Category: Screenwriting


The group has put forward Adaptation, the Oscar-nominated, loopy script by Charlie Kaufman and his twin brother Donnie, as a script to study. It is a wild, touching film so no doubt the script will be an edifying read as well. Download a PDF below:

Adaptation, by Charlie and Donnie Kaufman, adapted from the book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean.




More Scripts

If it is awards season, then there are more scripts being released. In this stack is the story of financial malpractice, The Big Short; sports malpractice in Concussion; perhaps singing malpractice in Danny Collins, depending on your view of the warblings of Al Pacino; sublime chessery and rampant paranoia in Pawn Sacrifice and Blythe Danner ‘s multiple dating in I’ll See You In My Dreams.

The Big Short, screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, based on the book The Big Short, by Michael Lewis

Concussion, by Peter Landesman


Danny Collins, by Dan Fogelman

Pawn Sacrifice, screenplay by Steven Knight, story by Stephen J Rivele & Christopher Wilkinson and Steven Knight

I’ll See You in My Dreams, by Brett Haley & Marc Basch


The Actual Black List

Black List 2015 Scripts Full List

Bubbles screenplay Michael Jackson winner Black List 2015

BUBBLES by Isaac Adamson- 44
A baby chimp is adopted by the Pop star Michael Jackson. Narrating his own story, Bubbles the Chimp details his life within The King of Pop’s inner circle through the scandals that later rocked Jackson’s life and eventually led to Bubbles’ release.
AGENT: Joe Mann
MANAGEMENT: Lee Stobby Entertainment
MANAGER: Lee Stobby

STRONGER by John Pollono, Scott Silver- 40
The true story of Jeff Bauman, who after losing his legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, was an integral part of helping police to locate the suspects.
AGENTS: Joe Mann, Ali Trustman
MANAGEMENT: Underground
MANAGER: Noah Rothman
PRODUCERS: Mandeville, Scott Silver
FINANCIER: Lionsgate

THE LIBERTINE by Ben Kopit- 37
After the Head of the French National Assembly is placed under house arrest for accusations of sexual assault, he must live in a guarded apartment with his estranged wife until the case comes to a close.
AGENTS: Roger Green, Sarah Self
MANAGEMENT: Mindframe Films & Management
MANAGER: Jesse Silver
PRODUCER: Whalerock Industries
FINANCIER: Warner Bros

ROCKET* by Jeffrey Gelber, Ryan Belenzon- 37
Roger “The Rocket” Clemens, one of the greatest pitchers of all time, has 4672 strikeouts, 354 wins and a record 7 Cy Young awards. This is the story of why he is not in the Hall of Fame.
AGENTS: Craig Brody, Ida Ziniti
MANAGER: Jeff Silver
PRODUCER: Black Bear Pictures

CRATER by John J. Griffin- 34
On the moon, five teens take an unauthorized and adventure-filled road trip, just before one of them is to be sent away on a seventy-five year journey to another planet, leaving behind his best friends.
AGENTS: Holly Jeter, Chris Slager
MANAGEMENT: Kevin Donahue Literary Management
MANAGERS: Kevin Donahue
PRODUCERS: 1821 Pictures, Mayhem Pictures

MISS SLOANE by Jonathan “Jonny” Perera- 31
A powerful lobbyist sacrifices her career on Capitol Hill so she can push through an amendment enforcing stricter federal laws regulating guns.
AGENTS: Peter Dodd, Carolyn Sivitz
MANAGERS: Scott Carr

TRUE FAN by John Whittington- 28
After interfering with a foul ball during a Chicago Cubs playoff game, Steve Bartman was tortured and stalked by die hard Cub fans for potentially costing them their first National League pennant since 1945. Years later, in a new town with a new identity—but depressed, overweight and working a dead end job—Steve meets a woman who gives him a new lease on life and reason to live.
AGENTS: Pamela Goldstein, Adam Weinstein
MANAGEMENT: MXN Entertainment
MANAGERS: Michelle Knudsen

PALE BLUE DOT by Brian C Brown, Elliot DiGuisseppi- 26
Twelve months after returning from a space mission, decorated astronaut Laura Pepper is arrested for the attempted murder of a fellow astronaut.
AGENTS: Craig Brody, Matt Martin
MANAGEMENT: Industry Entertainment
MANAGERS: Dianne Fraser
PRODUCER: Pacific Standard
FINANCIER: Fox Searchlight

REAGAN by Mike Rosolio- 25
When Ronald Reagan falls into dementia at the start of his second term, an ambitious intern is tasked with convincing the commander in chief that he is an actor playing the president in a movie.
AGENCY: Kaplan Stahler Agency
AGENTS: Shan Ray
MANAGEMENT: Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
MANAGERS: Aaron Kaplan, Michael Wilson

BUMP by Ori Guendelman, Rob McClelland- 21
After an accidental hit and run, a young lawyer’s entire life unravels over the span of one night as he attempts to dispose of a corpse that turns out to be much more than an innocent victim.
AGENCY: Paradigm
AGENT: Chris Smith
MANAGEMENT: 3 Arts Entertainment
MANAGERS: Ari Lubet, Will Rowbotham

ELI by David Chirchirillo- 21
Having moved into a “clean house” to treat his auto-immune disorder, eleven year old Eli begins to believe that the house is haunted. Unable to leave, he soon realizes that the house, and the doctor who runs it, are more sinister than they appear.
AGENTS: Adam Perry, Sheryl Petersen
MANAGEMENT: Bellvue Productions
MANAGERS: John Zaozirny
PRODUCERS: Bellvue Productions
FINANCIERS: Broad Green Pictures

SEPTILLION TO ONE by Adam Perlman, Graham Sack- 20
While a former FBI agent is working in the fraud unit of the Texas State Lottery investigating a woman who has mysteriously hit the lottery jackpot three times, he falls in love.
AGENTS: Eric Garfinkel, Jeff Greenberg
MANAGEMENT: Apostle Pictures
MANAGER: George Heller
PRODUCERS: Oddlot Entertainment, MC2 Entertainment, Marquee Entertainment
FINANCIERS: Oddlot Entertainment

