As many of you know, today we’re revealing your Top 25 favorite scripts! The list we’ve been going by over to the right (below my own Top 25) is somewhat dated, so I felt it was time to give it a makeover. Just like last time, over 400 of you wrote in with your votes, and while I wouldn’t say there were any surprises ON the list, there were a couple of scripts that didn’t make the list which surprised me. This list would probably be more varied, but some writers/producers don’t want links to their scripts on the site and if scripts aren’t downloadable, people can’t download and fall in love with them. Cough cough.
I tallied the scores the same way I did last time. I assigned 10 points to every number 1 choice. 9 points to every number 2. 8 points to every number 3. And all the way down to 1 point for a 10th place vote. I then added it all up, and ranked the scripts by total number of points. Below you'll find the script ranking, point total, the writers, the premise, and the status of the script. Before we get to the Top 25 though, let’s look at the scripts that just missed the cut (in no particular order)…
Aaron And Sara (Chad Gomez Creasy and Dara Resnik Creasy) - A nerd and a cheerleader explore four years of high school as best friends.
Pawn Sacrifice (Steve Knight) - The life story of chess legend Bobby Fischer leading up to his historic world championship match against Boris Spassky.
RED – (Erich and Jon Hoeber) A retired Black-Ops Agent must reassemble his old team to fight the new generation of high-tech assassins hunting him down.
30 Minutes Or Less – (Matthew Sullivan and Michael Diliberti) A slacker pizza delivery guy is forced into robbing a bank with a bomb strapped to his body.
The True Memoirs Of An International Assassin (Jeff Morris) - After a publisher changes a writer's debut novel about a deadly assassin from fiction to nonfiction, the author finds himself thrust into the world of his lead character, and must take on the role of his character for his own survival.
The Many Deaths Of Barnaby James (Brian Nathansan) - A teenage apprentice in a macabre circus for the dead yearns to bring his true love back to life, but not before encountering the many dangerous and gothic characters that stand in his way.
SALT (Kurt Wimmer) - A CIA agent discovers there's a Russian spy deep inside the organization.
Cedar Rapids (Phil Johnston) – A small town insurance salesman heads off to the “big city” of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to try and save his company.
And now on to the official list! (If you have updates on the status of any of these projects, please e-mail me at Carsonreeves1@gmail.com)
25. TELL NO ONE (183 pts.)
Writers: Robert Orci & Gary Kurtzman
Premise: A widowed social worker receives a strange message that forces him to reevaluate what happened the day his wife was murdered.
Status: Made into a famous French Film that won a ton of awards, but it looks like the American version is stuck in development hell.
24. DEAD LOSS (184 pts.)
Writers: Josh Baizer and Marshall Johnson
Premise: A crew of crab fisherman rescue a drifting castaway with a mysterious cargo.
Status: Dead Loss was optioned and made last year’s Black List but I believe they’re still putting a package together to sell it to the studios. Chris Gorak (“Right At Your Door”) is attached as director.
23: RENKO VEGA AND THE JENNIFER 9 (208 pts.)
Writer: John Raffo
Premise: Renko Vega, a disgraced cosmonaut, has resorted to a life of thievery with his best friend and partner, a sentient spaceship called the Jennifer 9. When a group of space pirates called the Augmentics take hostage the passengers and crew of The Starlight Revolver, Renko has the chance to redeem himself as he’s forced to choose between self-preservation or saving the people onboard.
Status: Recently entered the development phase. Don’t think anyone is attached yet.
22. MIXTAPE (216 pts.)
Writer: Stacey Menear
Premise: A thirteen year old outcast finds a mixtape that belonged to her deceased parents, accidentally destroys it, and uses the song list to find all the music.
Status: Hot director Seth Gordon will be directing Chloe Moretz (“Kickass,” “Let The Right One In” remake) in one of my favorite scripts of the year. I believe they’re still looking for financing so if you got the cash, call these guys up. This movie needs to be made.
21. SHADOW 19 (224 pts.)
Writer: Jon Spaihts
Premise: Captain Conrad Vance, of the Offworld Marine Corps, is selected by the Special Science Agency to travel to a hostile planet to repair a super-intelligent machine.
Status: I believe this project is currently dead at the moment. Though I’m sure Spaihts’ Alien Prequel screenwriting gig will have some people taking a second look.
20. GOING THE DISTANCE (248 pts.)
Writer: Geoff LaTulippe
Premise: A comedy about a couple trying to overcome that most difficult of hurdles: the long-distance relationship.
Status: Geoff’s comedy, starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, is already finished shooting and will be hitting theaters, I believe, this August. Where’s the trailer for this thing??
