2012 Black List Is Chock Full of Violent Fare
On the same day that Joe Scarborough placed some blame for the recent mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., on the “gruesome Hollywood movies that dangerously desensitize those who struggle with mental-health challenges,” the Black List published its annual list of favorite unproduced screenplays.
Based on this year’s crop, there’s little chance that Hollywood is ready to call a cease-fire. The list, which represents the opinions of nearly 300 Hollywood executives and likely a significant chunk of the next wave of greenlit films, was chock full of violent fare, including the top-10 title Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile. Written by Michael Werwie, the screenplay is described in the logline as “a promising young law student (fighting) 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.”
Also making the cut are titles like Ben Carney’s The Winter Kills (another serial killer tale) and Neel Shah and Alex Blagg’s F--- Marry Kill (which revolves around three best friends who return for their high school reunion intent on righting all the wrongs done to them in high school … by either f---ing, marrying or killing their tormentors).
But Black List co-founder Franklin Leonard insists that this year’s honorees are fairly tame compared to year’s past. “I don’t think it’s a particularly violent year,” he says. “The revenge pic is not quite as hot as it has been in the past.”
Still, at least one vigilante project made this year’s list, Richard Wenk’s The Equalizer, which Sony is putting into production in the spring with Denzel Washington starring and Nicolas Winding Refn at the helm. Given Refn’s previous outing, the uber-violent Drive, Equalizer should have a sizeable body count.