WHITE BOY RICK by Logan Miller, Noah Miller- 20
True story of Richard Wershe Jr., the only successful white boy gangster/drug kingpin in an African American dominated 1980s Detroit ghetto.
AGENTS: Peter Dodd, Charlie Ferraro, Rames Ishak, Tim Phillips, Michael Sheresky
MANAGEMENT: Thruline Entertainment
MANAGERS: Josh Kesselman, Danny Sherman
PRODUCERS: LBI Entertainment, Protozoa Pictures

BOOMTOWN by Matt King- 18
A slick corporate investigator with a closely guarded secret discovers a sinister criminal conspiracy in North Dakota oil boom country.
AGENCY: Paradigm
AGENTS: Robert Bookman, David Boxerbaum
MANAGEMENT: Bellvue Productions
MANAGERS: John Zaozirny
PRODUCERS: Marc Platt Productions
FINANCIERS: Focus Features

DREAMLAND by Nicolaas Zwart- 18
With his family’s farm on the precipice of foreclosure, fifteen year old Eugene Evans is determined to capture a fugitive bank robber and collect the bounty on her head. Against all odds, he beats out the FBI and the local police to capture her, only to discover that all may not be what it seems.
AGENTS: Daniel Cohan, Tanya Cohen, Danny Greenberg
MANAGEMENT: The Mission Entertainment
MANAGERS: Corrine Aquino, Andrew Coles

THE FISHERMAN by Will Dunn- 18
A fisherman sails out of Martha’s Vineyard in search of the shark that killed his fellow sailors while they were stranded in the water for four days after their ship was attacked by a Japanese submarine.
AGENTS: Trevor Astbury, Jon Cassir
MANAGEMENT: Think Tank Management and Production

THE WATER MAN by Emma Needell- 18
A young boy tries to save his mother from terminal cancer by seeking out the town’s bogeyman, The Water Man, who is fabled to have conquered death.
AGENTS: Joe Austin, Sarah Self
MANAGEMENT: Anonymous Content
MANAGERS: Charlie Scully, Tariq Merhab
PRODUCERS: Harpo Studios, Yoruba Saxon Productions
FINANCIERS: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

by David Scarpa
The story of Getty kidnapping crisis encompassing the Red Brigades, the Italian tabloids and the Vatican.
AGENTS: Bob Hohman, Bayard Maybank
PRODuCERS: Chris Clark, Quentin Curtis
FINANCIERS: TriStar Productions

BOY by Mattson Tomlin- 17
A teenage boy is born with special abilities and spends his childhood switching names and cities so as to keep his identity hidden. When he loses control and accidentally kills his father, he and his mother have to go on the run.
AGENTS: Jay Baker, Pete Stein, Ida Ziniti
MANAGERS: Zac Frognowski

THE SHAVE by Thomas White, Miles Hubley- 17
A dirty cop, exonerated in the murder of a high school honor student, visits the boy’s father at his barbershop, and while receiving a straight razor shave, listens to him recount the story of his son’s life.
AGENTS: Stuart Manashil, Solco Schuit
MANAGEMENT: MXN Entertainment
MANAGER: Michelle Knudsen
PRODUCERS: Chris Columbus, Maiden Voyage Films
FINANCIERS: Lost City, Route One Entertainment

DO NO HARM by Julia Cox- 16
An ambitious surgeon’s life takes a dangerous turn when she indulges in an affair with a doctor whose god complex challenges her own.
AGENTS: Adam Perry, Sheryl Peterson
MANAGEMENT: Project D Media
MANAGER: Allison Doyle

HAMMERSPACE by Mike Van Waes- 16
A terminally ill teenager looking for answers about his missing father finds a key that unlocks an opening to an alternate animated dimension and a new friend who helps him repair his broken family.
AGENTS: Trevor Astbury, Joe Mann
MANAGERS: Zac Frognowski
PRODUCER: Lin Pictures
FINANCIER: Warner Bros

Gleefully terrifying her small town as a serial killer known as “The Misfit Butcher,” 13-year-old Emily Derringer becomes annoyed when a new killer comes to town and residents begin attributing his sloppy murders to the Misfit Butcher. In a macabre coming of age story, Emily must deal with her competition while also taking on the other trials and tribulations of junior high school life.
AGENTS: Charles Ferraro, Aaron Hart, Jenny Maryasis
MANAGEMENT: Bellvue Productions
MANAGERS: Jeff Portnoy, John Zaozirny

A local Phoenix newscaster at the pinnacle of local celebrity slowly descends into the depths of madness as he sees his world around him start to crumble piece by piece all while trying to become a game show host in Los Angeles.
AGENTS: Matt Martin
MANAGEMENT: Magnet Management
MANAGERS: Bob Sobhani
PRODUCER: Michael De Luca Productions

THE VIRGINIAN by Michael Russell Gunn- 15
Based on the novel by Owen Wister, a young, down-and-out George Washington, desperate to join the British Army, accepts a dangerous mission to conquer a French fort and save the American colonies.
AGENCY: Paradigm
AGENTS: David Boxerbaum
MANAGEMENT: Principato-Young Management
MANAGERS: David Gardner
PRODUCERS: De Line Pictures

CASTLE DRIVE by Matthew Scott Weiner- 14
Based on real events, the story of the writing of Fatal Vision, the 1983 bestselling true crime classic that chronicles the summer journalist Joe McGinness spent with “Green Beret Killer” Jeffrey McDonald while he was on trial for the brutal murder of his wife and children.
AGENTS: Ryan Feldman, Meyash Prabhu
MANAGEMENT: Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
MANAGERS: Michael Wilson
PRODUCER: Treehouse Pictures
FINANCIER: Treehouse Pictures

