How a Simple Email Survey Pulled Scripts Out of Hollywood Purgatory & Turned Them Into Award-Winning Films




How did the Black List get started? Not the Hollywood blacklist that ruined the careers of countless directors, actors and actresses during the 1940s and 1950s. No, we mean the Black List, created by Franklin Leonard in 2005, which has allowed more than 300 scripts, once stuck in Hollywood purgatory, to get turned into feature films–films like Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, Argo and Spotlight.  This all started when Leonard created a simple survey, asking nearly 100 movies executives to name their favorite scripts that had not yet been made as feature films. The new Vox video above tells the rest of the story.

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Related Content:

Jean-Paul Sartre Writes a Script for John Huston’s Film on Freud (1958)

When Aldous Huxley Wrote a Script for Disney’s Alice in Wonderland

How Movie Studios Rejected Scripts During the Silent-Film Era: A Cold, 17-Point Checklist Circa 1915


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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.