Pretty much ever since I sold a spec script in 1987, I have been fascinated by them. The very idea that a writer could conceive a story concept, research, craft and write an original screenplay, then sell it to a Hollywood buyer is in and of itself a remarkable thing. When you consider that each year an estimated 25,000-40,000 stories filter through the studio acquisition system and only about 100 spec scripts sell annually, that makes it even more notable.
I didn’t start tracking all spec script sales until 1991, but then I tried my best to note the details whenever I learned about them. Over the years I often thought about those files and wouldn’t it be great to have a comprehensive list of all spec script sales in Hollywood? Here are some reasons why:
* To create an historical record of these special accomplishments by screenwriters in the movie business.
* To compare what spec scripts sold and got produced to those that never got made.
* To track buying trends in Hollywood [e.g., genre, high-concept].
* To create a resource for contemporary writers to brainstorm new story ideas.
And then this: With spec script sales being as high as they have been the last 18 months, can we consider this a new Golden Age of the Spec Script, or does it pale in comparison to the supposed gilded age back in the early to mid-90s? Is that collective memory true or perhaps incorrect?
I mulled over the possibility of collating all the information about spec sales I had amassed. Unfortunately the documentation takes the form of actual clippings from the Hollywood Reporter and Variety, as well as hard drives on a number of old computers stashed away somewhere, and a variety of other sources.
In step two hearty souls, Black List interns Mikal McLendon and Evelyn Yves who agreed to help assimilate all the data into a comprehensive spec script sales list from 1991-2007 [to go along with my lists from 2008-2012]. It took Mikal and Eveyln months to pull this information together and I thank them profusely for their help [I hope you will, too, in comments].
Here’s what I have planned. I am going to roll out the list of spec script sales each day throughout June per this schedule:
June 4-June 8: Before 1991-1994
June 11-June 15: 1995-1999
June 18-June 22: 2000-2004
June 25-June 29: 2005-2009
June 30-June 31: 2010-2011
July 1: 2012
Please note, when I say ‘Definitive’ in the title, that means two things. First I am engaging in a bit of Hollywood hyperbole. I know there are some spec script sales that we will have missed. Every sale is covered nowadays through the trades and various tracking boards. That type of coverage was not the case back in the 90s. Which leads to the second point:
I want your help!
If you are a screenwriter who sold a spec script and you don’t see it on the list or you spot some details that are wrong or incomplete, please email me with updates.
If you are a studio exec, agent, manager, producer or movie fan who happens to know of a spec script sale that’s not listed, please email me.
Let’s see if we can round out this research project as best we can.
With that lengthy introduction, we take a look at spec script sales in 2010 after the jump. And thanks again to Mikal and Evelyn!
1. Title: Evidence Logline: Police arrive at an abandoned gas station following a brutal massacre. The only evidence at the crime scene is the victims’ personal electronic devices, including a camcorder, flip Cam, and two cell phones. With nothing else to go on, a detective must analyze the bits of “found footage” to piece together the identity of the killer. Writer: John Swetnam Agency: APA Management: FilmEngine Management Prod. Co: Bold Films Price: Six-figures Genre: Thriller Date: 1/21/2011 Notes: First Timer.
2. Title: Harker Logline: Scotland Yard detective Jonathan Harker tracks Dracula. Writers: Lee Shipman, Brian McGreevy Agency: Paradigm Management: Mad Hatter Entertainment Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Prod. Co: Appian Way Genre: Drama Horror Date: 2/7/2011.
3. Title: Good Time Gang Logline: Two hard-partying mercenaries are forced by the CIA to catch a super-mercenary-turned-terrorist who turns out to be the father of one of the men. Writer: Max Landis Agency: WME Management: Circle of Confusion Prod.Co: RCR Pictures Genre: Action Comedy Date: 2/8/2011.
4. Title: Voices From the Dead Logline: In 1920′s New York, Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle team up with a psychic to solve a set of murders. Writer: J. Michael Straczynski Agent: Chris Harbert Agency: CAA Studio: DreamWorks Pictures Genre: Thriller Date: 2/9/2011.
5: Title: Stash House Logline: A couple find the perfect starter home. Upon moving in, a group of dangerous men arrive who will stop at nothing to get what’s locked inside the couple’s house. Writer: Gary Spinelli Agency: Gersh Management: ROAR Entertainment Studio: Dark Castle Entertainment Genre: Thriller Date: 2/16/11.
6. Title: Article III Logline: A 26-year-old is a law clerk for an aging Supreme Court justice and also the swing vote on the court. The clerk has three days to save the life of his girlfriend when she’s abducted in a plot to sway his boss’s vote. Writer: Aaron Tracy Agency: CAA Management: Stone Canyon Media Prod. Co: Route One Films Genre: Legal Thriller Date: 2/16/2011.
7. Title: Inherit the Earth Logline: A young girl, who is the last survivor on earth, is protected by a group of robots from a pack of zombies that are intelligent and evolved. Writer: JT Petty Agency: Gersh Management: Circle of Confusion Studio: Sony Pictures Entertainment Prod. Co: Platinum Dunes Genre: Science Fiction Horror Date: 2/22/2011 Notes: Based on the comic book series “Zombies Vs. Robots” by Chris Ryall & Ashley Wood published by IDW Publishing.
