Preview the Movies of Tomorrow with the 2016 Black List
The wheels of progress turn slowly out in Hollywood. Stars can be minted overnight, sure, but the actual process of production can churn along at an extremely gradual pace; a screenwriter, for instance, can spend years trying to sell a script as it floats around the purgatory of studio heads’ desk piles. As such, every showbiz scribe dreams of landing their latest unproduced project on The Black List, an annual roundup of the hottest up-for-grabs screenplays that provides them with a highly valuable bump in publicity. In recent years, such fine films as Manchester by the Sea, Miss Sloane, Spotlight, and The End of the Tour have all begun on The Black List, and yesterday brought the official announcement of 2016’s lineup.
This year’s list collects 73 scripts from veterans and novices alike, forming a sort of crystal ball for the movies to come over the next few years. That’s a lot of reading, and while you can feel free to peruse the full list over at Deadline, we’ve singled out five that sound especially promising.
Topping the list is Blond Ambition, a sort of period biopic that chronicles a young Madonna’s struggle to complete her first studio record while combatting music-industry sexism on all sides. Surely some ambitious young actress looking to prove her dramatic bona fides will don the requisite facial prosthetics and fingerless gloves to play Her Madgesty. I’ll go right ahead and paste the entire description of In the Blink of an Eye that Deadline provides: “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.” What that could possibly mean, apart from some Tree of Life-esque tone poem, who knows.
The fact that Untitled Lax Mandis Project, a script that appears to lightly fictionalize the heretofore career of John Landis’ son Max, exists at all is sort of astonishing in its own way. Guaranteed to stir up a little controversy is Linda and Monica, an account of the relationship between Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp; the Deadline description calls it “absolutely crazy,” and I smell “political Thelma and Louise“ from a mile away. Wilder still is the concept for Hala, in which a young Muslim girl discovers her father is having an affair and takes her revenge by seducing her English teacher and driving a wedge in her parents’ marriage.
The future for movies looks — well, not bright, that’s a little much, but definitely not completely saturated with remakes, sequels, reboots, remakequels, and squeakquels.