Madonna Biopic ‘Blond Ambition’ Tops 2016 Black List

Elyse Hollander’s “Blond Ambition” screenplay about Madonna’s first album led the 2016 version of the Black List — an annual ranking of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood.

Hollander’s script received 49 votes from among the 250 executives voting. The project details Madonna’s efforts in the early 1980s to get her first album released while navigating fame, romance, and the dismissive attitude of the music industry at the time. “Blond Ambition” is set up with Brett Ratner’s Ratpac and Michael De Luca.

Three projects tied for second place with 35 votes each: Dan Fogelman’s multi-generational story “Life Itself,” set in New York and the Spanish countryside, with Rhode Island Avenue and Temple Hill producing; Tony Tost’s “The Olympian,” about an underdog rower trying to compete at the 1984 Olympics, set up at Management 360; and Liz Hannah’s “The Post,” about how Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham and editor Ben Bradlee overcame their differences to publish the story about the Pentagon Papers, set up with Amy Pascal and Star Thrower Entertainment.

One of the first scripts announced was Flint Wainess’ “Linda and Monica,” described as the true story of Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp’s relationship. Mindy Kaling made the list with her “Untitled Late Night Comedy” script as did “The Imitation Game” screenwriter Graham Moore with “The Last Days of Night,” a story centered on the legal battle between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse.

Dan Gilroy, who received an Oscar nomination for “Nightcrawler,” made the list with “Inner City.” Drew Pearce’s near-future thriller “Hotel Artemis,” which recently attached Jodie Foster to star, was also on the list.

Steve Rogers’ screenplay “I, Tonya” made the list for the Tonya Harding biopic, which is starring Margot Robbie as the ice skater. Mike Makowsky scored two spots on the list with “Bad Education” and “I Think We’re Alone Now.”

The annual lineup consists of the year’s 73 best unproduced scripts in Hollywood as voted on by more than 250 studio execs. Previous alumni of the list include “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Argo,” “The King’s Speech,” “Foxcatcher,” “Whiplash,” and “The Imitation Game.”

Stars such as Peter Dinklage, David Benioff, Armie Hammer, Eva Longoria, and Domhnall Gleeson began announcing the selected scripts through social media videos on Monday at 9 a.m. Josh Singer, who won an Oscar for the “Spotlight” screenplay, made one of the announcements as did Writers Guild of America West President Howard Rodman.

The entire list is on the Black List web site. Here’s the list with rankings:

Blond Ambition by Elyse Hollander (48)

Life Itself by Dan Fogelman (35)

The Olympian by Tony Tost (35)

The Post by Liz Hannah (35)

Voyagers by Zach Dean (28)

In the Blink of an Eye by Colby Day (25)

O2 by Christie LeBlan (22)

Untitled Lax Mandis Project by Seth Spector (22)

Dark Money by Matt Fruchtman (21)

Letters from Rosemary Kennedy by Nick Yarborough (21)

Linda and Monica by Flint Wainess (20)

Hala by Minhal Baig (19)

The Miserable Adventures of Burt Squire by Ben Bolea (18)

The Time Traveler’s La Ronde by Tom Dean (18)

Revolver by Kate Trefry (17)

Fairy Godmother by Chiara Atik (15)

Free Guy by Matt Lieberman (15)

The Kings of Maine by Kathy Charles (15)

Layla…and Other Love Songs by Derek Weissbein (15)

Maximum King! by Shay Hatten (15)

Battle of Alcatraz by Neil Widener, Gavin James (14)

I Think We’re Alone Now by Mike Makowsky (14)

Man Alive by Joe Greenberg (14)

Mother by Michael Lloyd Green (14)

Untitled Late Night Comedy by Mindy Kaling (14)

King of LA by Chris Bremner (13)

Let the Evil Go West by Carlos Rios (13)

Villains by Dan Berk, Robert Olsen (13)

Hart You by Zoe McCarthy (12)

James Cameron’s Titanic by Kate D’Angelo (12)

Northeast Kingdom by Alex R Johnson (12)

Barbarian by Rosalind Ross (11)

The Builder by Tom Cartier (11)

Untitled Fairy Tale by Cat Vasko (11)

Adrift by Aaron and Jordan Kandell (10)

Kings Canyon by Paul Hilborn, Evan Parter (10)

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore (10)

Lee by Chris Urch (10)

Liberty by Jayson Rothwell (10)

Saving Charlie Chaplin by Justin Shady (10)

Two Butterflies by Evan Dodson (10)

The Woman With the Red Hair by Michael Schatz (10)

American Rebel by Christopher Cosmos (9)

Rugged by April Prosser (9)

Turned On by Charlie Kesslering (9)

Boyfriend Material by Mackenzie Dohr (8)

The Burning Season by Jenny Halper (8)

Contingency Protocol by Mark Townend (8)

A Deconstruction of Reality by Mattson Tomlin (8)

The Fruitcake by Trey Selman (8)

The Hunchback by Topher Rhys-Lawrence (8)

I, Tonya by Steven Rogers (8)

Inner City by Dan Gilroy (8)

Orb by Steve Desmond, Michael Sherman (8)

Burn Run by Matt Tente (7)

The Fall by Peter Bridges (7)

The Gun Show by Lucas Carter (7)

The Housewife by Alyssa Hill (7)

Hummingbird by John Tyler Mclain (7)

Reason of State by Matthew Orton (7)

Palmer by Cheryl Guerreiro (7)

Allison Adams by Devon Graye (6)

America: The Motion Picture by Dave Callaham (6)

Bad Education by Mike Makowsky (6)

Bitter Pill by Turner Hay (6)

Captain Infinity by Harry Tarre (6)

Carnada by Katharine Werner (6)

Donzinger by Matt Bai, Jay Carson (6)

Escape from Sarajevo by Vanya Asher (6)

Hotel Artemis by Drew Pearce (6)

Miller’s Girl by Jade Bartlett (6)

Mr. Toy by Chai Hecht (6)

Space Oddity by Rebecca Banner (6)

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