CUT AND RUN by Zoe McCarthy- 14
A female urologist and a retired hooker form an unlikely friendship when they team up to take down a notorious sex trafficker in Miami.
MANAGEMENT: 3 Arts Entertainment
MANAGERS: Olivia Gerke, Ari Lubet

THE BURNING WOMAN by Brad Ingelsby- 13
A reckless, fun-loving young woman confronts the dark side of life after losing her daughter.
AGENTS: Jon Cassir, Maha Dakhil, Scott Greeenberg
MANAGEMENT: Energy Entertainment
MANAGER: Brooklyn Weaver
PRODUCER: Ridley Scott Films

MAYDAY 109 by Samuel V. Franco, Evan Kilgore- 13
Based on actual events, a young John F. Kennedy struggles to save the crew of his PT Boat after it is sunk by a Japanese warship during World War II.
AGENCY: ICM Partners
AGENTS: Bryan Diperstein, Rich Green, Kathleen Remington
MANAGEMENT: Bellvue Productions, Brio Entertainment
MANAGERS: Mia Chang, Jeff Portnoy
PRODUCERS: Thunder Road Pictures, Flynn Picture Co.

MORNINGSTAR by David Birke- 13
The war is over. A bitter and uneasy truce has been reached with an invading alien race, and a new cold war has begun. Fueled by suspicions of an alien spy in their ranks, the United Nations Intelligence Division entrusts their top agent, Martin Webber, with finding the mole.
AGENCY: Paradigm
AGENTS: Scott Henderson, Valarie Phillips
MANAGEMENT: Madhouse Entertainment
MANAGERS: Ryan Cunningham, Robyn Meisinger
PRODUCERS: Quadrant Pictures, Madhouse Entertainment

MOVE THAT BODY by Lucia Aniello, Paul W Downs- 13
Five friends rent a beach house in Miami for a bachelorette weekend and accidentally kill a male stripper.
AGENTS: Ali Benmohamed, Jay Gassner, Carolyn Sivitz, Jo Yao
MANAGEMENT: 3 Arts Entertainment
MANAGERS: Dave Becky

NYAD by Robert Specland- 13
Based on the true story of marathon swimmer Diana Nyad, who in 2013, after 4 failed attempts and at the age of 64, became the first person ever to open-swim from Cuba to Florida (55 hours non-stop) overcoming impossible odds, personal tragedy, and 103 miles of open ocean.
AGENTS: David Park, Amanda Hymson, Carolyn Sivitz
MANAGEMENT: Pacific View Management
MANAGERS: Peter Dealbert

by Cat Vasko
Based on the book Queen of the Air written by Dean N. Jensen. The story of famed trapeze artist Lillian Leitzel and her relationship with fellow trapeze artist Alfredo Codona, who were two of the most famous entertainers of the world during their time.
AGENTS: Simon Faber, Solco Schuit
MANAGERS: Zac Frognowski, Matt Rosen
PRODUCERS: Mad Chance Productions

SPRING OFFENSIVE by Matthew McInerney-Lacombe- 13
Dr. Liz Scott, a British epidemiologist with the World Health Organization, fights to contain an outbreak of Ebola in Afghanistan’s war torn Helmand province as the Taliban’s assault on allied forces threatens to turn the localized outbreak into a global catastrophe.
AGENTS: Jacob Epstein
MANAGEMENT: LBI Entertainment
MANAGERS: Harry Lengsfield, Sam Warren
PRODUCERS: 6th & Idaho

BLACKFRIARS by Chris Bremner- 12
Set around the Blackfriars massacre of 1978, the true story of a Boston police officer and a con man-turned-witness, who become unlikely friends hiding out in Bermuda, ultimately perpetrating a con on the Boston DA they’re tasked to serve.
AGENTS: Emerson Davis, Carolyn Sivitz
MANAGEMENT: MGMT Entertainment
MANAGERS: Dianne McGunigle
PRODUCER: Hasbro Inc.
FINANCIER: Lakeshore Entertainment

CIRCLE OF TREASON by Anna Waterhouse, Joe Shrapnel- 12
Based on the book Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and The Men He Betrayed written by Sandra Grimes & Jeanne Vertefeuille. When two women in the CIA suspect there is a mole working there, they have to overcome the institution’s hierarchy and chauvinism to bring down the traitor.
AGENCY: CAACircle Of Treason script Black List 2015
AGENTS: Jon Cassir, Rob Hertig, Fred Spektor
MANAGEMENT: Grandview, Curtis Brown Group Ltd
MANAGER: Jeff Silver (Grandview); Nick Marston, Camilla Young (Curtis Brown)
PRODUCER: Josephson Entertainment
FINANCIER: Focus Features

STAR ONE by David Coggeshall- 12
Two CIA agents must overcome their opposing worldviews to evade the Soviet and Chinese armies during a dangerous mission to Tibet in 1950. The true story of the first CIA agent ever to die in the line of duty; the “first star’ on the CIA Memorial Wall.
AGENCY: Paradigm
AGENTS: David Boxerbaum, Scott Henderson, Chris Smith
MANAGER: Noah Rosen
PRODUCER: Mythology Entertainment

THE SET UP by Kari Granlund- 12
Two co-dependent female best friends’s friendship is put through the wringer after a blind date gone awry sends them on a dangerous, all-in-one-night adventure with a drug dealer.
AGENTS: Chris Noriega, Melissa Solomon, Bill Weinstein
MANAGEMENT: Industry Entertainment
MANAGER: Sarah Dodge

BARE KNUCKLE by Dave Matillo- 11
New York City 1862: The bare knuckle boxing champion, Bad Jack, develops a crush on a common French girl and uses his political influence to send her Irish lumberman husband off to the Civil War so he can take her for his own. Unfortunately for Bad Jack, the Irishman doesn’t die in the war and t comes back a killer looking to exact revenge on the pugilist and his entire corrupt entourage.
AGENTS: Ryan Feldman, Solco Schuit
MANAGEMENT: Madhouse Entertainment
MANAGERS: Adam Kolbrenner, Kendrick Tan
PRODUCERS: Hollywood Gang