8. Title: Zombie Pet Shop Logline: A mysterious plague sweeps through a mall pet shop, turning all of the animals into zombies. An ordinary pug named Joey must come to the rescue to find the antidote that will save his four-legged friends, as well as the humans that might take them home. Writer: E.L. Katz Agency: Gersh Management: Generate Management Prod. Co: Animation Picture Company Genre: Family Horror Date: 2/24/2011 Notes: This will be a 3D animated film.
9. Title: Something Cliqued Logline: After a terrible day, Penny Talbot wishes she was a somebody in her high school, specifically the most popular girl, the most athletic and the class president. When her wish becomes an unexpected reality, she lives through the girls’ bodies and gets a chance to see how the other side lives. Writer: Karen Bloch Morse Agency: Gersh Management: Underground Management Studio: Walt Disney Pictures Prod. Co: Panay Films Genre: Comedy Date: 2/25/2011.
10. Title: Line of Sight Logline: No details given. Writer: F. Scott Frazier Agency: WME Management: H2F Entertainment Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Prod. Co: Silver Pictures Price: Mid six figures Genre: Action Thriller Date: 2/25/2011
11. Title: The Slackfi Project Logline: A hapless and broken hearted barrista is visited by two bad-ass soldiers from the future who tell him mankind is doomed unless he alone can save them. Writer: Howard Overman Agency: UTA The Agency (UK) Studio: Sony Pictures Entertainment Prod. Co: Matt Tolmach Productions Genre: Action Date: 3/2/2011.
12. Title: Dirty Grandpa Logline: A recently widowed man gets to know his grandson better while the grandson is about to marry the wrong girl. Writer: John Phillips Agency: ICM Studio: Universal Pictures Prod. Co: Josephson Entertainment Price: Six figures Genre: Comedy Date: 3/4/2011 Notes: Preemptive purchase. First-timer.
13: Title: In the Belly of the Whale Logline: Set in the depths of the Alaskan wilderness, an unfaithful wife and her lover endure a sadistic game driven by her filmmaker husband and a religious zealot. Writers: Steven Doxey, Scott Hinckley, Brandon Sean Pearson Prod. Co: Ten Thirty-One Pictures. Genre: Drama Thriller Date: 3/4/11.
14. Title: The Nameless Logline: A group of assassins target a key witness who has been hidden away inside a top-secret U.S. facility that serves to protect those going to trial. When the area is compromised, the marshal and his inhabitants take a stand to save the witness from being murdered. Writer: Chris Bullet Agency: Gersh Management: ROAR Entertainment Prod. Co: Valhalla Motion Pictures Genre: Thriller Date: 3/7/2011.
15. Title: The Last Witness Logline: Centers on the lone survivor of a bomb attack in Boston. Writer: Stefan Jaworski Agency: Paradigm Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Prod. Co.: David Entertainment Genre: Thriller Date: 3/8/2011.
16. Title: Brotherhood of Scavengers Logline: After their adventurous father dies, three brothers who’ve been estranged discover that in order to collect their inheritance, they will have to go out on a scavenger hunt to find treasure he left behind. Clues bring them back to many of the childhood experiences they shared with their father. Writer: Chris Baldi Management: ROAR Entertainment Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Prod. Co.: EMJAG Prods Genre: Adventure Comedy Date: 3/9/2011.
17. Title: Monsters of the Midway Logline: Set in a carnival. Writer: Jeff Lowell Agency: UTA Management: Management 360 Prod. Co.: Montecito Picture Company Genre: Action Comedy Supernatural Date: 3/10/2011.
18. Title: The Last Drop Logline: A charming writer is a fully functioning alcoholic by day, turned horribly dysfunctional by cocktail hour. While on assignment for “The New Yorker,” he meets the girl of his dreams, but soon discovers that there’s a lot more at stake than love if he doesn’t clean up his act. Writers: Brandon Murphy, Phillip Murphy Agency: WME Management: Benderspink Prod. Co.: Mandate Pictures Genre: Drama Date: 3/12/2011.
19. Title: Agent Ox Logline: A human spy on an alien planet must try to stop an invasion of Earth. Writer: Daniel Kunka Agency: ICM Studio: Sony Pictures Entertainment Prod. Co.: Original Film Price: $300,000 Genre: Science Fiction Action Date: 3/12/2011.
20. Title: Genneris Logline: A high-concept sci-fi film. Writer: Nic Kelma Agency: CAA Studio: DreamWorks Genre: Science Fiction Date: 3/21/2011 Notes: First-timer.
21. Title: The Big Stone Grid Logline: A puzzling suicide prompts an investigation that leads to two decorated detectives to discover a terrifying extortion ring that operates within the secret underbelly of New York City. Writer: S. Craig Zahler Agency: UTA Management: Caliber Media Studio: Columbia Pictures Genre: Crime Drama Date: 3/25/11.
22. Title: Timelock Logline: A contained, ticking clock heist/thriller. INSIDE MAN meets RASHOMON. Writer: Terry Miles Management: H2F Prod. Co.: IM Global Genre: Thriller Date: 3/28/11.
