Franklin Leonard has unveiled the 2020 Black List with an assist from Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, and this year’s list includes a script titled Excelsior! that chronicles the early days of Marvel Comics and its prodigious talents Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
The Black List ranks the most liked unproduced screenplays written in a given year, and while Alex Convery‘s Excelsior! garnered 9 votes, this year’s list was topped by Sophie Dawson’s Headhunter which earned 29 votes. That script follows a high-functioning cannibal who selects his victims based on their Instagram popularity, but finds himself shaken when he comes across a man who wants to be eaten.
We’ve previously written about several of the scripts on this year’s list, including the Julianne Moore movie Sharper from Apple and A24, as well as Will Smith‘s slavery-era thriller Emancipation and Chris Pratt‘s indie comedy The Black Belt. However, there are several projects below that have never been written about before that sound quite interesting.
Those include scripts about Anna Nicole Smith, the 1MDB scandal, serial killers such as Jack the Ripper, Paul John Knowles and Delaware’s Route 40 killer, the Lindsay Lohan–Paris Hilton feud, the story of Vice, young Ted Kaczynski, and a pair of scripts that involve a dying Daniel Radcliffe and Terri Schiavo. If I had to pick two wholly original winners on this list, I’d go with Emergency, which is in the works at Amazon, and Birdies, which boasts Sukee Chew as a producer, and I really respect her taste in material.
Speaking of taste, The Black List’s track record is one of excellence — think Little Miss Sunshine and I, Tonya — and later this month will see the release of past honoree Promising Young Woman, while Olivia Wilde is currently shooting last year’s entry Don’t Worry Darling. Check out the 2020 Black List in full below, and keep an eye on Excelsior!, as I expect that project to find a home quickly given the interest in Marvel and the Stan Lee–Jack Kirby dynamic.