The annual ‘Black List’ of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood has arrive for 2016 with Elyse Hollander’s “Blonde Ambition” easily topping it with forty-eight votes. That film is set in 1980s New York as singer Madonna struggles to get her first album released while navigating fame, romance, and a sexist music industry.
It comes well ahead of runner-up “Life Itself” by Dan Fogelman. That is described as a multigenerational love story that weaves together a number of characters whose lives intersect over the course of decades from the streets of New York to the Spanish countryside.
Others on the list include Zach Dean’s “Voyagers” about the love affair of scientists Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, Nick Yarborough’s “Letters from Rosemary Kennedy” about JFK’s mentally disabled sister who was committed and lobotomized, Liz Hannah’s “The Post” about the Pentagon Papers expose, Matt Fruchtman’s “Dark Money” about an insider trading scandal, and Christie LeBlanc’s “O2” about a woman who must escape a cryogenic chamber before her air runs out,
Here’s the full list:
“BLONDE AMBITION” (48 votes) by Elyse Hollander
In 1980s New York, Madonna struggles to get her frst album released while navigating fame, romance, and a music industry that views women as disposal.
“LIFE ITSELF” (35 votes) by Dan Fogelman
A multigenerational love story that weaves together a number of characters whose lives intersect over the course of decades from the streets of New York to the Spanish countryside and back.
“THE OLYMPIAN” (35 votes) by Tony Tost
The true story of an underdog rower trying to make it into the 1984 Olympics, told through the story of his relationships with his coach, his father, his fancée, and with competition itself.
“THE POST” (35 votes) by Liz Hannah
Before Watergate, there was the Pentagon Papers. This is the true story of how Washington Post scion Katharine Graham and legendary editor Ben Bradlee overcame their differences to publish the story that would change their lives.
“VOYAGERS” (28 votes) by Zach Dean
The cosmic love story of Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan.
“IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE” (25 votes) by Colby Day
Explores the entire history of the universe and our species through three interwoven storylines that question the very nature of life, love, mortality, where we’ve been, and where we’re going; the past, present, and future of the human race.
“O2” (22 votes) by Christie LeBlanc
Waking up inside a cryogenic chamber with no memory of how she got there, Charlie must somehow escape the chamber before her air runs out.
“UNTITLED LAX MANDIS PROJECT” (22 votes) by Seth Spector
A frustrated film exec at odds with the state of his industry is forced to work with the one person who is making him question everything.
“DARK MONEY” (21 votes) by Matt Fruchtman
The true story of a young stock trader who goes to work for billionaire tycoon Steve Cohen and gets involved in the biggest insider trading scandal in history.
“LETTERS FROM ROSEMARY KENNEDY” (21 votes) by Nick Yarborough
Told through a series of letters to family members, the tragic true story of Rosemary Kennedy, a vibrant, passionate young woman and oldest daughter of Joe and Rose Kennedy. Born with a severe learning disability, Rosemary so worried her father with her erratic behavior that he believed the stigma of mental illness in the family would ruin his plans to build a political dynasty. He hid her away in convents and sanitariums and ultimately had her lobotomized.
“LINDA AND MONICA” (20 votes) by Flint Wainess
The absolutely crazy true story of the relationship between Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp, the woman who nearly destroyed the Clinton presidency – and herself in the process.
“HALA” (19 votes) by Minhal Baig
When a teenaged Muslim-American girl, struggling with identity issues already, discovers her father is having an afair with a colleague, she responds by seducing her English teacher, ultimately leading to her parents’ divorce.
“THE MISERABLE ADVENTURES OF BURT SQUIRE ABOARD THE HORN HIGH YO” (18 votes) by Ben Bolea
The unbelievable true story of a family man from Alaska in the midst of a midlife crisis who embarks on what he hoped would be a dream sailing vacation but ends up shipwrecked in the Atlantic Ocean with a charming but psychotic sea captain who has decided to stop taking his medication.
“THE TIME TRAVELER’S LA RONDE” (18 votes) by Tom Dean
An exploration of relationships as a man witnesses diferent types of love across the ages.
“REVOLVER” (17 votes) by Kate Trefry
Based on true events in Anchorage, Alaska in 1966, a teen girl attempts to sneak into the hotel where the Beatles are staying to lose her virginity to George Harrison.
“FAIRY GODMOTHER” (15 votes) by Chiara Atik
When sought after Fairy Godmother Faye is hired by a mind-bogglingly gorgeous teenage client, Kenzie, to fnd her true love with the hottest prince in the land, Faye fnds herself facing an unfamiliar challenge when the prince starts falling for her instead.