19. BRAD CUTTER RUINED MY LIFE AGAIN (264 pts.)
Writer: Joe Nussbaum
Premise: A former high school nerd who's finally achieved success in the world, finds out that his company is hiring the most popular kid from his old school. Before he knows it, the company turns into its own high school, and once again, he's the nerd.
Status: At the moment, I don’t believe anything’s happening with this project. Great comedy though so I hope someone revitalizes it.
18. THE MUPPET MAN (272 pts.)
Writer: Christopher Weekes
Premise: A look at the weeks leading up to Jim Henson’s death. Henson is the creator of the most famous puppet franchise of all time, The Muppets.
Status: The Henson company bought this script and I can’t help but wonder if they ever plan on making it. My guess is that if they do, they’ll rewrite it into something a little more upbeat. Chris’ draft obviously touched people’s hearts, but I think the Hensons want something more happy smiley? All speculation of course. I have no idea if any of it is true.
17. THE DAYS BEFORE (333 pts.)
Writer: Chad St. John
Premise: A man who possesses a time travel device uses it to go back in time to prevent an alien invasion.
Status: This was purchased by Warner Brothers last year and I don’t think there’s been any recent movement on it.
16. PRISONERS (379 pts.)
Writer: Aaron Guzikowski
Premise: A Boston man kidnaps the person he suspects is behind the disappearance of his young daughter and her best friend.
Status: Prisoners, arguably the hottest spec of last year, looks to have DiCaprio leading the charge. Listed as in pre-production over at Warner Brothers, there’s an outside chance we’ll see this movie by the end of this year (but more likely next).
15. SUNFLOWER (410 pts.)
Writer: Misha Green
Premise: Two women are held hostage in a prison-like farmhouse.
Status: The script that everybody loved so much has gotten a page 1 rewrite. I refuse to read the new draft as I can’t handle such tomfoolery. Why change what worked? William Friedkin (The Exorcist) was attached as director for a long time, but horror superstar director Wes Craven has recently come on board. Since Craven has announced his intent to direct Scream 4 next, with Neve Campbell in a nursing home, I’m wondering when Sunflower will get to the screen.
14. PASSENGERS (465 pts.)
Writer: Jon Spaihts
Premise: A spacecraft transporting thousands of people to a distant planet has a malfunction in one of its sleep chambers. As a result, a single passenger is awakened 90 years before anyone else. Faced with the prospect of growing old and dying alone, he wakes up a second passenger who he's fallen in love with.
Status: Originally written for Keanu and always listed as a favorite among Hollywood insiders, this project doesn’t seem to be going anywhere at the moment. I think Keanu’s production company owns it so it’s all a matter of if/when he decides to make it.
13. WATER FOR ELEPHANTS (479 pts.)
Writer: Richard LaGravenese
Premise: A veterinary student abandons his studies after his parents are killed and joins a traveling circus as their vet.
Status: With I Am Legend director, Francis Lawrence, on board, along with the “bothered” one, Robert Pattinson, Academy Award winner, Christoph Waltz, and Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon, this film should be shooting soon.
12. THE F WORD (497 pts.)
Writer: Elan Mastai
Premise: A young man and woman try to stay friends after developing intense feelings for one another.
Status: There’s no denying The F Word has a thin premise, but it’s the execution that sets this apart from all the other clones. Right now it's set up at Fox Searchlight with Mr. Mudd (the production company behind Juno) set to produce. Word is it's moving fast. So hopefully we'll be hearing some casting/director attachment news soon!
11. SMOKE AND MIRRORS (504 pts.)
Writers: Lee and Janet Scott Batchler.
Premise: The reclusive "Father of Modern Magic", Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, is called upon by the French government to debunk an Algerian sorcerer who is using his feats of magic to spearhead a civil war.
Status: The last time this project had heat on it is when Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas came onboard back in 2000. But it’s a script everyone seems to love, especially Roger, who gave it a genius rating, so I wouldn’t be surprised if someone took a chance on this in the near future. And I mean, why deny a great adventure flick? There are so few of them out there.
10. THE BEAVER (520 pts.)
Writer: Kyle Killen
Premise: An extremely depressed man finds a beaver puppet in the garbage. When he puts it on, his life takes a dramatic turn for the better. Or does it?
Status: Starring Mel Gibson, with Jodie Foster directing, this film has already wrapped and is currently in post-production for a release later this year.
9. DOGS OF BABEL (521 pts.)
Writer: Jamie Linden
Premise: When a dog is the only witness to a woman’s death, her husband tries to teach the dog how to talk so he can find out what happened to her.