CHAPPAQUIDDICK by Taylor Allen, Andrew Logan- 11
A historically factual look at what really happened when Ted Kennedy drove off the road into a Martha’s Vineyard bay with Mary Jo Kopechne in the car.
MANAGEMENT: DMG Entertainment
MANAGER: Chris Fenton
PRODUCER: Apex Entertainment
FINANCIER: Apex Entertainment

GREAT FALLS by Andy Friedhof- 11
After negligently killing a hunter with their patrol car, an alcoholic Sheriff’s Deputy and her superior officer must decide what to do with the only witness to their crime – a death row inmate only days from execution.
AGENCY: Equitable Stewardship for Artists
AGENTS: Antoni Kaczmarek, Varun Monga
MANAGEMENT: Circle of Confusion
MANAGER: Jairo Alvarado

HUNTING EICHMANN by Matthew Orton- 11
The thrilling capture of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann by a secret Mossad team in South America.
AGENCY: The Agency Ltd
AGENT: Emily Hickman
MANAGER: Jeff Silver
PRODUCERS: Automatik, Matt Charmin

A SPECK IN THE SEA by Jeff Pope- 10
Based on the article “A Speck in the Sea” by Paul Tough. The true story of the rescue of lobster fisherman John Aldridge who fell into the ocean in the middle of the night on July 24th, forty miles off Montauk with no life vest and no way to signal where he was.

In one of the greatest untold stories in American history, General and future President Andrew Jackson reluctantly partners with world-renowned pirate Jean Lafitte to lead a rag-tag team of soldiers against the indomitable British Army in the climactic battle of the War of 1812.
AGENCY: ICM Partners
AGENTS: Harley Copen, Kathleen Remington
MANAGEMENT: Madhouse Entertainment
MANAGER: Adam Kolbrenner
PRODUCER: Madhouse Entertainment
FINANCIER: Endurance

CRIMSON TRAIL by Jeremy Shipp- 10
Devastated by the cold-blooded murder of his family, a devout frontier preacher risks his soul to lead a posse in pursuit of the Harpe Brothers—America’s first serial killers. Based on a true story.
AGENTS: Emerson Davis, Julien Thuan
MANAGEMENT: Madhouse Entertainment
MANAGERS: Ryan Cunningham, Adam Kolbrenner

LABYRINTH by Christian Contreras- 10
Based on the book LAbyrinth by Randall Sullivan. The story of the investigation into the murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious BIG.
AGENTS: Stuart Manashil, Solco Schuit
MANAGEMENT: Grandview, Curtis Brown Group Ltd (UK)
MANAGER: Jeff Silver (Grandview), Lily Williams (Curtis Brown)
PRODUCER: Good Films

OUR WEEK WITH WALLER by Evan Mirzai, Shea Mirzai- 10
After getting laid off, two Americans cash in their vacation pay and head to Spain where their paths collide with one of the world’s most dangerous terrorists.
AGENCY: Paradigm
AGENTS: Adrian Garcia, Adam Kanter, Martin Spencer
MANAGEMENT: Principato-Young Management
MANAGER: Allen Fischer

SET IT UP by Katie Silberman- 10
Two young assistants realize they can get more free time if they occupy their bosses’ time by setting them up on a date.
AGENT: Joe Mann
MANAGEMENT: MXN Entertainment
MANAGERS: Michelle Knudsen
PRODUCER: Treehouse Pictures

UNTITLED SOCIOPATH PROJECT by Topher Rhys-Lawrence- 10
A successful New Yorker’s seemingly perfect life starts unraveling once he’s suspected for the murder of his co-worker, and his only alibi is the doppelganger that’s begun stalking him.
PRODUCER: Atlas Entertainment

ARES by Geneva Robertson-Dworet- 9
The survival story of an astronaut whose space capsule crash lands in the African desert and whose mission to space was part of a larger conspiracy.
AGENTS: Rich Cook, Solco Schuit
MANAGEMENT: Management 360
MANAGERS: Jill McElroy, Clifford Murray
PRODUCERS: Roland Emmerich

FINAL JOURNEY by Michael Lee Barlin- 9
A mistreated elderly Inuit woman is forced out of her village to survive alone on the savage arctic tundra.
MANAGEMENT: Lee Stobby Entertainment
MANAGER: Lee Stobby

MILITIA by Henry Dunham- 9
After a shooting on a police funeral by a suspected militia member, a recluse ex-cop and fellow militia man must interrogate the suspected gunmen in his own militia before copycat attacks start a nationwide war between cops and militias.
AGENTS: Emerson Davis, Peter Dodd, Charles Ferraro, Mike Schwartz Wright
MANAGEMENT: Madhouse Entertainment
MANAGERS: Ryan Cunningham, Kendrick Tan
PRODUCER: 6th & Idaho

SALEM by Mark Bianculli, Jeff Richard- 9
Fifteen years after the witch trials, the scars of Salem are reopened when young women begin showing up dead. Desperate for answers, the town elders turn to a man of science to uncover the truth behind its terrifying events plaguing their community.
AGENTS: Danny Greenberg, Solco Schuit
MANAGEMENT: Anonymous Content (Bianculli)/Industry Entertainment (Richard)
MANAGERS: Rosalie Swedlin (Bianculli)/Michael Botti (Richard)
PRODUCERS: STX Entertainment
FINANCIER: The Weinstein Company

TOMORROW ON THE RUNWAY by Frederick Seton- 9
Kermit St. Lucy has a ridiculous name and is ridiculously ill-equipped to deal with adult responsibilities. After a tragedy shakes him to his core, Kermit takes it upon himself to look after and raise two young children.
AGENTS: Parker Davis
MANAGEMENT: Madhouse Entertainment
MANAGER: Kendrick Tan

TREASURE ISLAND by James Coyne- 9
Based on the Robert Louis Stevenson classic, young Jim Hawkins finds a map to a buried fortune; to claim it means a perilous voyage, pirate treachery, and the wicked mentorship of Long John Silver.
AGENCY: GershTreasure Island Black List 2015
AGENTS: Eric Garfinkel, Mark Hartogsohn
MANAGEMENT: The Syndicate
MANAGER: Scott Karp
PRODUCER: Ritchie/Wigram
FINANCIER: Warner Bros

The strange-yet-true story of the battle over the estate of Larry Lee Hillblom, billionaire founder of DHL.
AGENTS: Rob Carlson, Daniel Cohan, Tanya Cohan
MANAGEMENT: Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
MANAGERS: Aaron Kaplan, Sean Perrone
PRODUCER: Seven Bucks Entertainment

A LIFE FANTASTIC by Natalie Antoci- 8
A single mother with a terminal diagnosis embarks on a road trip with her eccentric 9 year old son and nanny to find a loving and progressive family that will accept him for whoever he may grow up to be.
MANAGEMENT: The Mission Entertainment
MANAGERS: Corrine Aquino, Andrew Coles
PRODUCER: The Mission Entertainment

AN AFRICAN WESTERN by Chloe Castellon, Ridgeway Wilson- 8
When a young African woman’s village is destroyed by a “Christian” paramilitary unit and her sister is kidnapped, she uses every weapon at her disposal on an odyssey to save her last living relative.
AGENTS: Emerson Davis, Jon Huddle
MANAGEMENT: Principato-Young Management
MANAGERS: Brian Dobbins, Allen Fischer

ATLANTIC WALL by Zach Dean- 8
A lone American paratrooper, stranded behind enemy lines hours before D-Day, is tasked with delivering intelligence critical to the outcome of the war and compelled to fulfill a promise to protect the young son of a murdered ally.
AGENTS: Cliff Roberts, Solco Schuit
MANAGEMENT: Madhouse Entertainment
MANAGERS: Adam Kolbrenner
PRODUCER: Madhouse Entertainment
FINANCIER: Imperative Entertainment

BED REST by Lori Evans Taylor- 8
An expectant mother who is confined to bed rest starts to experience paranormal events.
AGENCY: ICM Partners
AGENTS: Rebecca Ewing, Doug Johnson
MANAGEMENT: Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
MANAGERS: Josh Goldenberg, Sean Perrone
PRODUCERS: Chris Sparling, Sunswept Entertainment

I BELIEVE IN AMERICA by Terry Clyne- 8
A behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Godfather, revealing that the creative forces behind one of the finest American films ever made were all as cunning and ruthless as the mobsters portrayed in Mario Puzo’s bestseller.
MANAGEMENT: Kailey Marsh Media
MANAGER: Kailey Marsh

IDA TARBELL by Mark McDevitt- 8
Ida Tarbell’s magazine series “The History of the Standard Oil Company,” not only changed the history of journalism but also the fate of Rockefeller’s empire, which was shaken by the powerful pen of its most implacable observer.Ida Tarbell’s magazine series “The History of the Standard Oil Company,” not only changed the history of journalism but also the fate of Rockefeller’s empire, which was shaken by the powerful pen of its most implacable observer.
AGENTS: Aaron Hart, Geoff Morley
MANAGEMENT: Think Tank Management and Production
MANAGER: Tom Drumm
PRODUCER: Think Tank Management and Production

LOU by Maggie McGowan Cohn- 8
An elderly woman who hacks out a rough existence on a remote island is forced to help her dimwitted neighbor rescue her daughter whose ex has kidnapped her and escaped into the woods.
AGENTS: Jon Cassir, JP Evans
MANAGEMENT: Management 360
MANAGERS: Eryn Brown, Adam Marshall
PRODUCER: Paramount

PRECONCEPTION by Jake Morse, Scott Wolman- 8
A couple on the verge of parenthood embarks on a pre-baby bucket list.
MANAGEMENT: Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
MANAGER: Josh Goldenberg
PRODUCER: De Line Pictures

SENIOR YEAR by Andrew Knauer, Arthur Pielli- 8
A cheerleader wakes up after a twenty year coma and returns to sit at the cool table and try to become prom queen, as a thirty seven year-old woman.
AGENT: Greg Pedicin
MANAGEMENT: Benderspink
MANAGER: Jake Wagner
PRODUCERS: Benderspink, Broken Road Productions

VERONA by Neil Widener, Gavin James- 8
A re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
AGENTS: Jon Cassir, Joe Mann
MANAGER: Matt Rosen
PRODUCER: Roth Kirschenbaum Films

105 AND RISING by Andrew Cypiot- 7
Amid the chaos of a failing nation on April 29, 1975, the objective was clear: safely evacuate all remaining Americans from Saigon. But to Major Jim Kean and Ambassador Graham Martin, the moment represented something else: the final opportunity to uphold promises and obligations to the people of South Vietnam.
AGENTS: Parker Davis, Adam Weinstein
PRODUCER: Cota Films

FREE AGENT by Sam Regnier- 7
A female NBA executive for the Golden State Warriors pursues the biggest free agent of her career while managing a messy divorce and a complicated relationship with a younger colleague and his teenage sister.
AGENCY: Paradigm
AGENTS: David Boxerbaum, Scott Henderson
MANAGER: Scott Carr

HOMEGROWN by Jacques Edeline- 7
A teenage boy, raised in total seclusion and indoctrinated by his enigmatic father, is sent to live with a foster family and enrolled in a public high school when his father is incarcerated, threatening their relationship and causing the boy to question everything he’s learned.
AGENTS: Debbie Deuble, Adam Perry
MANAGEMENT: Affirmative Entertainment
MANAGERS: Nicholas Bogner
PRODUCER: Cota Films

