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 battled for four years to green-light this hostage drama, and it paid off: He and the film’s director/star, Ben Affleck, walked away with the 2012 Oscar for Best Picture.
THE REVENANT (2015)
If you thought DiCaprio’s character went through a lot in this survival thriller, spare a thought for those who tried to get it made. Adapted from the story by Michael Punke in 2001, the script made the 2007 list but took eight years to hit the screen. It did end Leo’s long wait for recognition, though: He won the Best Actor Oscar.
The most recent Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards featured on the 2013 Blacklist. The screenplay’s subject matter—journalists expose abuse within the Catholic Church—put some studios in a weat, but an all-star cast helped make the film a modern classic, earning it 71 awards and almost double that in 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.