What you’re missing
Hollywood’s annual Black List has just been published. No, the studios aren’t back to hunting closet Marxists. Compiled by Franklin Leonard, a busy executive, the chart details the most admired scripts that have yet to make it into production.
Topping the list is Graham Moore’s The Imitation Game, a study of wartime cryptographer and computing pioneer Alan Turing. If reports are to be believed, that script is unlikely to be eligible for the 2012 chart. Recently purchased by Warner Bros, The Imitation Game is set to move into production with (as a mild-mannered gay Englishman?) Leonardo Dicaprio in the lead.
In second place we find When the Street Lights Go On by Chris Hutton and Eddie O’keefe. That script deals with the aftermath of a brutal murder in the 1980s. The most eye-catching entry, however, surely occupies the No 3 spot. Evan Susser and Van Robichaux’s Chewie looks at the making of Star Wars through the eyes of Peter Mayhew, who played hairy Chewbacca.
Leonard’s annual trawl through the out-tray is not an entirely pointless exercise. He notes that 120 scripts on former Black Lists have made it onto screen, and those films have taken more than $7 billion at the box office. It is believed that the annual list alerted studios to the worth of Juno, Slumdog Millionaire and The King’s Speech. She won both the New York bodies’ best actress awards for her turn as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. But the other critics passed gongs to Tilda Swinton (San Francisco), Yun Jung-hee (LA) and Michelle Williams (Boston). I wouldn’t clear that space on the mantelpiece just yet, Meryl.
Something to Chew on: will the hairy one’s story ever be told?