The Black List 2012

Hi Film Folk!

The Black List 2012 was released yesterday.



For those who don’t know it, the black list is an annual document listing all the favourite unproduced screenplays of that year in the US. Appearing on the black list can make careers happen, with previous scripts including Juno, The Social Network and The Ides of March.

This year over 290 film executives chose a total of 78 scripts and scripts had to receive at least 6 mentions to make the list. Although the list’s founder, Franklin Leonard, is quick to say “the annual Black List is not a “best of” list. It is, at best, a “most liked” list.”



Here is the website’s official statement:

“The Black List is where moviemakers find great scripts to make and scripts find moviemakers to make them.

It began as a survey. In 2005, Franklin Leonard surveyed almost 100 film industry development executives about their favorite scripts from that year that had not been made as feature films. That first list – many of which have been made since – can be viewed here. Since then the voter pool has grown to about 500 film executives, 60% of whom typically respond.

Over 200 Black List screenplays have been made as feature films. Those films have earned over $16BN in worldwide box office, have been nominated for 148 Academy Awards, and have won 25, including Best Pictures SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and THE KING’S SPEECH and five of the last ten screenwriting Oscars. A complete list of Black List films is below.

In September 2012, we launched a membership site for industry professionals that functions as a real time Black List and screenplay recommendation engine. You can learn more here and sign up for membership here.

In October 2012, we extended our mission further by allowing screenwriters from the world to, for a small fee, upload their scripts to our database, have them evaluated by professional script readers, and subject to that evaluation and our recommendation algorithm, sent to our – at present – over 1000 film industry professionals. You can begin the process of being discovered here.”



You can download The Black List 2012 right here or on the official site.

The numbers in the left hand side correspond to the number of mentions received and the document starts with the highest mentioned script in town.


We have an interesting list this year. Our following statistics are not official and are by no means 100% accurate as we do not have all the information (some loglines read as several genres/tones and it is unclear which they are), but we have done our best to break the list down into categories:

Roughly speaking there are 29 thriller scripts, 23 drama, 12 comedy, 8 sci-fi and 2 horror, showing that seeing a ‘good guy/girl in a bad jam’ is still topping the list.

Approximately 16 are based on pre-existing material, most of them dramas and most enjoying themselves at the top end of the list. Many of these are also period set.

In fact, we’re interested in the drama statistics most of all, since they take up such a huge portion of the list. Many of the dramas are based on pre-existing material, some revolve around a family ‘overcoming things’ or are set during a tense political period . All, seemingly, very carefully thought out contexts. Contrary to how many writers approach their Drama projects, Drama isn’t about spilling your heart out onto a page. If anything it’s an area where you must be more careful and calculated about what affect your words are having on your reader. It looks like, to suceed, drama must offer up more than the tears/pain which some readers/cinemagoers shy away from and either contain valuable lessons or be based on existing source material. People are happy to go through the pain if a.) they have heard of the subject or b.) feel like they will come out learning something (which we assume the readers did!)

Which concepts grab you? Be sure to let us know via Facebook or Twitter.



Today (Tuesday) sees an online Q and A take place with selected Black List writers. Find it on twitter using #BlackList2012.

Join us on FACEBOOK or TWITTER and sign up to our emails on the right hand side for articles straight to your inbox.
Any questions/thoughts/experiences of your own??? Leave a comment below!
Have a great week!

The Film Doctor Team

 Check out our SERVICES

Leave a Reply

You have successfully subscribed!

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Film Doctor will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.
%d bloggers like this: