Madonna Biopic ‘Blond Ambition’ Tops 2016 Black List

2016 Black List Screenplays Announced
Courtesy of blacklist

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)

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 13

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Alex Meyer says:

    Oh my gosh, I know Mackenzie Dohr!!

  2. Phil says:

    No one will see a movie about Madonna

  3. malcolm says:

    Well none of them look like their worth a damn ..

  4. WTF? None of these scripts were actually discovered on the blacklist. Total scam.

    • there are better scripts this year ..

      Tango With Solitude
      by Maria Hinterkoerner
      having told hollywood where to stick their oscar marlon brando embarks on a journey to make a different kind of film

      The Descent by Varun Bhuchar
      an overweight man and a paraplegic rush to escape the twin towers on sep 11, 2001

      Dead Men’s Switch by Nick Caccese
      a group of ww2 soldiers protecting a train full of priceless jewish art fight the enemy and their own greed

      Charles: Manson on the Record by Travis Larson
      a young woman is the first reporter to interview manson after his arrest

      We Were Here by Noelle Liljedahl
      after a student commits suicide one of his classmates recalls a night they spent together

      The Contrarian by Brady Nelson
      legendary scholar and commentator christopher hitchens discovers he has cancer

      Breaking Silence by Alex Webb
      a serial killer poses as a 13 year old to target pedophiles

      S L U T
      by Nadeem Siddiqui
      a promiscious young lady plots revenge while attending a wedding

      Confessions Of A Cutter by Jessica Fritz
      a teenager battles self harm

      Damaged by Kimberly Britt
      a man and his alcoholic sister attend their sexually abusive fathers funeral

      Elf Force by Jennifer Bonner
      santa has been kidnapped and a tough as nails elf leads a daring mission to find him on christmas eve

      Play Dirty by Jeff York
      an arrogant student fears she might lose a school election so she enlists the help of former POTUS richard nixon

      Possum by Andrew Farotte
      the police have surrounded a diner.
      There are three people inside..
      1 the maniac who just commited a shooting massacre
      2 a young girl he has taken hostage
      3 a woman who survived the shooting by pretending to be dead

      Be Normal by Joanna Benecke
      identical twins one the high school queen bee the other a bullied lesbian outcast

      Rubbish by Seth Corr
      a loser has just inherited $15,000 from her estranged father
      The will states the money is in his apartment
      All she has to do is collect it but he was a hoarder …

  5. Another Poster says:

    Would someone Please make a movie about American women combat veterans and their adjustment to civilian life? A woman’s version of The Best Years of Our Lives. American woman have served in the military, (many of them fighting in combat conditions), since the days of the Revolutionary War of Independence. This movie could be non-fictional, or fictional, inspired by factual incidents and real people. There have been countless films about American male veterans and their adjustment to civilian life. Please make a movie about women veterans and their adjustment to civilian life.

  6. Lee says:

    Lemme guess: the execs don’t want to produce anything that isn’t a bunch of explosions.

  7. SPIKE says:

    WHAT MAKES ANY OF YOU THINK THAT 250 STUDIO EXECUTIVES KNOW WHAT A GREAT SCRIPT IS? A studio exec’s mission is to make films which appeal to the lowest common denominator. I went through this whole list and wasn’t inspired once.This list is based on the assumption that the best scripts are the ones that the studio executives think are the best scripts. What have the studios been cranking out for the past 2 or 3 decades, but largely meaningless fluff or outright crap? The independents have been making movies out of the best scripts and have been winning most of the Oscars for Best Pic and Best Script for the past 20 years. So why don’t you guys let indie producers vote on the best unproduced scripts, instead of letting apparatchiks working for the fat dinosaurs of H’wd decide such a concept? Or…….just be honest and say the Blacklist contains the best meaningless fluff or outright crap?

    • RST says:

      The Blacklist is a FOR PROFIT company. Snap out of it dude.

      The only connection any of these scripts (NON PAYING TO THE BLACKLIST!) have to the PAYING schmucks who think they have a shot is…..THEY ARE ALL ON THE LIST!

      All you writer hopefuls get is –you get to be in their data base (FOR A FEE OF COURSE!) THATS IT! They will never elevate your script high enough to make it out of their confest. WHY WOULD THEY? YOU ARE PAYING THEM!

      The Blacklist has to be one of the most perfect scams perpetrated on the unrepped script writer.

  8. RST says:

    All you people paying The Blacklist in hope of being on this list (WITH THE REPPED AND ALREADY IN)must really feel smart right now.

    Your purpose is to make a few people rich. It’s a lot like a 12 step program. As long as you are paying you are AN IDIOT and they will give you hope along with your monthly bill.

    Ask them how many un repped scripts actually make it out of their con fest. NONE!

    This is the state of reality you are in. Amazon controls ALL of the script contests (ie. Withoutabox.)
    They also control almost all of the readers at this level.
    Ask Amazon how many of those scripts they were “looking for” made it to a real contract.

    Face it amateur script writers as long as you have the money to pay them – THEY OWN YOU!
    Some more than others.

  9. Tom Estere says:

    Drago was pretty good… but the chances of Sylvester Stallone picking it up are slim. But maybe the story it was based on?

More Film News from Variety