23. Title: Rounds Logline: Story is a contained/ticking-clock thriller set inside Massachusetts General Hospital. Writer: Chris Borrelli Agency: UTA Management: H2F Prod. Co.: Nasser Entertainment Genre: Thriller Date: 3/28/11.
24. Title: Meet the New Boss Logline: An employee goes from one jerk of a boss to another, and the new supervisor is even worse because it’s a robot. Writers: Brian Gatewood, Alessandro Tanaka Agency: UTA Management: Industry Entertainment Prod. Co.: Chernin Entertainment Genre: Comedy Date: 3/29/11.
25. Title: Besties Logline: The script is a John Hughes-style comedy about two high school girls who are best friends until one dates the other’s older brother, who is totally his sister’s nemesis. Writer: Kelly Fremon Agency: ICM Management: Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment Prod. Co.: Gracie Films Genre: Comedy Date: 3/31/11.
26. Title: Wild Guns Logline: Set shortly after the Civil War, legendary gunslingers Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday team-up to rescue the daughter of Sitting Bull, who has been kidnapped by a powerful Shaman with mysterious powers who is terrorizing the Western plains. Writer: T.S. Nowlin Agency: WME Management: Energy Studio: Warner Bros. Genre: Western Date: 4/5/11.
27. Title: Bait and Switch Logline: Under wraps. Writer: Matthew J. O’Neill Agency: Innovative Artists Management: Smart Entertainment Genre: Action Comedy Studio: Universal Pictures Date: 4/5/11.
28. Title: Into the Beautiful Logline: A contemporary “Big Chill” with longtime friends reconnecting. Writer: Anne Meredith Agency: WME Genre: Drama-Comedy Prod: Wendy Finerman Date: 4/5/11.
29. Title: Lust Logline: Centers on a 30-year old beauty who is married and in love with an older Miami-based fashion magazine publisher, only to be seduced by a younger charming playboy on a business trip in Los Angeles. The playboy has an Russian assistant who is in love with him, and in this twisted jealous love triangle, secretly videotapes him and his new lover having sex to show it to her husband. Writer: Joe Eszterhas Agency: ICM Management: Baumgarten Management Genre: Thriller Prod. Co.: Stone Village Pictures Date: 4/6/11.
30. Title: Hoof Harrington’s Greatest Hits Logline: Pitched as “Snatch” meets “Payback,” story is said to be a pulpy hitman actioner. Writer: Dutch Southern Agency: UTA Management: Energy Entertainment Genre: Action Prod. Co.: 1984 Films Date: 4/8/11.
31. Title: Gold Logline: Prospectors and hunters on a ruthless search for the precious metal. Writers: Patrick Massett, John Zinman Agency: CAA Management: Industry Entertainment Genre: Thriller Prod. Co.: Forward Pass Date: 4/13/11.
32. Ness/Capone Logline: During the Prohibition Era (1920s), Elliot Ness, a skirt-chasing 26-year old publicity hound, seems to get an adrenaline charge out of courting danger, kicking in doors, smashing moonshine stores and rubbing it in the noses of Al Capone and other mobsters. Writer: Grant Pierce Myers Agency: Paradigm Management: The Gotham Group Genre: Crime Drama Studio: Relativity Media Date: 4/27/11. Notes: Script was on 2010 Black List.
33. Title: The Greys Logline: N/A Writer: Adam Cohen Agency: Paradigm Management: Evolution Entertainment Genre: Sci-Fi Thriller Studio: Dimension Films Date: 4/28/11.
34. Title: Untitled Logline: Film is an edgy action-comedy for two male stars. Writers: Nicholas Thomas, Luke Greenfield Agency: APA (Thomas), CAA (Greenfield) Genre: Action Comedy Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Date: 4/28/11 Notes: High six figure preemptive deal.
35. Title: The Watching Hour Logline: Described as a home invasion film, only with aliens. Writers: Carey Van Dyke, Shane Van Dyke Agency: Paradigm Genre: Horror Studio: New Line Date: 5/2/11 Notes: The Van Dykes are grandsons of Dick Van Dyke.
36. Title: Father Daughter Time: A Tale of Armed Robbery and Eskimo Kisses Logline: A man who goes on the lam with his daughter, his accomplice on a 3-state crime spree. Writer: Matt Aldrich Agency: CAA Manager: Jewerl Ross Genre: Drama Crime Studio: Warner Bros. Price: $500K / $800K Date: 5/6/11.
37. Title: Inside the Machine Logline: An undercover ATF agent journeys into the heart of the Murder Machine, a vicious cartel ruled by a criminal mastermind. Writer: Marc Maurino Agency: UTA Management: Circle of Confusion Genre: Action Thriller Studio: CBS Films Date: 5/11/11 Notes: Preemptive purchase.
38. Title: From Mia With Love Logline: Three guys so desperate to lose their virginity order up a Russian mail-order bride, figuring they can send her back. She is smoking hot but arrives with baggage and no plans to bed the lads, though she helps the trio become more suitable mating material. Writers: Seth Grahame-Smith, David Katzenberg, Bryan Shukoff, Kevin Chesley Agency: WME Genre: Comedy Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Date: 5/12/11.
39. Title: The Hauntrepreneur Logline: The story centers on a family that has trouble adjusting to a new town and hires a peculiar man, the Hauntrepreneur, to help it. The man attempts to bring them together by creating a haunted house populated by an odd cast of characters. Writer: Scott Rosenberg Agency: WME Genre: Family Fantasy Studio: Paramount Date: 5/18/11.
40. Title: Everly Logline: A down-on-her-luck woman stuck in her apartment must fend off waves of Yakuza assassins sent by her ex, who is a dangerous mob boss. Genre: Action Writer: Yale Hannon Management: Anonymous Content Prod. Co.: Crime Scene Pictures Date: 5/21/11.
41. Title: Tipping Point Logline: Based on his original short story, set a blink into the future, New York cop Solomon is part of an elite police division hunting those who break the Zero Population Act of 2027. A routine stop alters Solomon’s life forever when he uncovers the woman he once loved had an illegal child… his son. Now a criminal himself, Solomon must protect his family from the very task force he works for as he races thru New York to find a way out. Writer: Todd Stein Genre: Science Fiction Thriller Agency: WME Management: Industry Entertainment Partners Studio: Relativity Media Date: 5/21/11.
42. Title: The Hitman’s Bodyguard Logline: N/A Writer: Tom O’Connor Genre: Action Agency: UTA Management: Industry Entertainment Prod. Co.: Skydance Productions Date: 5/24/11.
43. Title: Sex Tape Logline: A married couple who get a night off from their kids, get adventurous and decide to spice up their lives by making a sex tape. When they wake the following morning, the tape is missing, and they must find out who took it and how to get it back. Writer: Kate Angelo. Genre: Comedy Agency: UTA Studio: Sony Pictures Entertainment Price: Seven-figure purchase. Date: 6/5/11.
44. Title: Bastards Logline: Fraternal twin brothers find out that their mother’s been lying to them for years about their allegedly deceased father. The twins set out to find their real dad. Writer: Justin Malen Genre: Comedy Agency: Verve Management: H2F Entertainment. Studio: Paramount Price: Mid-to-high six figures Date: 6/14/11.
45. Title: Arthur & Lancelot Logline: The movie sees Arthur as an illegitimate son being raised by a humble and poor knight in a village who will grow into an inspiring leader while Lancelot is a rebellious noble who distrusts the established government. Writer: David Dobkin Genre: Fantasy Action Adventure Agency: CAA Studio: Warner Bros Price: $2M Date: 6/16/11.
46. Title: Abducted Logline: “Die Hard” in an alien spaceship. Writer: John Heffernan Genre: Science Fiction Agency: ICM Management: Benderspink Studio: Paramount Date: 6/22/11.
47. Title: Singularity Logline: Set 50 years in the future. A famous nanotechnology pioneer uses a dangerous new procedure to save his badly injured son, “Adam.” Adam’s consciousness is transferred into a swarm of nanobots, and the nanobots take his physical form. Embued with all sorts of new powers, Adam ends up on the run as the evil corporation that developed the technology tries to hunt him down. Writers: Roland Emmerich, Harold Kloser Genre: Science Fiction Agency: CAA Studio: Sony Date: 6/29/11.
48. Title: Lamb of God Logline: The comedy follows a young conservative religious woman who loses her faith after a plane crash. She decides to go to Vegas and live the life of a sinner, and somehow finds her faith along the way. Writer: Diablo Cody Genre: Comedy Agency: WME Management: MXN (Mason Novick) Studio: Mandate Date: 6/29/11.
49. Title: Borrowing Girls Logline: N/A Writer: David Schickler Genre: Thriller Management: The Gotham Group Prod. Co.: Sidney Kimmel Entertainment Date: 6/29/11.
50. Title: Cristo Logline: A man is unlawfully sentenced to an infamous prison and escapes, then transforms himself into the mysterious Cristo and systematically destroys the men who manipulated and enslaved him. Writer: Ian Shorr Genre: Science Fiction Adventure Agency: UTA Management: Benderspink Studio: Warner Bros. Date: 6/29/11. Notes: Preemptive purchase.
51. Title: Into Darkness Logline: A sci-fi version of Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness.” Writers: Tony Giglio, Branden Morgan Genre: Science Fiction Drama Agency: Paradigm Management: New Wave Entertainment Principato-Young Entertainment Studio: Radar Pictures Date: 6/28/11.
52. Title: Virgin Territory Logline: In a race to stop his 16 year old daughter from losing her virginity
on spring break, an overprotective Dad is forced to team up with a
high school geek who happens to be in love with her too. The comedy
version of TAKEN. Writer: Adam Davis Genre: Comedy Management: Benderspink Prod. Co.: MPCA Date: 6/30/11.
53. Title: Haunted Logline: A haunted house movie told from the perspective of the ghost. Writer: Erick Kripke. Genre: Horror Agency: WME Management: Principato-Young Studio: Warner Bros. Date: 7/11/11.
