste genre filler written to a studio brief then the world of mainstream cinema would probably be a happier place.
The expansion of the site and its increasing popularity is definitely a positive sign. Thanks to Deadline for spreading the good news.
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