“FREE GUY” (15 votes) by Matt Lieberman
A bank teller stuck in his routine discovers he’s a background character in a realistic, open world action-adventure video game and he is the only one capable of saving the city.
“THE KINGS OF MAINE” (15 votes) by Kathy Charles
Living with his wife and child in a trailer while working as a janitor, Stephen King struggles with alcoholism and his own dark history as he attempts to complete Carrie.
“LAYLA…AND OTHER ASSORTED LOVE SONGS” (15 votes) by Derek Weissbein
Based on the lives and times of Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and Pattie Boyd and the tumultuous love triange that inspired an entire generation of music.
“MAXIMUM KING!” (15 votes) by Shay Hatten
An outlandish, surreal imagining of how in 1985 Stephen King wrote and directed his horror classic Maximum Overdrive.
“BATTLE OF ALCATRAZ” (14 votes) by Neil Widener, Gavin James
A plan to escape from Alcatraz prison turns into a battle and hostage crisis that pits armed prisoners against US Army troops for two full days.
“I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW” (14 votes) by Mike Makowsky
The apocalypse proves a blessing in disguise for one lucky recluse — until a second survivor arrives with the threat of companionship.
“MAN ALIVE” (14 votes) by Joe Greenberg
After an alien invasion takes over the minds of humankind, one survivor known as “Man” must make peace with the alien force to fight a greater evil.
“MOTHER” (14 votes) by Michael Lloyd Green
A teenage girl is raised underground by a robot “Mother” – designed to repopulate the earth’s surface following an extinction-level event. But their unique bond is threatened when an inexplicable stranger arrives with alarming news.
“UNTITLED LATE NIGHT COMEDY” (14 votes) by Mindy Kaling
A veteran late-night talk show host comes close to losing her job after hiring the show’s frst female writer.
“KING OF LA” (13 votes) by Chris Bremner
Set in the 1980s, based on the true story of a man who went from star DEA agent to convicted drug trafficker in the worst corruption scandal in DEA history.
“LET THE EVIL GO WEST” (13 votes) by Carlos Rios
In the 1800s, a father desperate to care for his family finds a barrel of gold, that may be less fortune than great curse.
“VILLAINS” (13 votes) by Dan Berk, Robert Olsen
Two small time robbers become prisoners when they break into a house and discover a ten year old girl chained up in the basement.
“HART YOU” (12 votes) by Zoe McCarthy
Estranged siblings pose as a married couple in the Amalfi Coast to win a cash prize.
“JAMES CAMERON’S TITANIC” (12 votes) by Jen D’Angelo
A Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead take on Titanic. An overprotective mother attempts to keep her teenage daughter, young son, and rowdy sister together while sailing on the doomed voyage of the Titanic in 1912.
“NORTHEAST KINGDOM” (12 votes) by Alex R. Johnson
When Angie witnesses the betrayal and murder of her father during a smuggler’s drop, the vigilant and determined young woman calls in the help of a mysterious female assassin to seek revenge against all those responsible.
“BARBARIAN” (11 votes) by Rosalind Ross
Based on the true story of Boudicca, a queen and warrior of the British Celtic Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire.
“THE BUILDER” (11 votes) by Tom Cartier
A look inside the tortuous drama of Donald Trump’s frst Manhattan real estate deal, his relationships with troubled older brother Freddy and famed fixer Roy Cohn, and how they all created the Trump of today.
“UNTITLED FAIRY TALE” (11 votes) by Cat Vasko
A handsome prince falls in love with a commoner, so her fairy Godmother turns her in to a perfect princess. But when the spell works a little too well, the prince embarks on a quest to reverse it, not realizing that he’s endangering the entire fairy tale universe.
“ADRIFT” (10 votes) by Aaron Kandell, Jordan Kandell
In this incredible true story of love and survival, Tami Ashcraft sails into the heart of a hurricane and embarks on a harrowing 41 day odyssey against impossible odds to save the man she loves.
“KINGS CANYON” (10 votes) by Evan Parter, Paul Hilborn
At the height of the Cold War, Air Force pilot Lieutenant David Steeves vanishes over the Sierra Nevada mountains in a high-value jet. Fifty-four days later, left for dead, he crawls out of the wild with an impossible tale of survival. The media and military brand him a hero, launching him to fame and fortune, only to call him into question when certain discrepancies in his story point to his being a hoax, or worse — a traitor.
