By Hannah Soo Park
What do “Argo,” “Looper” and “Chronicle” all have in common? Besides the fact that they were among this year’s stand-out movies, all three films were once lonely scripts floating around on the famed Black List, an annual compilation of the most favored unproduced screenplays. Based on the suggestions of over 290 execs, the List requires that scripts have at least six mentions to join the ranks, and is often a predictor of what we’ll see next in the line-up of forthcoming films.
From hot sports drama to sweeping biopics, 2012’s List brings in the usual suspects, along with a few unexpected gems we actually want to see get made. Here, we voice off on our top picks and potential casting choices—in other words, behold: our shameless “Make this movie, please!” memo for Hollywood.
“Rodham” (Young Il Kim)
Logline: During the height of the Watergate scandal, rising star Hillary Rodham is the youngest lawyer chosen for the House Judiciary Committee to Impeach Nixon, but she soon finds herself forced to choose between a destined path to the White House and her unresolved feelings for Bill Clinton, her former boyfriend who now teaches law in Arkansas.
Why We Want To See It: One of the more exciting biopics on the list, this screenplay follows a side of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that we’re not all too familiar with: her younger—and possibly scared—newbie self. And how can we resist a script that plays out the early days of Billary?
Who Should Star: Playing the 27-year-old Hillary Clinton could be a perfect break out opportunity for up-and-comers—like Elizabeth Olsen, Alison Pill or Mamie Gummer—who’d nail the slightly awkward nature that the younger, less-experienced Hillary Rodham might’ve had.
“Me & Earl & The Dying Girl” (Jesse Andrews)
Logline: Based on Andrews’ eponymous novel, a quirky high school student who enjoys making films sparks a friendship with a classmate dying of leukemia.
Why We Want To See It: We warmed up to teen-centric dramas with this year’s gem “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” and we would be delighted to see the genre take flight again by the way of “Me & Earl & The Dying Girl.” The story, which takes you inside the mind of a 17-year-old-boy, is reminiscent of “Perks” with its unconventional yet heart-filled plot.
Who Should Star: Seeing as this plays out to be an indie John Huges-style drama, we imagine the leading cast to an eccentric, individualistic bunch. If we’re going with the obvious choice, Michael Cera (the poster child of “quirky”) could take on the sarcastic, self-deprecating narrator Greg, while Elle Fanning or Analeigh Tipton are certainly suited to play the fragile, leukemia-stricken Rachel.
“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” (Michael Werwie)
Logline: Based on a true story, a promising young law student fights 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.
Why We Want To See It: Aside from its self-explanatory title, we’re also drawn to the fact that this story sounds like a superhero tale (Note key words: “fight,” “stop,” “daring”)—just take out the superhero part and add a feisty young lawyer type. Plus, the idea of a falsely accused man fighting to defend himself in the name of justice should make for decent courtroom drama, suitable for a rising young actor.
Who Should Star: The unnamed promising young law student is all who’s in question here, and we’re already imagining superhero alum Andrew Garfield, who (bonus alert) has also already fought a courtroom battle in “The Social Network,” as the tormented, innocent man under trial.
“Come and Find Me” (Zack Whedon)
Logline: When his girlfriend goes missing, David must track down her whereabouts after he realizes she’s not who she was pretending to be.
Why We Want To See It: We’re curious to see how Zack Whedon’s (yes, of the Joss) first feature film screenplay would come to life. He’s already had writing gigs with “Rubicon,” “Fringe” and “Deadwood,” and has also written a few comic books, perhaps proving that he’s got the imagination for, ultimately, the big screen.
Who Should Star: Plot details are pretty vague, but we’re going throw a few worthy names out there: Chris Hemsworth (a Joss Whedon alum!) and thriller fixture Amanda Seyfried for the main character and his girlfriend.
“Hey, Stella!” (Tom Shephard)
Logline: The story of how Marlon Brando won the role of Stanley Kowalski in Elia Kazan’s broadway play “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
Why We Want To See It: Because no one’s attempted to play Brando since his death in 2004. And the script seems to take an on-set approach, like “My Week With Marilyn,” which focused on Marilyn Monroe’s insecurities behind the camera. Similarly, “Hey, Stella!” might shine light on Brando’s notorious on-set method acting antics.
Who Should Star: As far as looks go, it’s already been settled that Tom Hardy is a doppelganger for Brando. Aside from his constant comparisons to the late and great actor, he’s also been known to bust out the classic method acting mumble in between takes—a “technique” Brando branded himself—so if you don’t mind, we’re resting our case on this one.