2013 Black List/Hit List Selections Include Moon Landings, Memory Thieves, And Carl Sagan’s Love Life
“The Golden Record” by Aaron Kandell & Jordan Kandell (72 votes on Hit List 2013)
Invoking the name of Sagan is a surefire way to get our attention. As with most of the people on these lists, the Kandells — identical twins, apparently — don’t have much by way of produced credits yet, but they apparently have other projects in the works at Paramount, Warner Bros., and HBO. Now the big question: who should play Carl Sagan?
Inspired by the incredible true story of how Carl Sagan fell in love while leading the widest mission in NASA history: a golden record to encapsulate the experience of life on earth for advanced extraterrestrial life.
“How to Defeat Your Own Clone” by Edward Ricourt (21 votes on Hit List 2013)
Ricourt cowrote last year’s surprise hit Now You See Me, and he’s got several other projects in the works. The Bourne Identity’s Doug Liman is one of the producers on How to Defeat Your Own Clone. It’s based on the book of the same title by Kyle Kurpinski and Terry D. Johnson.
Pitched as Chronicle meets Looper. Story centers on the last remaining humans as they attempt to survive a clone revolution.
“Mecha” by Ben Magid (17 votes on Hit List 2013)
Magid first caught Hollywood’s attention when his script Pan, a dark and twisted take on the Peter Pan mythology, landed on the 2006 Black List. He was previously hired to adapt the comic series Hack/Slash for Universal, but that project seems to be mired thoroughly in development hell. Nicholas Meyer’s Sierra/Affinity is producing Mecha.
A young survivor of a robot uprising must find a way to avoid detection.
“Omega Point” by Cameron Alexander (11 votes on Hit List 2013)
Alexander has several shorts under his belt and has worked in music videos, but Omega Point is his first spec sale. CBS Films and Rosa Entertainment are producing.
Pitched as being in the vein of Chronicle. A reclusive artist suffering from the loss of his fiancé helps a mysterious crash-landed Artificial Intelligence rebuild a transport home and develops a unique friendship in the process — but a ruthless government investigation threatens to stop them at any cost.
“Patient Z” by Mike Le (11 votes on Hit List 2013, 6 on Black List 2013)
Screen Gems picked up Le’s Patient Z, with Vincent Newman Entertainment producing.
In a post-apocalyptic world, a man with the ability to speak the languages of the undead interrogates zombies with the hopes of finding Patient Zero and a cure for his infected wife.
“Planet X” by Olatunde Osunsanmi (15 votes on Hit List 2013)
Osunsanmi was an assistant to director Joe Carnahan on the 2006 film Smokin’ Aces, and he went on to write and direct the pretty terrible 2009 alien-abduction flick The Fourth Kind. Say what you will about him, the dude’s got quite a few projects in the works so people must like the cut of his jib. He sold Planet X to Screen Gems.
While on an intergalactic research mission, three astronauts are forced to challenge their perception of reality to undercover the purpose behind their mission and unveil the secrets of Planet X.
“Red Strain” by Matthew Waynee (19 votes on Hit List 2013)
Waynee’s one highest-profile previously produced feature credit was the low-budget 2006 action flick Unknown, which starred Jim Caviezel and Greg Kinnear. Which, let’s face it, ain’t very high, but everybody’s got to start somewhere.
Pitched as Children of Men meets The Raid. In a future where victims of a contagious virus are locked away in huge quarantine towers, a black-market courier discovers his latest package holds the key to stopping the virus.
“Reminiscence” by Lisa Joy (79 votes on Hit List 2013, 20 on Black List 2013)
Joy has worked in television on shows such as Pushing Daisies and Burn Notice. Reminiscence is her first feature film sale, earning her a whopping seven figures from Legendary Entertainment, the folks behind upcoming projects such as Interstellar, Godzilla, and Jurassic World. Sounds like this is one to keep an eye on.
In a Blade Runner-esque Manhattan, Nick Bannister is a futuristic ‘archaeologist’ who helps clients relive and often get lost in their happiest memories. But when one client’s memories hold clues that implicate a wealthy and powerful family in drug trafficking and murder, Nick finds himself on the run to unravel a series of mysterious crimes which continually lead back to the very woman he loves.
“Sovereign” by Geoff Tock & Greg Weidman (24 votes on Black List 2013)
If Sovereign from Mass Effect hears about this, he’s gonna be pissed.
A man goes to space to destroy the ship that, upon going sentient, killed his wife.
While shooting a video yearbook for their high school, a pair of estranged best friends discover a malevolent force is taking over their town.
“Strings” by Rob McLellan (10 votes on Hit List 2013)
McLellan’s background is in visual effects work, so that sort of visual imaginations should lend itself well to a science fiction project. McLellan also has another project, Abe, set up at MGM, based on his short film of the same name.
Pitched as Inception meets Usual Suspects, to escape a seemingly endless debt, a team of thieves with the ability to time-travel agree to help a beautiful stranger take on a dangerous series of heists. But as the science behind the robberies becomes more and more unstable, the thief realizes that this femme fatale is more than she seems…
“Tranquility Base” by Daniel Turkewitz (67 votes on Hit List 2013)
Talk about breaking in in style: Tranquility Base is Turkewitz’s first ever script sale, and it got snatched up by no less than Ridley Scott and his Scott Free Productions.
When a global disaster strikes Earth, fifteen astronauts fight to secure a spot in a moon base only designed to support six.
“Wither” by Stephanie Koff (26 votes on Hit List 2013)
In addition to setting up her spec script Wither at Prospect Park, Warner Bros. hired Koff to write a script about explorer Marco Polo this past summer.
In a world where failed attempts at genetic perfection leave every new generation dead by age 25, Rhine Ellery is kidnapped and sold to a sadistic scientist as a bride for his son. To escape her gilded cage, she must earn her husband’s love before his father discovers that humanity’s cure is coursing through her veins.