Compiled from a survey of 40 producers, acquisitions executives, agents, sales agents and public funders, the list is intended to echo the success of the US Black List in drawing attention and perhaps finance to these projects.
This year's table is topped by a project which should go into production in early 2009. Coming in with 11 votes to lead the table, Nowhere Boy written by Matt Greenhalgh recounts the story of John Lennon's early years and his first steps towards stardom. Ecosse Films is producing the project, Sam Taylor-Wood has signed to direct and HanWay Films has taken on sales.
Second in the list with nine votes is a new adaptation of Jane Eyre by Moira Buffini and third is Mike Lesslie's War Reporting For Cowards with seven votes.
Big names on the list include Alex Garland whose script of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel Never Let Me Go is based at DNA, Shawn Slovo (Catch A Fire, Captain Corelli's Mandolin) with her script Bobby Fischer Goes To War, Adrian Hedges (Tom And Viv, Metroland) with My Week With Marilyn and Lynne Ramsay's adaptation of Lionel Shriver's We Need To Talk About Kevin which is at BBC Films.
Other titles include another Bronte sister classic Wuthering Heights written by Olivia Hetreed which is also an Ecosse Films project, The Raw Shark Texts written by Simon Beaufoy from Steven Hall's book which is at Blueprint Films and Film4, Simon Pegg's screenplay Paul and Amma Asante's Where Hands Touch at Ealing Studios.
Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughan's script of The Debt, a spy drama set in post-World War II Berlin, is also on the list and was recently solidified into a package based at Miramax Films with John Madden directing, Vaughan's Marv Films producing and Helen Mirren starring.
The list is generated anonymously by industry players, is intended as an annual poll. To qualify, the script should not be written by a US writer nor be greenlit for production at time of circulation. For inclusion, the script should score at least two votes from the industry people surveyed across all levels of seniority and sectors.
The Hollywood Black List is well-known for having identified and drawn attention to projects such as Juno and Lars And The Real Girl before they were produced. Juno beat Lars to last year's best original screenplay Oscar.
The first 17 projects on the list is as follows:
1 Nowhere Boy Matt Greenhalgh
2 Jane Eyre Moira Buffini
3 War Reporting For Cowards Mike Lesslie
4 Blackout Dennis Kelly
Bobby Fischer Goes To War Shawn Slovo
Necropolis Lydia Adetunji
Never Let Me Go Alex Garland
5 Canyonland Toby Finlay
6 Attack The Estate Joe Cornish
Barafundle Bay Vaughan Sivell
Bel Ami Rachel Bennette
Gaza Frank Deasy
My Week With Marilyn Adrian Hodges
Put Together Tom Rob Smith
The Debt Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughan
We Need To Talk About Kevin Lynne Ramsay
Wuthering Heights Olivia Hetreed