The best unmade screenplays (that were eventually turned into hits)
Part of the illustrious 2010 list that included American Hustle and The Hunger Games. Producer George Clooney fought four years to greenlight this real-life drama set during the 1979-80 Iran hostage crisis. It paid off, as both Clooney and director/star Affleck walked away with the Best Picture Oscar.
THE REVENANT (2015)
If you thought DiCaprio’s character went through a lot in this survival thriller, spare a thought to those who tried to get it made. Adapted from a Michael Punke novel in 2001, the script made the 2007 Black List, but took another eight years to get made. it also ended Leo’s own long wait for recognition – winning him the Best Actor Oscar.
The most recent Best Picture winner made the 2013 edition of the Black List. Despite rave reviews, the film’s subject matter (journalists exposing abuse within the Catholic Church) caused studios to sweat, but an all-star cast helped the film become a modern classic, earning 71 awards and over 100 nominations.
JENNIFER’S BODY (2009)
There were absolutely no awards for this messy horror-comedy which featured on the 2007 list, purchased off the back of writer Diablo Cody’s success with Juno. Sadly, this Megan Fox vehicle was devoid of laughs, scares, or memorable moments. Proof that making the list doesn’t always guarantee a hit.
A part of 2010’s Black List, Serena had big names attached – initially Angelina Jolie was lined up for the title role, which eventually went to Jennifer Lawrence alongside Silver Linings Playbook co-star Bradley Cooper. A recipe for success? Not so much. A long delay in release (over two years) gave the film a bad reputation, and once it hit screens that was confirmed. The drab depression-era melodrama proved a blip for everyone involved.
JOHN WICK (2014)
Keanu Reeves on a mission to avenge his dead puppy – a unique pitch that got the script (originally titled Scorn) on the 2012 list alongside Whiplash and the similarly-themed thriller The Equalizer. Despite a modest budget and, in Reeves, a star who hadn’t had a bonafide hit in years, the bullet-riddled romp struck a chord. John Wick: Chapter 2 hits our screens in February.