Every year, film exec Franklin Leonard publishes the Black List, a roundup of the best unproduced screenplays of the prior year. Some – like Juno or The Social Network – go on to great acclaim. Others seem to set their sights a little lower, floating just on the edge of self-parody.
For example: this year’s Hovercar 3D. The name is pretty much all you need.
Or consider: F*cking Jane Austen. “Two men angry at Jane Austen for creating unrealistic romantic expectations among women today get sent back in time to the 19th century. The only way for them to return home is for one of them to sleep with Jane Austen.”
You couldn’t make that up. Except that somebody (Blake Burns) did. And Leonard deemed it one of the best things he’d seen all year.
That might be hard for non-movie-industry folks to believe. But they likely don’t get pitches all day, every day, like this one that recently floated across my desk: “It’s like The Sixth Sense. But without the ghosts.” Which is what? I see live people?
Obviously, the Black List is ripe for parody, and lists pop up yearly along those lines. This one, credited only to the semi-anonymous “KDF”, seemed particularly good.]
MY BRIDESMAID IS A SLUTTY ASSASSIN
The night before her wedding, a bride-to-be discovers that her bridesmaid is an international assassin … who has been contracted to kill her fiancée … and also, she’s a total slut.
FK YOU HOWIE KAPOWSKI, YOU’RE A FKING MOTHERF**KER
A young man loses his job due to a Lehman Brothers-type financial scandal and returns home to find that his former high school bully is now dating his mother, his grandmother, his stepmother, his ex-girlfriend, and his ex-girlfriend’s mother. Betty White is attached.
A mysterious darkness begins to fall across a sleepy town every night.
ROBERT FROST AND THE SUNKEN AZTEC TREASURE OF KING TUT
A reimagining of the life of Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Frost as a swashbuckling poet who kicks ass.
FRENEMIES WITH BENEFITS
When a young man’s longtime female best friend transforms into an evil zombie vampire, the two start sleeping together.
A CIA analyst relocates to the Republic of Yemen to hunt for an elusive terrorist, but soon finds himself being hunted by the terrorist … his former high school bully.
A contained thriller set entirely on a shopping mall escalator. A freshly laid off mall employee gets mixed up with a twisted sociopath who forces him to continue going up the down escalator in order to stay alive.
BEAUTY & THE BEAST & VAMPIRES & ZOMBIES & DOUCHEBAGS
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Beauty and the Beast must join forces to take on an army of vampires who then team up to take on an army of zombies who in turn team up to take on an army of douchebags. Betty White is attached.
UNTITLED RELEVANT FINANCIAL CRISIS THRILLER
A young hotshot securities trader must travel back in time to prevent his company from issuing collateralized debt obligations and unregulated credit default swaps. But things get ugly when the toxic assets begin to fight back.
When a single, socially awkward high school girl accidentally gets tagged in a photo of popular girls on Facebook, her life gets turned upside down for a few minutes. A modern retelling of She’s All That.
THE WEDDING REGISTRY
A bride-to-be, her sister, and her best friend register for her wedding at Williams- Sonoma. But when they realize they accidentally registered for Calphalon cookware instead of All-Clad, they must quickly race back to fix it. A female Hangover.
A quirky tale about an off-center middle manager who works for a faceless corporation and his best friend who is a Post-It Note.
On graduation night, five nerdy high school seniors set out to see who can contract the most sexually transmitted diseases. A modern day Superbad. Betty White is attached.