“THE LAST DAYS OF NIGHT” (10 votes) by Graham Moore
Attorney Paul Cravath takes on Thomas Edison in a legal battle to determine whether Edison or his rival George Westinghouse will provide the electricity to light America.
“LEE” (10 votes) by Chris Urch
An emotionally charged depiction of the six months leading up to one of Alexander McQueen’s greatest shows, probing both his personal and professional personas.
“LIBERTY” (10 votes) by Jayson Rothwell
The truly astonishing tale of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi – the French sculptor wholly responsible for designing, building, and delivering the Statue of Liberty across the Atlantic to where it stands today.
“SAVING CHARLIE CHAPLIN” (10 votes) by Justin Shady
With Nazi agents attempting to stop the production of a film that is poking fun at Hitler, an FBI agent and an LAPD detective must team up to protect a drunk and angry Charlie Chaplin from being kidnapped.
“TWO BUTTERFLIES” (10 votes) by Evan Dodson
Torn apart by tragedy, two estranged sisters are forced to reunite and confront their difderences after one sister must be transported to an Alzheimer’s facility.
“THE WOMAN WITH RED HAIR” (10 votes) by Michael Schatz
The extraordinary true story of Johanna “Hannie” Schaft, a young woman who dropped out of college to join the Dutch Resistance during WWII, eventually becoming one of their most talented assassins and one of the Nazis’ most wanted enemies.
“AMERICAN REBEL” (9 votes) by Christopher Cosmos
The true story of Deborah Sampson, a woman from Massachusetts who risked her life by disguising herself as a man and joining the Continental Army to help fight for independence during the Revolutionary War.
“RUGGED” (9 votes) by April Prosser
Four dysfunctional female coworkers get lost in the wilderness during a team-building trip and must work together in order to survive.
“TURNED ON” (9 votes) by Charlie Kesslering
When a socially awkward engineer creates an android to fill in for her, things go awry when it becomes self actualized.
“BOYFRIEND MATERIAL” (8 votes) by Mackenzie Dohr
In the near future, a heartbroken girl who hates technology participates in an experiment that allows you to program a robot into your dream man.
“THE BURNING SEASON” (8 votes) by Jenny Halper
A primatologist takes her teenage daughter to a remote region of Madagascar, where her determination to save endangered lemurs puts their relationship and safety at risk. Based on the short story “What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us” by Laura Van Den Berg.
“CONTINGENCY PROTOCOL” (8 votes) by Mark Townend
When futuristic technology renders the Federal Witness Protection Program obsolete, the U.S. Government begins using Time Travel to hide high-profile witnesses in the Past. When a security breach occurs, a U.S. Marshal and her witness struggle to find their way back to the Present Day while evading assassins.
“A DECONSTRUCTION OF REALITY” (8 votes) by Mattson Tomlin
Tasked with finding a game changing take for the sixth Jason Bourne movie, Tom Milton goes deep down the rabbit hole of cracking the story. With the guidance” (and abuse) of a professor from his past and Bourne himself, Tom begins workshopping scenes that begin to bleed into real life in unexpected ways.
“THE FRUITCAKE” (8 votes) by Trey Selman
The remarkable true story of an unremarkable church-going accountant who stole $17 million in the biggest fruitcake heist of all time.
“THE HUNCHBACK” (8 votes) by Topher Rhys-Lawrence
Defying an isolationist, fear-mongering government, a gypsy revolutionary, a mutinous soldier, and a deaf hunchback become the champions of human tolerance and the symbols for a peaceful future in a dystopian revision of Victor Hugo’s novel.
“I, TONYA” (8 votes) by Steven Rogers
Based on the author’s irony free, wildly contradictory, totally true interviews with Tonya Harding and Jef Gillooly.
“INNER CITY” (8 votes) by Dan Gilroy
When a hard nosed liberal lawyer who has been fighting the good fight while others take the credit assumes the role of his crusading firm’s front man, he discovers some unsettling things about what they’ve done, resulting in an existential crisis that leads to extreme action.
“ORB” (8 votes) by Steve Desmond, Michael Sherman
Inspired by actual events from a phenomenon that occurred in 1974, a young married couple discover a mysterious metallic orb in the woods near their house following a meteor shower. While the unusual object dazzles the couple by exhibiting some awe-inspiring properties, its true purposes are revealed to be far more sinister than they could ever imagine.
“BURN RUN” (7 votes) by Matt Tente
In war-torn Afghanistan, an American mercenary team is hired to escort a 20-ton heroin seizure bound for destruction but get caught up in a botched drug deal when their leader goes rogue, forcing them to overcome various enemies who wish to steal it.
“THE FALL” (7 votes) by Pete Bridges
Finding themselves in the middle of an alien invasion, a newly divorced couple must survive a dangerous real-time journey on foot from downtown Atlanta to the suburbs, where their young children are home alone.
“THE GUN SHOW” (7 votes) by Lucas Carter
A famous top cop wakes up twenty years after a shootout and is reinstated to solve the case that killed his old partner. Only problem: he’s a bull in a China shop, and 2016 is a very diferent time than the 1990s world he’s used to. To teach him the ropes, he’s paired with his old partner’s son, a risk averse trafc cop.
“THE HOUSEWIFE” (7 votes) by Alyssa Hill
Based on a true story set in 1960s New York, a journalist finds and investigates a woman whom he believes is married to a Nazi in hiding. Their relationship results in the frst ever extradition of an American citizen for war crimes.
“HUMMINGBIRD” (7 votes) by John Tyler Mclain
A black-ops assassin’s latest mark forces her to question the truth of her identity and ultimately confront the unsettling fact that she’s more than a hired gun, she’s an entirely new breed of weapon.
“PALMER” (7 votes) by Cheryl Guerriero
A recently paroled convict returns to his hometown in the South, where he forms an unlikely-but-powerful bond with a young, efeminate boy.
“REASON OF STATE” (7 votes) by Matthew Orton
Twenty four hours inside the British Prime Minister’s abode at 10 Downing Street.
“ALLISON ADAMS” (6 votes) by Devon Graye
A little girl goes missing in a small town, and the key to fnding her resides with four disparate women who share nothing in common except for the young girl’s name…Allison Adams.
“AMERICA: THE MOTION PICTURE” (6 votes) by Dave Callaham
An R-rated action comedy, animated, revisionist history of the founding of the United States of America.
“BAD EDUCATION” (6 votes) by Mike Makowsky
The unfolding of the single largest public school embezzlement scandal in United States history – an incredible true story that pits corrupt educators against dogged student journalists against the backdrop of a cutthroat Long Island suburb.
“BITTER PILL” (6 votes) by Turner Hay
When an out-of-work divorced mother stops taking the court-ordered medication that made her feel like a zombie, her brazenly immoral, 15-year-old imaginary friend appears to help get her life back on track.
“CAPTAIN INFINITY” (6 votes) by Harry Tarre
When his comic book obsessed fve-year-old brother is diagnosed with cancer, Oscar Ruiz attempts to shield him from the truth by convincing him that his “treatment” is all part of a top secret program to become a superhero.
“CARNADA” (6 votes) by Katharine Werner
Based on true events. In post-Cuban Missile Crisis Miami, an ambitious young CIA agent receives a career making opportunity in becoming the case officer for a charismatic Cuban ambassador offering to help eliminate Fidel Castro. As their relationship grows, however, he begins to question the mission and the true motives of his superiors.
“DONZIGER” (6 votes) by Jay Carson, Matt Bai
After twenty years, Steven Danziger wins a $19 billion verdict against Chevron for poisoning rural lands in Ecuador. Chevron responds by hiring heavy hitter Randy Mastro determined to have the entire verdict thrown out.
“ESCAPE FROM SARAJEVO” (6 votes) by Vanya Asher
Based on the author’s father’s escape from Sarajevo in 1992, the harrowing and heartbreaking tale of one man’s mission to get back to his family.
“HOTEL ARTEMIS” (6 votes) by Drew Pearce
In riot-torn, near-future Los Angeles, the wrong six people become trapped for the night in Hotel Artemis – a secret, members-only emergency room for criminals.
“MILLER’S GIRL” (6 votes) by Jade Bartlett
A precocious young writer becomes involved with her high school creative writing teacher in a dark comingof-age drama that examines the blurred lines of emotional connectivity between professor and protégé, child and adult.
“MR. TOY” (6 votes) by Chai Hecht
The true story of Marvin Glass, brilliant, charismatic, self-loathing, paranoid, demanding – and probably the greatest inventor of all time.
“SPACE ODDITY” (6 votes) by Rebecca Banner
A young man obsessed with taking a one-way trip to Mars begins to question his motives when he starts to fall in love with the Insurance Agent underwriting his trip.