THE BOY by Owen Egerton- 7
Sixteen years after stabbing a classmate to appease a legendary phantom known as the Boy, a repentant woman returns to her hometown to live with her sister and nephew, but as the Boy continues to haunt her she must face her deepest terror and discover the truth about the Boy before he claims her nephew.
AGENTS: Jason Burns, Aaron Hart
MANAGERS: Allard Cantor, Jarrod Murray

CARNIVAL by Matias Caruso- 6
A deadly carnival knife-thrower hunts down the members of a powerful crime syndicate who murdered his sister.
AGENTS: Trevor Astbury, Jon Cassir
MANAGEMENT: Untitled Entertainment
PRODUCERS: Anonymous Content, Mitchell Peck

CROOK COUNTY by Gita Pullapilly, Aron Gaudet- 6
A whistleblower’s harrowing journey into an undercover FBI operation in 1980’s Cook County, Illinois, sending him toe-to-toe with corrupt judges, hustling defense attorneys, and Chicago mobsters; and ultimately resulting in the largest number of convictions of government officials in the history of the United States.
AGENTS: Max Mitchell, Carolyn Sivitz
MANAGEMENT: Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
MANAGER: Taylor Benzie
PRODUCER: Linda McDonough

DAMSEL by Bryan McMullin- 6
After first being locked in a tower and then hidden deep in the forest to prevent a prince from rescuing her, long-haired Rapunzel vows to get revenge.
AGENTS: Charles Ferraro, Aaron Hart, David Park
MANAGEMENT: Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
MANAGERS: Tobin Babst, Michael Wilson
PRODUCER: Josephson Entertainment

Facing financial ruin, auteur filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola is forced to direct the adaptation of Mario Puzo’s pulp novel The Godfather, pitting him against legendary mega-producer Robert Evans.
AGENTS: Jon Levin, Elizabeth Newman
MANAGEMENT: Zero Gravity Management
MANAGERS: Jeff Belkin
PRODUCER: Echo Lake Entertainment

GREEN RIVER KILLER by Michael Sheen- 6
Based on the Eisner Award winning graphic novel of the same name. Detectives in the Green River Killer case attempt to unravel both the facts behind the gruesome murders that plagued the Pacific North West for over a decade and the psychosis of the killer they find themselves face to face with.
AGENCY: ICM Partners
AGENTS: Doug MacLaren
MANAGEMENT: Sanders Armstrong Caserta
MANAGERS: Tammy Rosen
PRODUCERS: Dark Horse Entertainment

LANDSLIDE by Will Staples, Tony Camerino- 6
Based on the book How to Break a Terrorist by Tony Camerino. The story of America’s search for terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and the man who played a key role in tracking him down by using psychological warfare.
AGENCY: WME (Staples)/CAA (Camerino)
AGENTS: Phil D’Amecourt (Staples)/Jon Levin (Camerino)
MANAGEMENT: Management 360 (Staples)/BE Management (Camerino)
MANAGERS: Darin Friedman (Staples)/Brett Etre (Camerino)

RESURFACE by Pete Bridges- 6
An underwater earthquake decimates a research crew working at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, leaving
two survivors with limited resources to ascend 35,000 feet and reach the surface before their life support runs out.
AGENTS: Adam Levine, Adam Weinstein
MANAGEMENT: Madhouse Entertainment
MANAGER: Adam Kolbrenner
PRODUCERS: Broken Road Productions

SONG OF TREBLINKA by Viorica Baln- 6
Based on a true story. A renowned Jewish conductor plots a revolt with fellow prisoners as he attracts the respect of his Nazi captors in Germany-occupied Poland’s most notorious death camp.
AGENTS: Ryan Feldman
MANAGEMENT: Madhouse Entertainment
MANAGER: Adam Kolbrenner

THE CANYON by Alex Koplow- 6
When parents reunite with their grown children for a road trip to hike the Grand Canyon, the family conflicts on the way prove far more grueling than the twenty mile hike.

THREE MONTHS by Jared Frieder- 6
After being exposed to HIV the weekend of his high school graduation in 2011, a punk gay teenager from Miami attempts to start a new relationship with a someone from his support group as they try to endure the three months it takes to get accurately tested.
AGENCY: Paradigm
AGENTS: Valarie Phillips, Ellie Schiff
MANAGEMENT: Haven Entertainment
MANAGERS: Brendan Bragg, Jesse Hara, Jordana Mollick

WISH UPON by Barbara Marshall- 6
When Claire, a sixteen year old misfit, finds a magic box that promises a chance at the life she has always wanted, she never could have guessed that each wish would demand a deadly payment.
AGENTS: Debbie Deuble
MANAGEMENT: Industry Entertainment
MANAGER: Ava Jamshidi
PRODUCER: Busted Shark
FINANCIER: Broad Green Pictures


The Black List

If you are unfamiliar with this, Stephanie Palmer is here to explain:

The Black List is a list of the most liked, yet unproduced screenplays in Hollywood.

You want to pay attention to the Black List because:

  • It’s a barometer of what stories are resonating in the marketplace.
  • It provides a list of agents and managers with clout.
  • It showcases many fresh, newly discovered writers.

In this post I’m going to explain what you need to know about the Black List, post the complete list, and make one tiny suggestion for how the Black List could be improved.

How are scripts selected for the Black List 2015?

The voters are 250 anonymous film executives (I voted when I was at MGM).

This includes people who are currently employed at production companies and studios as Creative Executives, Directors of Development, Vice Presidents of Development and Production.

According to the Black List, this list is not a “best of,” but rather a “most liked.”

There are definitely other scripts that could have been listed and likely some made the list because executives voted as a favor to their representative friends.

However, in my experience, if you read the Black List scripts from any of the past few years, the top scripts are consistently excellent. Over 225 Black List screenplays have been produced, they have been nominated for 171 Academy Awards, including Best Pictures Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, and Argo.

That is why the list has credibility and why Hollywood decision-makers pay attention each year when the list is published.


What are the benefits of being selected for the Black List?

The Black List provides credibility.