54. Title: Second Sun Logline: An adventure set on another planet. Writer: Justin Rhodes Genre: Science Fiction Agency: ICM Management: Kevin Donahue Studio: Warner Bros. Date: 7/19/11. Notes: First time writer.
55. Title: Hellfest Logline: A Halloween night of fun turns deadly at America’s premier theme park when an actual costumed killer begins slaying unsuspecting patrons who believe it’s all part of the show. Writers: William Penick, Chris Sey Genre: Horror Agency: Kaplan-Stahler Studio: CBS Films Date: 7/21/11.
56. Title: A Thousand Words or Less Logline: Story revolves around a national essay competition that sends three ambitious teenagers into a sexy game of one-upmanship. Writer: Bert V. Royal Genre: Comedy Agency: Paradigm Manager: R.E.D. Entertainment Studio: Fox Searchlight Date: 7/22/11.
57. Title: Rockabye Baby Logline: In the vein of UNCLE BUCK. Writer: Chris Baldi Genre: Comedy Agency: CAA Management: New Wave Entertainment Prod. Co.: Montecito Picture Company Date: 7/25/11.
58. Title: The Outsider Logline: An American who’s a prisoner of war in Japan during World War II becomes a member of the Yakuza, the highly organized Japanese crime syndicate. Writer: Andrew Baldwin Genre: Action Drama Agency: CAA Studio: Warner Bros. Date: 8/1/11. Notes: Preemptive purchase.
59. Title: Non-Stop Logline: Contained, gritty action thriller centering on an air marshal flying on a domestic flight. Writers: Don Richardson, Chris Roach Genre: Action Thriller Agency: Not represented Buyer: Dark Castle Entertainment Date: 8/1/11. Notes: First-timers.
60. Title: Autobahn Logline: Autobahn is the story of a washed-up ex-Formula One driver who wakes up trapped inside a BMW on the side of the Autobahn, Germany’s famed high-speed roadway, which has no general speed limit. He answers a phone ringing in the glove box, only to be told that he has 90 minutes to deliver the bomb-rigged car to a target or his wife and daughter will be killed. Writer: Greg Russo. Genre: Action Thriller Agency: ICM Management: Manage-ment Buyer: Inferno. Date: 8/2/11 Notes: Location of story was shifted from U.S. to Germany to “court international marketplace.”
61. Title: In the Event of a Moon Disaster Logline: Script that re-imagines the first moon mission. In this version, disaster strikes and the astronauts find themselves up against insurmountable odds. Writer: Mike Jones Genre: Science Fiction Thriller Agency: CAA Management: The Gotham Group Buyer: Film Nation Date: 8/21/11.
62. Title: The Rising Logline: Centers on a team of mercenaries whose search for a missing person in the jungles of Cambodia becomes a descent into the heart of darkness as they confront the dark force of a vampire. Inspired by Doc Savage and Tarzan. Writer: Paul Sloan Genre: Supernatural Action Management: Brucks Entertainment Buyer: Millennium Films Date: 8/23/11.
63. Title: Seven Days Waiting Logline: N/A. Writers: Jeff Bacon, Joe Davidson and Jordan Capell Genre: Drama-Thriller Buyer: Davis Entertainment Benderspink Date: 8/31/11.
64. Title: The Leonardo Job Logline: The action thriller concerns the search for a lost Leonardo da Vinci painting in Florence by two rival thieves, as well as others looking to get their hands on it. Writer: David Twohy Genre: Action Thriller Agency: ICM Buyer: Alcon Entertainment Date: 9/8/11.
65. Title: Eye in the Sky for Downfall Logline: An international thriller that follows a group of characters impacted by the decision to drop a drone missile on a house in East Africa. Writer: Guy Hibbert Genre: Thriller Agency: UTA Buyer: FilmNation Date: 9/12/11.
66. Title: Man With a Gun Logline: A gunslinger on a personal mission to gut the participants in a drug war that has plagued a U.S. border town for generations infiltrates both sides. Writer: Robert Hewitt Wolfe Genre: Action Thriller Buyer: Crime Scene Pictures Date: 9/12/11.
67. Title: The 13th Man Logline: The 2010 Black List selection centers on a mail clerk turned code breaker whose thrust into the ﬂedgling C.I.A. to stop an elite squad of Nazi saboteurs from destroying the U.S. Writer: Enio Rigolin Genre: Thriller Agency: Kaplan-Stahler Management: Heroes and Villains Entertainment Buyer: Royal Road Entertainment Date: 9/21/11.
68. Title: Murders & Acquisition Logline: A Wall Street stock broker becomes the target of a hit from a rival firm. Writer: Johnathon Stokes Genre: Action Comedy Agency: UTA Management: Energy Buyer: Warner Bros. Price: Low six figures. Date: 9/23/11.
69. Title: Untitled Ashley Bradley Project Logline: Revolves around a young woman who finds out she is the descendant of a legendary detective and is forced to take up the sleuthing mantle. Writer: Ashley Bradley Genre: Detective Drama Agency: WME Management: New Wave Entertainment Buyer: Disney Date: 9/27/11.
