Refresh for updates…The Black List — the annual roundup of Hollywood’s best-liked unproduced screenplays — has begun unveiling the titles selected for 2022.
This year’s list consists of 74 scripts by 80 writers, which were selected by 300+ film executives. The first selected script announced today is Pure by Catherine Schetina.
As usual, The Black List is rolling out its selections (in random order) via its official social media channels. The full breakdown will come into focus over the next hour-plus, so check back later this morning for the traditional, ranked presentation and our rep scorecard.
But for now, let’s examine The Black List’s 2021 track record, in terms of the films it’s seen produced. Titles off of last year’s list that are in the process of being made include Alex Convery’s Air Jordan, Justin Kuritzkes’ Challengers and Dennis Rodman’s 48 Hours in Vegas from screenwriter Jordan VanDina.
Named to the Black List by 13 execs, Convery’s Air Jordan tells the wild true story of how an upstart shoe company named Nike landed the most influential endorsement in sports history: Michael Jordan. Ben Affleck is directing the project, which is currently untitled, for Amazon Studios, Skydance Sports and Mandalay Pictures — also starring alongside Matt Damon, Jason Bateman, Viola Davis, Chris Tucker, Marlon Wayans, Chris Messina and more. Mandalay brought the script to Skydance Sports President Jon Weinbach, who then secured Vaccarro’s life rights. Affleck and Damon did a subsequent pass on the screenplay and are producing alongside Peter Guber, Jason Michael Berman, Jeff Robinov, Madison Ainley and David Ellison. Executive producers include Jon Weinbach, Jesse Sisgold, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Kevin Halloran, Michael Joe, John Graham, Drew Vinton, Jordan Moldo and Peter E. Strauss.
Named to the Black List by nine, Challengers is framed around a single tennis match at a low-level pro tournament, where three players who knew each other when they were teenagers — a world-famous grand slam winner, his ambitious wife/coach, and their old friend who’s now a burnout ranked 201 in the world — reignite old rivalries on and off the court. Luca Guadagnino directed the buzzy title, starring Zendaya, Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor, for MGM. Amy Pascal, Guadagnino, Zendaya and Rachel O’Connor of Pascal Pictures are producers on the pic slated for release on August 11, 2023.
Now titled 48 Hours in Vegas, VanDina’s film about the idiosyncratic former NBA star Dennis Rodman has been set up at Lionsgate. Its synopsis is as follows: Before Game 7 of the NBA finals, Rodman tells Phil Jackson he needs 48 hours in Vegas. What follows is a surreal adventure with his skittish assistant GM that involves a bull rodeo, parachuting out of a Ferrari and building a friendship that neither one of them ever thought was possible but will end up solving both of their problems. Jonathan Majors was circling the role of Rodman as of September, as we told you first. Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Aditya Sood will produce, with Ari Lubet, Will Allegra and Rodman exec producing.
While other 2021 Black List scripts including Colin Bannon’s Ultra, Murder Ink’s Homecoming and Brandon Constantine’s Lady Krylon have been picked up — by TriStar, Lionsgate and Stampede Ventures, respectively — the status of those projects is currently unclear.
Since The Black List’s founding in 2005, more than 440 of its selected screenplays have been produced, grossing over $30 billion in box office worldwide. Black List pics have won 54 Academy Awards from 267 nominations, including four of the last 12 Best Picture Oscars and 11 of the last 28 Best Screenplay Oscars. Notable titles previously named in the industry survey include Slumdog Millionaire, Argo, The King’s Speech, Spotlight, Free Guy, Queen & Slim, I, Tonya, All the Money in the World, Bird Box, The Post and Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Topping last year’s Black List was Daniel Jackson’s comedic script Cauliflower about an ambitious high school wrestler, under the cruel guidance of a mysterious coach, who struggles to become a state champion while battling a bizarre infection in his ear that both makes him dominant in his sport and threatens his sanity.