Every year former Universal Pictures exec (and current vice president at Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment) Franklin Leonard publishes The Black List, a ranking of the year’s most celebrated yet unproduced screenplays as voted on by the Hollywood people who read them yet didn’t make them. And then every year some movie eventually gets put into development and is mentioned as being a “Black List finalist,” and then we explain the above, and then we mention again that, in the past, movies such as Juno, Lars And The Real Girl, (500) Days Of Summer, and The Social Network have all spent time on The Black List. And then every year, Deadline’s Nikki Finke prints the Black List with the exact same introductory paragraph about how it’s all a “’big dick’ measuring contest for the Hollywood agencies,” and everyone’s like, “That Nikki Finke sure tells it like it is!”
Anyway, all that stuff has happened again, with the 2011 Black List this year being topped by the previously reported The Imitation Game, which has Leonardo DiCaprio attached to play mathematician and computer science godfather Alan Turing. Presumably the less-than-enthusiastic reception of J. Edgar is why the studios haven’t exactly rushed to put DiCaprio in another midcentury tale of a homosexual oppressed by his era, but a Black List endorsement could turn that around. Some of the rest of the list has also already been picked up—like Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained or Kate Angelo’s Sex Tape (which Nicholas Stoller and Reese Witherspoon have recently been attached to)—and there’s plenty of other stuff on this year’s roster too, like: Chewie, a satirical behind-the-scenes look at the making of Star Wars, as seen through the eyes of Chewbacca portrayer Peter Mayhew; Father Daughter Time, about a dad and his 11-year-old daughter embarking on a crime spree (which Matt Damon may star in and direct); alternate histories of the moon landing and JFK assassinations; biopics of Grace Kelly and Colin Powell; two different Pinocchio stories, including one from Bryan Fuller; a film about high school friends ditching school to see a preview screening of Jurassic Park, and which is titled Jurassic Park as though Steven Spielberg would be totally cool with that; and of course, several zombie concepts, including the long-languishing Maggie. You can check out the full list here.