70. Title: Expiration Logline: An ex-CIA operative-turned-hitman is poisoned on his final job. With 20 hours to live, he is determined to find out who poisoned him, and settle the score before he dies. Writer: Brian Tucker Genre: Action Agency: WME Management: Management 360 Buyer: Emmett/Furla Price: Mid-six-figures against seven-figures. Date: 9/30/11.
71. Title: Samurai Logline: The action adventure is about a rogue assassin named Townes Joyce, who breaks out of a Texas jail that puts him on the run from an international manhunt. Writers: Gavin O’Connor & Michael J. Wilson Genre: Action Adventure Agency: CAA Buyer: Warner Bros. Price: High six-figures. Date: 9/30/11.
72. Title: Sex on the First Date Logline: In the vein of “When Harry Met Sally” and “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” Explores the age old question, if a relationship can exist from having sex on the first date. Writers: Sall Grover, Emma Jensen Genre: Comedy Agent: WME Management: Magnet Management Buyer: Gold Circle Films. Date: 10/3/11.
73: Title: In The Flesh Logline: Centers on a young woman, dead years 130 on, whose guilt prevents her from going to heaven. She falls in love with another wayward spirit, who shows her how to inhabit a mortal body whose spirit has died. Writer: Kristin Hahn Genre: Teen Supernatural Buyer: Summit Entertainment Date: 10/5/11.
74. Title: The Envoy Logline: The story centers on young diplomatic courier whose routine delivery turns deadly when it’s discovered the sensitive information he carries contains stolen plans for an attack on American interests. He must make it to the American embassy in Vienna while various forces try to stop him. Writer: Robert Lynn Genre: Action Thriller Agent: UTA Management: Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment Buyer: Warner Bros. Date: 10/7/11.
75. Title: Gone Logline: Plot details are being kept under wraps but a source close to the production has described it as a “don’t mess with this guy” type of movie. Writer: Bryan Edward Hill. Genre: Action Drama Agent: ICM Management: Element Entertainment Buyer: Universal Date: 10/11/11.
76. Title: The Imitation Game Logline: The life story of Alan Turing, English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, computer scientist, criminally prosecuted homosexual, and tortured soul who committed suicide by eating a cyanide-laced apple has it all. Writer: Graham Moore Genre: Drama Biopic Agent: CAA Management: The Safran Company Buyer: Warner Bros. Price: Seven figure deal. Date: 10/11/11.
77. Title: Hyperdrive Logline: A tough cop recruits a geeky science-fiction writer to find a witness to a murder and is described as “Men in Black” meets “Midnight Run.” Writers: Morgan Jurgenson & Alex Ankeles Genre: Science Fiction Agents: APA / CAA Management: Hung Entertainment / Kaplan/Perrone Buyer: Paramount Date: 10/12/11 Notes: Preemptive purchase.
78. Title: The Three Misfortunes of Geppetto Logline: It’s a prequel to the story of Pinocchio, in which Geppetto endures a life of misfortune, war and adventure, all to be with Julia Moon, his true love. Writer: Michael Vukadinovich Genre: Fairy Tale Agency: ICM Buyer: Twentieth Century Fox Price: High six-figures. Date: 10/13/11.
79. Title: Tammy Logline: The project centers on an overweight woman who is laid off from her job at Hardee’s, discovers her husband is having an affair, and decides to go on a road trip with her alcoholic, foul-mouthed, diabetic grandmother. The script is based on a character created by McCarthy. Writer: Melissa McCarthy Genre: Comedy Agency: CAA Buyer: New Line Date: 10/17/11.
80. Title: Wake Cycle Logline: Pic takes place in an underground hyperbaric facility, where the world’s greatest scientists are placed after a nuclear fallout. “Wake Cycle” refers to the available air every six months that allows two custodial workers to maintain the facility — but when one of their sleep tanks is damaged, they engage in a life-and-death struggle. Writers: Christian Cantamessa, Chris Pasetto Genre: Science Fiction Agency: CAA Buyer: Boss Media Date: 10/19/11.
81. Title: Promised Land Logline: A salesman arrives in a small town only to have his whole life called into question by a rival executive. Writers: Matt Damon, John Krasinski Genre: Drama Agency: WME Buyer: Warner Bros. Date: 10/19/11.
82. Title: He’s F***ing Perfect Logline: The story of one woman who regularly Facebook-stalks the men her friends are dating, acting as a vetting device for them to weed out losers. Things take a turn when she gets a friend to dump her new guy in order for the woman to steal the man for herself, because in her search she found him to be “f***ing perfect.” Writer: Lauryn Kahn Genre: Comedy Agency: WME Buyer: Fox 2000 Price: Purchase price of $1M, bought in a 24 hour period after it hit the market. Date: 10/20/11 Notes: First-timer.
83. Title: The Mountain Logline: The project is a horror story based on characters from Summer, the novel by Edith Wharton. Set in the early 1900s, “The Mountain” revolves around a young woman who struggles to confront her destiny after stumbling upon a mysterious object that forces her to examine the secrets of her past. It’s a sophisticated horror premise in the vein of Rosemary’s Baby. Writer: Helen Childress Genre: Horror Agency: Original Artists Buyer: Twentieth Century Fox Date: 10/20/11 Notes: Preemptive purchase.