For this reason, if your script is on the Black List:

  • Development executives are expected to read your script.
  • Your script is more likely to get optioned or purchased.
  • If the script is in development, it can get additional financing and attachments.
  • You are more likely to get hired for jobs.

On this last point, the Black List is used as a reference when development executives are looking for writers to hire for rewrites.

It’s much more likely that an executive will read a writer’s script and hire that writer simply because they’ve made the Black List.

Are these all new, undiscovered writers?

No. Unproduced does not mean undiscovered.

Most of these screenwriters are represented at the major agencies and many have had other scripts purchased and produced.

However, some of the writers are fresh, newly discovered talent.

How do I get on the Black List?

The barrier to entry to the Black List is high.

You need an outstanding script and representation who pushes your script wide so that lots of executives read it. Bonus points if the script has sold and has major cast attachments. It probably also helps a little bit if your reps send out the script close to the Black List voting period.

What’s the difference between the Black List and the Black List Script Database?

The Black List is a list of the most liked, yet unproduced screenplays in Hollywood.

The Black List Script Database is a service where any screenwriter can pay to list their scripts in an online database. (And in my opinion, paying to list your script is unlikely to improve the odds of your script getting voted onto the Black List).

Here is an excerpt from the Black List site that explains the evolution:

“In 2005, Franklin Leonard surveyed almost 100 film industry development executives about their favorite scripts from that year that had not been made as feature films. That first list – many of which have been made since – can be viewed here.

In October 2012, we extended our mission by allowing screenwriters from the world to, for a small fee, upload their scripts to our database, have them evaluated by professional script readers, and subject to that evaluation and our recommendation algorithm, sent to our – at present – over 1000 film industry professionals.”

I don’t have an agent or a manager, but I want one. How can I tell if an agent on the Black List is legitimate?

If a representative is listed on the Black List, they have proven that they have enough clout to get development executives to read a script.

That may seem simple, but the pool of representatives who can achieve this is a surprisingly small.

Take the list of all the managers and agents included on the Black List, add any representatives who are on the Hit List that focuses on spec screenplays, and you have a pretty good sense of who can get executives to read scripts.

Why are there so many true stories in the Black List 2015? 

In this interview on KPCC, Black List founder Franklin Leonard said,

“True stories and biopics in particular tend to be things that people respond to. If I had to guess, I think that’s probably both a supply-and-demand issue, in that a lot of writers are writing stuff that is based on true stories because of this sort of pre-sold phenomenon in the industry.”

Should I focus on trends and write a true story about an athlete-spy who lives on Martha’s Vineyard and was involved in the making of The Godfather?

No. You should focus on your best and most authentic ideas.

However, if one of your top ideas is a true story you might dust it off, and if you just happened to have a script about the making of The Godfather, you should probably put that on the shelf for a while and work on something else.

Where can I read these scripts? Do you have them?

It’s my policy to only share produced screenplays, but with some clever sleuthing on the internet, you may be able to find the scripts.

How do I read the Black List? What is that number?

The first entry is the script that received the most votes, i.e., Bubbles received 44 executive votes.

Even the scripts at the end of the list received more than five executive votes and that is a mark of success.

Some of these loglines are terrible. I wouldn’t want to see these movies, and I don’t understand how they could have gotten on this list.

The Black List 2015 selection is based on the completed screenplays, not on the loglines. Loglines can be written by the writers, their representatives, or readers.

Sometimes loglines do not effectively communicate what is strong about a script – and that’s too bad.

With that in mind, here’s my suggestion for how to improve the Black List.

What do I think would make the Black List better?

The piece of information that I wish was included for each script is the genre.

Genre gives context that is necessary to understand the story that follows.

Without knowing the genre, it’s easy to make incorrect assumptions about the story.

For example, if a writer tells me that he’s got a story about the CIA, I could assume:

  • It’s a thriller like Three Days of the Condor
  • It’s really a drama like The Good Shepherd
  • It’s actually a comedy like Spy.

That’s why I give the following advice to screenwriters:

Whether you are pitching verbally or in writing, lead with genre.

I wish that the Black List included a line for the genre to make it easier to identify projects and writers to read on the Black List.

Thanks to Franklin Leonard and his team for compiling the list and…


Making Period Films Feel Fresh

The Wrap recently sat down with the writers of three period films (Brooklyn, Suffragette and The Danish Girl) to discuss how to bring out the lessons we can learn from the past and how these films still matter today, despite being set decades in the past:

Nick Hornby, Brooklyn

Brooklyn is a movie of big emotions, but without the kind of big conflicts you’d usually find in a film like this. It’s delicate, emotionally.

I think that was the thing that we were all the most conscious of when we were making it–the delicacy. It’s interesting that there’s no baddie, really. In terms of the central characters, they are all lovely and they all want the best for each other, pretty much.

But I guess the truth is that the experience of living is extremely painful. The intense homesickness, which I have not seen done on screen before, is a big feeling that we all have. And loss, of course. So it felt to me like there was plenty in there without having that conventional structure of obstacle/opposition/whatever. How many of us have baddies in our lives, actually? I don’t have any in mine. A couple of critics, that’s about as far as it goes. And yet, life is difficult and sad and occasionally exhilarating.

Director John Crowley has said that it had to be emotional but not sentimental. Do you need sensitive radar to figure out where that line is?

I felt emotional when I was writing it, and it never occurred to me that it would be sentimental. I just felt the weight of the story and the sadness that was buried in the story as a sort of weight in my chest. I have no idea whether that affected the actual writing. It could have been merely hopeful, like playing a piece of music that you love and hoping that ends up in your writing somewhere.

I tend not to write sentimentally — it makes me feel yucky if I think I’ve done something that’s sentimental. But I knew that we wanted to be close in on this girl [Saoirse Ronan], and to feel everything that she felt.


As an Englishman, did you feel connected to this very Irish story?

I think we’re quite similar, really, the English and the Irish. Of course, the English didn’t emigrate in the same numbers, but in terms of what life was like in those decades, I think our experience wasn’t so different. I read the book and thought, “I can do this.”

Your first few books were about guys of a certain age, sports fans and music fans. But the movies you’ve written — An Education, Wild and now Brooklyn – have young female protagonists. Was that a conscious choice?

After the first three books, I thought, “I don’t know if there’s anything else I want to say about certain guys.” I hoped that I had some sort of long career ahead of me, which meant that I would have to write about everybody. And after I wrote An Education, I got a lot of confidence — or, at least, any fear about writing about a young woman was taken away.

Emory Cohen as "Tony" and Saoirse Ronan as "Eilis" in BROOKLYN. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures. © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Also after An Education, one of the things that struck me is that if you write these big parts for young women, you get to work with the best talent in the world, because they’re not spoilt for choice. The guys are all like, “Yeah, it’s a nice indie movie, but someone’s just offered me $20 million to wear a superhero suit, so thanks for your interest.” Meanwhile the girls are playing the superhero’s girlfriend. And when they get these scripts where every single page is about them, it’s kind of amazing.

So we got Carey [Mulligan, for An Education] and Saoirse, and they are the best actresses of their age. That’s quite an incentive for a writer and filmmaker, to think that there is this untapped talent that actively wants to do what you’re interested in writing about.

Lucinda Coxon, The Danish Girl

How did you get involved in adapting David Ebershoff’s novel?

Gail Mutrux optioned the book in 2000, and in 2004 she sent it to me to see if I’d be interested in adapting it. They thought there was something in my sensibility, and they were interested in the fact that I was a playwright, which at the time I didn’t think was relevant. I had no prior knowledge of the story, but I was intrigued. So I started reading the novel and researching alongside it, to assess where the novel was fictionalized and how much of the original story was in there.

I was just amazed by the love story between Einar and Gerda [Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander], really. And once I found out more about the real story, I was amazed by the portrait of the marriage and the two artists. It was period, but it also felt fantastically modern–ahead of us, in many ways. I think the importance of sharing that story with people was kind of overwhelming. I became such a bore about it that friends were afraid to catch my eye at parties.

So I worked on the script and everyone loved it and I thought “OK, here we go.” [Laughs] That was a decade ago.

You said that at first you didn’t think your being a playwright was relevant. Did it become relevant?
I can see now that it was. I knew I wanted something that was very intimate, almost claustrophobic, where you are almost under the skin of the marriage. And there is something about that that is similar to writing a play, where you stay under the surface of the material for a very long time. And I hope that’s part of the intensity of the film. I stripped out the obvious fictions and the extraneous characters in the novel, and I kept the focus very tight. It was really about the couple and the art and the spaces in between.


Is the film truer to the actual events than the novel was?
It is truer. In the novel, Gerda had become Greta, and she’d been Americanized–she was an orange heiress from Pasadena. But it was quite a superficial change, and she was emotionally the same. And when I met David, to his credit and my great relief, the first thing he said was, “I’m really sorry about that thing about Greta being American. You’ll have to fix that right away.” But he had done a lot of the difficult spade work, and his novel is still very present in the movie, I think.


It’s been more than a decade since you began working on this story about a transgender person — and now we have Transparent, and Caitlin Jenner…
It’s bizarre. One of the reasons it’s taken this long is that the subject matter was commercially toxic. We had big actors and directors who were keen to be involved, and we almost made the film several times. But it was very, very difficult to finance because of the subject matter. It’s remarkable that the zeitgeist has shifted and all this progress has been made. And I couldn’t be happier that we can talk about transgender issues so openly now, because the truth is we’re all much more alike than we are different.

There was a terrible moment when I thought, “We’ve been ahead of it for a decade, and now we’re almost behind it!” People have stopped short of accusing us of jumping on a bandwagon–which is good, because, my God, I’ve been pushing this bandwagon up the hill for a very long time.

Abi Morgan, Suffragette

What was your reaction when director Sarah Gavron came to you to write a movie about the suffragette movement?
I didn’t look at the material for about six months. I thought, “Oh god, corsets and period?” But I looked at some of the testimonials working women gave in the Houses of Parliament, and I found them so moving. Always, if I get really interested in the research, it pulls me in. But it took me forever to write it. It’s horrific how many drafts I did.

Unlike adapting a novel, if you’re trying to capture a movement you’re starting from a much vaguer point.
Absolutely. It’s all about what you leave out. I did a version that was completelyDownton Abbey-esque, around an upper-class character. I don’t know what I was on. But into that I brought the character of a seamstress/laundress, and I became more and more interested in her. And when I started to look at the hierarchy of the movement, I thought well, they keep referring to the foot soldiers. Who are these women? They aren’t all middle-class, Mary-Poppins-bashing-the-tambourine women. And I came back to the testimonials, and though, “Oh, it’s you. And you had so much to lose. If you were in prison for a week, you lost your job.” I felt that the economics of what it meant to be a woman at that time were really interesting, and that’s what made me home in.

It’s a very tiny story, but I hope it has bigger political effect. This film is about feminism, and has parallels in the modern fight against inequality.


Were you thinking about that current political resonance as you were writing it?
No, not at all. People keep saying, “Did you want to write a feminist film?” And I don’t think like that. But with the digital age we have such a growing social activism, and we can’t ignore the global inequalities. We can YouTube the stoning of a woman in the Middle East, or the gang rape of a woman in India, or just the basic inequalities of a sweatshop in the U.K. I think it’s ignited a growing feminism and activism amongst the generation underneath me.

And then running parallel with that, you do get excited about working with so many women. The core producers, director, writer, production designer, costume designer — all women, except for one male producer. Usually when I write a movie, I’m lucky if I get one good actress. But suddenly, I could think, “What if we had two or three great actresses in a film? Or a great ensemble, like Scorsese has with men?” And then it just became fun to make the movie together and share stories, and just be on the set with that many women.