Every year, hundreds of Hollywood executives nominate their favorite unproduced movie screenplays to appear on The Black List. The 2018 list debuted yesterday (December 17) via a funny short, “The Last Days of TJ Scraggs”:
The clip stars Paul Scheer (“The League”) as a brash entertainment agent who knocks himself unconscious in 1998 and wakes up after two decades to find that everything’s changed around him. Grace (Sunita Mani, “Mr. Robot”) tries to update the White man on the past two decades of representation and equity conversations, only for him to flub a pitch meeting with Yvette Nicole Brown (“Mom”), Constance Wu (“Crazy Rich Asians”) and Jay Ellis (“Insecure”). The Hollywood Reporter notes that a multiracial creative team, including co-writer and co-director Danya Jimenez (“The Virgin Maggi”), created the short in 24 hours.
Several of the featured screenplays, which are introduced in the short via a series of Easter eggs, center racial justice or identity themes. Here are three that we’re excited to see developed:
“Queen & Slim.” “The Chi” creator Lena Waithe’s upcoming project with director Melina Matsoukas (“Insecure”) stars Jodie Turner-Smith (“Nightflyers”) and Daniel Kaluuya (“Black Panther”) as a pair whose first date turns into a flight for freedom after they kill a police officer in self defense.
“Conviction.” Newcomer Chris Kekaniokalani Bright chronicles the true story of civil rights attorney Clarence Darrow, who defended a wealthy White family charged with murdering a young Native Hawaiian they falsely accused of rape.
“Spark.” Meredith Dawson (“Champions”) wrote this tale of a young Black woman who confronts the elitism of Silicon Valley after accepting a job with a notable venture capitalist firm.
Read the full list at BlkLst.com.