84. Title: Grim Night Logline: A thriller about a night that happens once a year globally, where people lock themselves at home and fend off the senseless and random attacks by Grims. Writers: Brandon Bestenheider, Allen Bey Genre: Horror Thriller Management: Verve Buyer: Universal Pictures Price: High-six against seven-figure deal. Date: 10/25/11. Notes: First timers.
85: Title: The Chung Factor Logline: The movie is about a nice guy who meets the girl of his dreams after being unlucky in love. But because he’s afraid of screwing up the relationship, he takes advice from an offbeat relationship coach. Writer: Andy Selsor Genre: Comedy Agency: Original Artists Buyer: Lionsgate Date: 10/25/11 Notes: Black List 2005.
86. Title: Grace of Monaco Logline: In 1962, French leader Charles De Gaulle and Monaco’s Prince Rainier III are at odds over Monaco’s standing as a tax haven. France gives Monaco six months to reform its tax laws, and the situation escalates. Grace Kelly, age 33, has given up her acting career to become a full time princess and uses her political maneuvering behind the scenes to save Monaco. Writer: Aresh Amiel Genre: Drama Bio Agency: CAA Buyer: Independent Producer(s) Date: 10/25/11.
87. Title: The End Logline: The film focuses on three completely different storylines that are interconnected by the fact that the players in each one are trying to reconcile the fact that the world is going to end. There is a veteran broadcast in London, a 16-year old girl and her boyfriend in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a devoted family man in Shanghai. They each try to make peace with their lives before an interstellar event ends the world in just six hours. Writer: Aron Eli Coleite Genre: Science Fiction Drama Agency: CAA Buyer: Warner Bros. Date: 10/26/11.
88. Title: XOXO Logline: An on-the-rise executive, who despite being engaged, enjoys flirting online. He meets an alluring woman on Facebook and the two begin a virtual relationship, but as the line between online temptations and real-life possibilities begins to blur, the executive soon discovers that his Internet relationship is seeping into his actual life in a deadly way. Writer: Mark Heyman Genre: Thriller Agency: CAA Management: Management 360 Buyer: Lionsgate Date: 10/26/11.
89. Title: The Voice Logline: A man is so impassioned and obsessed with finding the secret to Frank Sinatra’s voice that it brings him to the brink of insanity. Writer: Robert Davi Genre: Drama Comedy Buyer: Atmosphere Entertainment Date: 10/28/11.
90. Title: Category Six Logline: The film takes a first-person POV through video cameras and cell phones to tell the story of high school students who try to survive the worst hurricane in U.S. history. Writer: John Swetnam Genre: Action Disaster Agency: APA Management: Jack Wagner Buyer: New Line Date: 10/28/11. Notes: Second found footage spec script sale by Swetnam in 2011 [including “Evidence”].
91. Title: In The Blood Logline: Revolves around what if the person you love vanished in a foreign land and you were the prime suspect in their disappearance? Writers: Bennett Yellin, James Robert Johnston Genre: Action Thriller Management: Magnet Management Buyer: Cargo Entertainment Date: 11/2/11.
92. Title: In the Company of Lies Logline: Centers on a woman who suspects her husband of having an affair, only to discover he is harboring a much darker secret that threatens her own life. Writers: Chris Frazier, Charlie Frazier, Genre: Spy Thriller Agency: APA Management: Affirmative Entertainment Buyer: Sentinel Pictures Date: 11/4/11.
93. Title: Self/Less Logline: N/A Writers: Alex Pastor, David Pastor Genre: N/A Agency: CAA Management: Kaplan/Perone Buyer: Endgame Entertainment Date: 11/5/1.
94. Title: Leonardo Logline: Story is focused on da Vinci’s quest to stop Renaissance Europe from returning to the Dark Ages. Writer: Jonny Kurzman Genre: Action Adventure Agency: Rochelle Stevens & Co. Management: Circle of Confusion Buyer: Universal Pictures Date: 11/7/11.
95. Title: Dreamt Logline: “Dreamt,” is a story set in modern day, where two people have a supernatural connection and therefore are actually dreaming in each other’s lives. Conflict ensues after the men discover each other’s existence, leading one man to try to take over the other’s life and stopping at nothing to get it. Writer: Andrew Alexander Genre: Psychological Thriller Agency: Original Artists Buyer: Safady Entertainment Date: 11/8/11.
96. Title: Autobahn Logline: “Fast and Furious” meets “Taken.” Writer: F. Scott Frazier Genre: Action Thriller Agency: WME Management: H2F Buyer: Between the Eyes Price: Mid-six figures. Date: 11/10/11 Notes: Fourth spec sale by Frazier since May 2010.
97. Title: The Duff Logline: A slightly awkward teen girl becomes tired of being the “DUFF” — i.e. the designated ugly fat friend — to her two better looking BFFs. She then sets out to re-invent herself for her senior year. Writer: Josh Cagan Genre: Teen Comedy Agency: WME Management: H2F Buyer: CBS Films Date: 11/18/11.
98. Title: Untitled Bryan Bertino Project Logline: Found footage thriller. Writer: Bryan Bertino Genre: Thriller Agency: UTA Buyer: Universal Date: 11/21/11. Notes: This is at least the 3rd found footage spec script sale of 2011 [“Evidence,” “Category Six”].
