The 2012 Black List was compiled from the suggestions of over 290 film executives, each of whom contributed the names of up to 10 of their favorite scripts that were written or are somehow uniquely associated with this year. Scripts had to receive at least six mentions and not have completed principal photography to be included on the Black List, which should be thought of as a “most liked” rather than “best of” list.
This year’s Black List looks at real-life figures such as Dr. Seuss, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sen. Joseph McCarthy, Sam Peckinpah, Marlon Brando, Pablo Escobar, Ted Bundy, Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst, architect William Van Alen and Austrian footballer Matthias Sindelar.
Several projects have already attached A-list talent such as Tom Cruise (“Our Name Is Adam”), Johnny Depp (“Transcendence”), Denzel Washington (“The Equalizer”) and Mark Wahlberg (“The Disciple Program”).
Other notables include Brad Ingelsby, who has two scripts on the list, as well as former writing partners Sean O’Keefe and Will Staples, who each have scripts featured.
WME led all agencies with 21 scripts on the Black List, followed by CAA (11.5), UTA (11), Gersh (8.5), ICM (7), Paradigm (7), Verve (6) and APA (1).
The 2012 Black List:
Logline: On the day of the NFL Draft, Bills General Manager Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to save football in Buffalo when he trades for the number one pick. He must quickly decide what he’s willing to sacrifice in pursuit of perfection as the lines between his personal and professional life become blurred.
Agency: Joseph – Lee Keele at Gersh; Rothman – Chris Till and Bill Zotti at CAA
Management: Josh Goldenberg and Aaron Kaplan at Kaplan/Perrone
Production: Montecito Pictures
“A Country of Strangers” by Sean Armstrong: 43 mentions
Logline: Based on true events. Inspector Geoff Harper conducts a forty year search for the Beaumont Children, three siblings taken from an Australian beach in January of 1966.
Management: Peter Dealbert and Susan Solomon at Principato-Young Management
“Seuss” by Eyal Podell and Jonathan Stewart: 43 mentions
Logline: As a young man, Ted Geisel meets his future wife Helen, who encourages his fanciful drawings, and in the 1950s when Ted is struggling professionally, Helen helps inspire the children’s book that will become his first big hit, “The Cat in the Hat.”
Management: Michael Botti and Jess Rosenthal at Industry Entertainment
“Rodham” by Young Il Kim: 39 mentions
Logline: During the height of the Watergate scandal, rising star Hillary Rodham is the youngest lawyer chosen for the House Judiciary Committee to Impeach Nixon, but she soon finds herself forced to choose between a destined path to the White House and her unresolved feelings for Bill Clinton, her former boyfriend who now teaches law in Arkansas.
Agency: Barbara Dreyfus and Jenny Maryasis at UTA
Management: Richard Arlook and Jason Hong at The Arlook Group
Production: The Arlook Group, Temple Hill Entertainment
“Story of Your Life” by Eric Heisserer: 35 mentions
Logline: Based on the short story by Ted Chiang. When alien crafts land around the world, a linguistics expert is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat. As she learns to communicate with the aliens, she begins experiencing vivid flashbacks that become the key to unlocking the greater mystery about the true purpose of their visit.
Agency: Barbara Dreyfus and Jon Huddle at UTA
Management: Julie Bloom at Art/Work
Financier: Film Nation
Production: Film Nation, Lava Bear, 21 Laps Entertainment
“Wunderkind” by Patrick Aison: 33 mentions
Logline: A Mossad employed father and his CIA agent son team up to hunt an escaped Nazi.
Agency: Harley Copen, Bryan Diperstein and Emile Gladstone at ICM
Production: Bad Robot, DMG Entertainment
“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile” by Michael Werwie: 31 mentions
Logline: Based on a true (and ultimately surprising) story, a promising young law student fights an oppressive legal system and growing public scrutiny when his routine traffic stop snowballs into shocking criminal charges, imprisonment, daring escapes, and ultimately acting as his own attorney in a nationally televised murder trial.
Agency: Peter Dodd, David Flynn, Jon Huddle and David Kramer at UTA
Management: Stephen Gates and Brad Kaplan at Evolution Entertainment
Production: Michael Costigan
“Glimmer” by Carter Blanchard: 29 mentions
Logline: When three friends go missing on a camping trip in a forest rumored to be haunted, the two left behind discover clues that lead them to a safe deposit box containing video tapes… showing exactly what happened to their friends.
Agency: David Boxerbaum at Paradigm
Management: Ryan Cunningham and Adam Kolbrenner at Madhouse Entertainment
Production: Madhouse Entertainment
“Me & Earl & the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews: 29 mentions
Logline: Based on Andrews’ eponymous novel, a quirky high school student who enjoys making films sparks a friendship with a classmate dying of leukemia.
Agency: Anna Deroy and Sarah Self at WME
Management: Michelle Knudsen and Mason Novick at MXN
Production: Indian Paintbrush
“Devils at Play” by James Dilapo: 28 mentions
Logline: In the Soviet Union in 1937, a worker of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs finds a list of traitors, which he thinks is going to be his way out.
Agency: Aaron Hart, Rob Herting and Adam Levine at Verve
Management: Alex Lerner at Kaplan/Perrone
26 mentions – “Sweet Virginia” by Paul China and Benjamin China
25 mentions – “Fathers and Daughters” by Brad Desch
23 mentions – “Shut In” by Christina Hodson
22 mentions – “The Keeping Room” by Julia Hart
21 mentions – “If They Move… Kill ‘Em!” by Kel Symons
20 mentions – “Americatown” by Ben Poole, “The Judge” by Bill Dubuque and “Sand Castle” by Chris Roessner
18 mentions – “George” by Jeff Shakoor
17 mentions – “The Fault In Our Stars” by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber and “The One That Got Away” by April Prosser
16 mentions – “The Ballad of Pablo Escobar” by Matt Aldrich, “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” by Mark Hogan and “Man of Tomorrow” by Jeremy Slater
15 mentions – “El Tigre” by Aaron Buchsbaum and Teddy Riley and “Murder City” by Will Simmons
14 mentions – “The Final Broadcast” by Chris Hutton and Eddie O’Keefe and “The Survivalist” by Stephen Fingleton
12 mentions – “The Broken” by John Glosser, “The Disciple Program” by Tyler Marceca and “Jojo Rabbit” by Taika Waititi
11 mentions – “All-Nighter” by Brad Ingelsby, “McCarthy” by Justin Kremer, “Who Framed Tommy Callahan?” by Harry Kellerman and
“The Winter Kills” by Ben Carney
10 mentions – “Our Name Is Adam” by T.S. Nowlin, “The Portland Condition” by Dan Cohn and Jeremy Miller, “Somacell” by Ashleigh Powell and “Untitled Cops Script” by Blake McCormick
9 mentions – “Conversion” by Marissa Jo Cerar, “Goodbye, Felix Chester” by Max Taxe and “Penny Dreadful” by Shane Atkinson
8 mentions – “Border Country” by Jonathan Stokes, “Doppelgangers” by Evan Mirzai and Shea Mirzai, “The Equalizer” by Richard Wenk, “Ground Control to Major Tom” by Jason Micallef, “Out of State” by Eric Pearson and “Times Square” by Taylor Materne and Jake Rubin
7 mentions – “Bleeding Kansas” by Russell Sommer and Dan Frey, “Ex Boyfriend of the Bride” by Matt Hausfater, “Hibernation” by Will Frank and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, “The Hooverville Dead” by Brantley Aufil, “The Killing Spree” by Derek Elliott and Jack Donaldson, “Midnight at Noon” by Nathaniel Halpern, “The Outskirts” by Dominique Ferarri and Suzanne Wrubel, “Stockholm, Pennsylvania” by Nikole Beckwith and “Transcendence” by Jack Paglen
6 mentions – “Almanac” by Jason Pagan and Andrew Stark, “Come and Find Me” by Zack Whedon, “Don’t Make Me Go” by Vera Herbert, “The Eel” by Roberto Bentivegna, “Fuck Marry Kill” by Neel Shah and Alex Blagg, “Hold On to Me” by Brad Ingelsby, “King of Heists” by Will Staples, “The Lighthouse” by Eric Kirsten, “Monsoon” by Matt Ackley, “The Paper Man” by Sean O’Keefe and “Peste” by Barbara Marshall and “Titans of Park Row” by Mitch Akselrad