Sorry Your Screenplay Didn’t Make the 2012 Black List

It’s okay. It’s okay. We know. And you’re right—this was going to be your year. Your script had everything. We loved it! We struggled a bit with the Manic Pixie characters and the scene with the cellist on the subway lost us a bit, and then there was that part you wanted in Claymation with the sea monster, but we believed you when you said it would look cool on the screen. We had faith. Maybe you should take another year with it. Yeah, we know. Well, Rajiv Joseph has a Pulitzer nomination. You won the Lake County Independent Schools Young Authors contest in the eighth grade. It’s okay. Yes, he’s had more grants than you. You know what? Let’s go for a beer and talk this out. Come on. Put your head on my shoulder. There, there.

For those of you who aren’t devastated about your screenplay not making “Hollywood’s” (Hollywood in the most mysterious and hivemind-y sense, too, as hundreds of executives vote) list of the best un-produced screenplays, it hit the web yesterday for you to peruse in its full glory. A couple of the key films on the list have already are sort of in development and even have actors and directors attached, including Jack Paglen’s Transcendence, “An epic love story set in a time where a dying scientist is able to upload his consciousness into the Internet and… must fight against the forces who are actively working against the existence of a singularity,” and the top pick, Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman’s Draft Day:

“On the day of the NFL Draft, Bills General Manager Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to save football in Buffalo when he trades for the number one pick. He must quickly decide what he’s willing to sacrifice in pursuit of perfection as the lines between his personal and professional life become blurred.”

Joseph has a pretty strong track record for the stage and small screen: his play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2010. He also wrote for several seasons of Nurse Jackie. Rothman has written humor pieces for The Huffington Post and FunnyOrDie, as well as the in-development feature film Frat Boy, about a child who is abandoned on the lawn of a fraternity house and raised by the brothers, so there’s that. According to IMDb, Kevin Costner was considered at one point for the lead role, with Ivan Reitman (Meatballs) directing. Reitman is listed as a producer of the film.

Going for immediate Oscar bait must have been a theme here, because biopics and “based on true events” stories fared well in the first half of the list. Seuss, Eyal Podell and Jonathan Stewart’s depiction of a young Ted Geisel meeting his wife Helen and writing The Cat In The Hat and Rodham, Young Il Kim’s take on a young Hillary Clinton at the Watergate hearings, both scored high, while further down on the list are The Ballad of Pablo Escobar and Hey, Stella!, which explores Marlon Brando as he as cast as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. Adaptations of Ted Chiang’s Story of Your Life and John Green’s wildly popular young adult novel The Fault In Our Stars are also present.

This is all well and good, but I think the film that sounds the most promising of the bunch is Tucker Parsons’ Whalemen, in which “The leader of a fourteenth century Scottish whaling village must seek out and do battle with a whale many times larger than any he has ever seen in order to ransom back his son from the occupying English.” It sounds like a strange amalgam of Moby-Dick, Braveheart and Taken, and it could maybe work? Maybe? You could put Liam Neeson in it and you’ve got an instant classic. 

Diablo Cody’s Career Impervious to Legions of Haters

Many, many people seem to outright despise Oscar winning screenwriter Diablo Cody. On any given day, the message boards on her imdb page fairly seethe with vicious, ad hominem attacks. She’s fat. Talentless. A one-hit wonder. A blight on the cinematic landscape. I’ll admit I’m not much of a fan myself, but I can’t get behind these arguments either. She’s no hack, and as for her physical proportions, it’s probably worth nothing that a.) she’s not an actress, and b.) she just gave birth to a baby boy not six days ago. (Congrats!) The haters, of course, will likely go on hating, but for all their collective sour-grape-y ire, her career still seems to be in the ascendant—Jennifer’s Body notwithstanding. Cody’s got a new talk show she’s hosting, and another feature in the works that will again pair her with golden-boy director Ivan Reitman.

Her talk show, Red Band Trailer, is a lo-fi, ten minute webisode deal wherein she interviews various celebs (Adam Brody, Chelsea Handler) inside an actual Silverstream trailer. She’s not the greatest interviewer, granted, but the pieces are short enough that they won’t tire you out. Her new film, Young Adult, is about a ghost writer of tweener fiction who attempts to reclaim her identity by reconnecting with her high school boyfriend. Deadline reports that Charlize Theron is set to star and that the pic will likely begin shooting in November. Somebody out there must like her.

Here’s the pilot for Red Band Trailer:

Billy Murray and the ‘Myth’ of ‘Ghostbusters 3’

Not that I find this in the least bit troubling, mind you, but I’m beginning to suspect Ghostbusters 3 will never materialize. Dan Aykroyd wrote a script in the 90’s, about a group of callow recruits who come in and replace the originals, but nothing ever came of it. Then Harold Ramis opened up a while ago and said the problem was really a lack of interest. Ivan Reitman looked, if only for a second, like maybe he could get it off the ground, but then Sony suddenly had reservations about a director who by Hollywood standards is 176 years old. So this just isn’t happening right? Bill Murray, for his part, wants to put the whole thing to rest. “It’s just a myth. It’s like the white alligator in the sewer, you know? Who’s seen it, really?”

Cinemablend caught Murray at the Tribeca Film Festival doing press for his new picture, Get Low, and when the conversation turned to Ghosbusters, Murray was pretty outspoken:

“It’s just really the movie studio. They love the franchise, they’d just like to re-create it again. All this talk is just talk. It drives me nuts, it’s just people talking. And now, it’s like, on the street people go ‘hey, hey, hey,’ you know, why don’t you go back to high school? Quit bothering me. Until someone actually creates a great script it’s just hogwash, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s interesting that people are interested in it, they’d like to see it. It was a great thing, it really was fun. Maybe it should. And if it’s such a good idea, then someone will write the screenplay.”

Quit bothering me? Okay fine, Bill, we will.