For those non-Hollywood insiders, the Black List is a list of the some of the popular movie scripts that have a seal of approval from a variety of top-tier film executives but have yet to go into production. The list came out a couple of weeks ago, but today people are still buzzing about the list now that its been published. The buzz is mostly because of a Hillary Clinton biopic, but I thought I’d take a look at some of the science fiction scripts to whet my appetite until the new episode of Arrow.
It’s a big deal to get on the list and some of these scripts you may see turned into movies in the years to come. Unfortunately, my script about fairy-ninjas didn’t make the cut this year. Oh well…
Here’s what did make the list:
Story of Your Life
Written by Eric Heisserer
Synopsis: This is based on the short story by Ted Chiang and it’s about a military linguistics expert who has to determine whether or not alien visitors come in peace or are a threat. She learns to communicate with the aliens but begins to get flashbacks that may reveal the true reason for the aliens’ presence.
Analysis: This got a lot of votes, and I love any alien story where the main problem is a “failure to communicate” as it can parallel so much to current society. Okay, I’ll stop being SO smart now…
Written by Carter Blanchard
Synopsis: After a camping trip amongst three friends goes awry, two of the friends find a safe deposit box that contains video tapes that might explain what happened to the missing third friend.
Analysis: Oh boy. Can there ever be a camping trip in a movie where nothing happens? The synopsis makes this film sound like there’s a found footage element to it, which I’m sure there’s a contingency of people rolling their eyes at another found footage movie. To which I say, please watch the “Bitten” from this season’s Supernatural and change your mind because if the characters are interesting, this could be a fun horror flick.
The Keeping Room
Written by Julia Hart
Synopsis: Taking place during the Civil War, three confederate women defend their home from the Union army.
Analysis: Oh, if only Quentin Tarantino didn’t JUST direct Django Unchained! If the production of this film manages to avoid the thin line of being mildly/extremely racist and/or sexist, this could be my new favorite, yet-to-be-made movie.
Written by Ben Poole
Synopsis: In the near future where China dominates the world, a former LAPD officer agrees to work for a crime lord to save his family from poverty.
Analysis: Again, if the movie is made, as long as there’s no inadvertent racism, I bet, as an Americans, we could likely face a real important reality check about what we take for granted living in a country that’s a global leader. Hang on a sec, I need to take a sip from my silo-sized latte from Starbucks…
By Tucker Parsons
Synopsis: In fourteenth century Scotland, a man must fight a gigantic whale in order to save his son who has been kidnapped by the English.
Analysis: Man fights giant whale. Sold.
Man of Tomorrow
By Jeremy Slater
Synopsis: It’s the 1940’s Chicago but in an alternative universe where the US government makes an agreement with a gangster to make Chicago a utopia if the gangster agrees to kill Hitler. However, Chicago doesn’t become a utopia and now the government is after this gangster.
Analysis: Okay, the logline makes the plot sound convoluted, but it did have me at kill Hitler. I mean, can we just get that rat-bastard already?
The Final Broadcast
By Chris Hutton and Eddie O’Keefe
Synopsis: A man who works at a radio station in a small town runs into trouble with a radical group who is planning a massive attack in conjunction with a lunar eclipse.
Analysis: I hate it when lunar eclipses make people act crazy-balls! Especially radical groups! In all honesty, if a radical group believes in lunar eclipses are they really that capable of causing mass destruction? Are they really that radical or just plain crazy? I don’t know why I’m not able to suspend my disbelief with this one, but maybe it’s because the lunar eclipse troll that lives in my mouth isn’t telling me what to think. That being said, I think most people like movies about small-town folks taking on out-of-this-world obstacles, so it certainly looks interesting.
By Stephen Fingleton
Synopsis: In a world where limited resources caused most of the population to die off, a lone farmer fends for himself until a woman arrives with her teenage daughter, looking for shelter.
Analysis: The romantic in me hopes this lone farmer learns to love. The cynic in me hopes there’s a plot twist involving zombies. The feminist in me hopes that the woman and daughter can be at least two-dimensional characters. The movie lover in me hopes there’s a ton of explosions and biker gangs.
By Jason Pagan and Andrew Stark
Synopsis: High schoolers figure out time travel and learn there could be penalties.
Analysis: If the script is good, I really hope it gets made. This generation needs a Space Camp, Weird Science, a Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure or any type of movie where high schoolers learn how to be responsible through scientific breakthroughs. I mean, if it weren’t for my discovery of time travel and the subsequent friendship I made with a brontosaurus, I wouldn’t have learned the importance of doing my algebra homework.
So, do any of these potential blockbusters look interesting to you?