Status: They still haven’t attached anyone to this script. This is another project, like Mixtape, that needs someone to swoop in and finance it. Because you have the potential for something great.
8. THE GREY (527 pts.)
Writers: Joe Carnahan and Ian Mackenzie Jeffers
Premise: A group of oil drillers on a plane ride home, crash in the arctic tundra, where they become hunted by a vicious pack of wolves.
Status: Recently securing Bradley Cooper for the lead role, this project has some heat on it. The key will be Carnahan convincing Cooper to make his movie before he makes his 1800 others. Hopefully he will, cause this is too cool of a script to pass up.
7. THE VOICES (545 pts.)
Writer: Michael R. Perry
Premise: A disturbed man with a good heart is tormented by his talking pets, who convince him to do things he'd rather not do.
Status: Michael Perry is hot right now, and although there’s been no official announcement, word is Ben Stiller wants to play the lead in this dark tale. Get to it Ben. It’ll a great role.
6. THE SOCIAL NETWORK (549 pts.)
Writer: Aaron Sorkin
Premise: A look at the rise of Facebook and the effect it's had on its founders.
Status: This is currently in production with surprise helmer David Fincher for a release either later this year or early 2011.
5. BURIED (564 pts.)
Writer: Chris Sparling
Premise: A man wakes up in a coffin with no idea how he got there.
Status: Already finished shooting. Played at Sundance. Was purchased at Sundance. Should be getting a release sometime later this year.
4. EVERYTHING MUST GO (565 pts.)
Writer: Dan Rush
Premise: A recently fired salesman comes home to find out he’s been kicked out of his house by his wife. So he takes his things, which she’s left outside, sets them up in the front lawn, and starts living there.
Status: Will Ferrell is playing the lead part. I’ve heard this is either very close to production or has just started production. So it’s another project we’ll probably be seeing later this year hopefully.
3. KILLING ON CARNIVAL ROW (851 pts.)
Writer: Travis Beachem
Premise: In the city of The Burgue, a police inspector pursues a serial killer who is targeting fairies.
Status: Everybody loves this script, and yet it doesn’t even have an IMDB page. I’m assuming the high price tag of the movie has scared a lot of financers off, but this is one of those scripts that seemed to be on everybody’s list.
2. THE BRIGANDS OF RATTLEBORGE (872 pts.)
Writer: S. Craig Zahler
Premise: Set in the days of the old West, a sheriff and a doctor seek revenge against three ruthless thugs who robbed them and terrorized the town.
Status: I believe this is still over at WB and for whatever reason, they don’t seem to know what to do with it. Westerns are a hard sell and this script has been criticized as more a novelization than a script, but it’s got great characters so just find some big actors who want to be in a Western. There are more than you think.
1. SOURCE CODE (1539 pts.)
Writer: Ben Ripley
Premise: A man wakes up on a train that is being targeted by terrorists, a train that has already blown up hours ago.
Status: I think they just started shooting this. Moon director Duncan Jones is at the helm. Jake Gyllenhal is playing the lead. My guess is an early 2011 release date, possibly in April, where films like “The Matrix” debuted?
THOUGHTS: If you want to see how this compares to the original list, check out this link. What we have here is three scripts really dominating the race, with Source Code once again pulling away as the clear winner. After Killing On Carnival Row (which I still haven’t read, believe it or not), there’s a sharp 300 point drop. So if you want favorites, Source Code, Brigands, and Carnival can’t even be touched. A little surprised to see The Grey that high. Didn’t know others liked it as much as I did. The Voices isn’t a surprise. It’s a deliciously dark script, yet still retains an element of fun. Water For Elephants is another one I’m surprised to see so high. Guess the dark love story played just as well for you as it did me.
Falling out of the Top 25 were Salt, Winter’s Discontent, I Wanna F___ Your Sister, Fuckbuddies, Ornate Anatomy Galahad, Nightfall, and Passengers (Pruss). The biggest surprise is obviously “Salt.” What happened to the Salt lovers? I guess they moved on to pepper. Winter’s Discontent is a really fun script, but I was always surprised at how high it was on the last list, so I’m not shocked that it’s gone. Ditto with Ornate Anatomy. Passengers suffered from everyone clarifying this time around that they meant the SPAIHTS draft of Passengers – which makes me wonder if anyone liked the Pruss draft at all, lol
So there you have it. If you haven’t read some of these scripts, definitely check them out. There are still links in some of the reviews. And I’m sure people can point you in the right direction if you can’t find them there. Just ask in the comments section (use Firefox if you're having trouble seeing comments). I'd like to keep opining, but it’s time for me to go read tomorrow’s script. Who knows? Maybe it will be on your next Top 25. :)