99. Title: Guy’s Night Logline: Story centers on four guys stuck in dead-end jobs and not-much-better relationships who hear about a mystery island off the coast of New Jersey where anything goes. One night, they set off in search of adventure — but everything that can go wrong does. Writer: Chris Baldi Genre: Comedy Agency: CAA Management: New Wave Entertainment Buyer: Millennium Films Date: 11/28/11. Notes: This is the 3rd spec script sale of the year for Baldi.
100. Title: Narco Sub Logline: Described as reminiscent of Scott’s Crimson Tide and Man on Fire, plot for “Narco Sub” involves the semi-submersible crafts South American drug cartels employ to smuggle cocaine into the U.S. Writer: David Guggenheim Genre: Action Thriller Agency: Paradigm Management: Madhouse Entertainment Buyer: Twentieth Century Fox Date: 11/28/11.
101. Title: Hidden Logline: Project is an elevated horror-thriller about a family hiding in a bomb shelter after escaping a mysterious outbreak. Writers: Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer. Genre: Horror-Thriller Agency: Paradigm Buyer: Warner Bros. Date: 12/1/11 Notes: Duffer are first-timers.
102. Title: Untitled Peter Morgan Project Logline: The character-driven story is set in America and features two strong male leads in the vein of “Heat” and “The Departed.” Writer: Peter Morgan Genre: Heist Agency: UTA Management: Independent Talent Group Buyer: New Line Date: 12/2/11.
103. Title: Sad Jack Logline: “Sad Jack” tells the story of a hired assassin who is challenged by his paranoid schizophrenia to distinguish real threats from those conceived in his imagination. Writer: Chris Borrelli Genre: Action-Thriller Agency: WME Management: H2F Buyer: Code Entertainment Date: 12/7/11 Notes: Multiple bidders including White Knuckle, Mandalay Vision and Bold Films.
104. Title: The Follower Logline: Thriller about a recovering alcoholic who, bored with her life as an unemployed wife, takes her wealthy friend’s suggestion of following a person at random to spy on their life for kicks, she soon finds that what she’s learned about this random stranger could mean the end of both her marriage and life. Writer: Tony Giglio Genre: Thriller Agency: Paradigm Management: New Wave Entertainment Buyer: Millennium Films Date: 12/8/11.
105. Title: Kidnap Logline: Movie centers on a woman whose son is kidnapped at a local mall and her subsequent race to find his abductors. Writer: Knate Gwaltney Genre: Thriller Agency: Original Artists Buyer: IM Global Date: 12/9/11.
106: Title: Dog’s Best Friend Logline: A “free-spirited” dog and his commitment-phobic master break up a dognapping ring. Writer: Ben August Genre: Family Comedy Agency: APA Management: Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment Buyer: Gold Circle Films Date: 12/9/11. Notes: First-timer.
107. Title: Bodies at Rest Logline: Three thugs who break into a morgue to cover up a crime and the medical examiner and assistant who must figure out a way to stay alive as well as protect the evidence. Writer: David Lesser Genre: Thriller [Contained] Agency: Preferred Artists Management: New Wave Entertainment Buyer: Nasser Entertainemt Caliber Media Date: 12/13/11. Notes: Script went out 6 months ago.
108. Title: Secretaries Day Logline: N/A Writer: Drew Pearce Genre: Comedy Agency: WME Buyer: Sony Pictures Date: 12/14/11.
109. Title: The Driver Logline: Driver centers on a man whose life suburban existence is flipped on his drive to work when he finds himself coerced to be the wheelman of an assembled group of criminals. The man learns that thieves were not randomly assembled and that the heist leads to a larger mystery. Writer: Zach Luna Genre: Action Thriller Agency: WME Management: Energy Entertainment Buyers: Voltage Productions / Solipsist Films Date: 12/15/11.
110. Title: One Night Stand Logline: A drama with comedic elements, the script is described as an honest look at a man and a woman in the aftermath of a one night stand. Writer: Joel Edgerton Genre: Drama Comedy Agency: CAA Management: Shanahan Management Buyer: New Regency Date: December 2011 [reported 1/17/2012]. Notes: Edgerton is actor (“Warrior”).
* Notable Sales: Father Daughter Time: A Tale of Armed Robbery and Eskimo Kisses, Arthur & Lancelot, The Imitation Game.
* Top Dollar Sales: Arthur & Lancelot [$2M], He’s F***ing Perfect [$1M], Sex Tape [Seven-figures], Expiration [Seven-figures], The Imitation Game [Seven-figures].
* Interesting Storylines: The year of Found Footage film and lots of first-timers.
* For the first time in a decade, spec script sales topped the 100 mark, signifying a rebound in the spec market, doubling the number of deals the previous year. Trendline here:
Now it’s your turn to do some analysis. Who’s willing to get the stats on these questions:
* Breakdown of sales by studios.
* Breakdown of sales by genre.
* Which of these scripts were produced as movies and what percentage of the total does that represent?
Finally your opinions: Which one of these loglines strikes you as the strongest and why?