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Madonna Biopic Script Tops 2016 Black List

By Brian Gallagher — December 12th, 2016

Earlier today, the 2016 Black List was unveiled, marking the 11th year that this list of the "most-liked" unproduced screenplays has been released. The Black List is compiled from the suggestions of over 250 motion picture executives, who "contributed the names of up to ten of [their] favorite scripts that were written in, or are somehow uniquely associated with, 2016 and will not have begun principal photography during this calendar year." This year, there were 73 scripts named to the Black List, with the top script being Blonde Ambition, written by Elyse Hollander, which is a biopic that follows Madonna's early career. Here's the official plot logline.

"In 1980s New York, Madonna struggles to get her frst album released while navigating fame, romance, and a music industry that views women as disposal."

Blond Ambition received 48 mentions from The Black List executives, easily the most of this year's winners, with each script required to be mentioned at least six times for inclusion on the list. Elyse Hollander has previously written and directed a number of short films, while also serving as an assistant to director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu on the Best Picture Winner Birdman. If Blonde Ambition does get turned into a film, it will mark her feature writing debut.

There was also a three-way tie for second place on The Black List, with This Is Us and Pitch creator Dan Fogelman's Life Itself, Tony Trost's The Olympian and Liz Hannah's The Post, which all received 35 mentions. Life Itself is a "multigenerational love story that weaves together a number of characters whose lives intersect over the course of decades from the streets of New York to the Spanish countryside and back." The Olympian tells the true story of a rower trying to make the U.S. Olympic rowing team in 1984, while The Post follows the Washington Post's coverage of The Pentagon Papers, as "Washington Post scion Katharine Graham and legendary editor Ben Bradlee overcame their differences to publish the story that would change their lives."

Other notable inclusions are Voyagers (28 mentions) from Zach Dean (Deadfall), following the "cosmic love story of Carl Sagan and Ann Druyane" and an Untitled Lax Mandis Project from Seth Spector (22 mentions), which is an obvious reference to controversial screenwriter Max Landis. The story follows "a frustrated film exec at odds with the state of his industry (who) is forced to work with the one person who is making him question everything." San Andreas 2 and Now You See Me 3 writers Neil Widener and Gavin James also made this year's list with Battle of Alcatraz, which follows a plan to escape from Alcatraz that turns into a hostage crisis that pits "armoed prisoners against US Army troops for two full days."

Iron Man 3 and Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation writer Drew Pearce also landed on this year's list with Hotel Artemis, which is set in a "riot-torn, near-future Los Angeles." The story follows six people who become trapped for a night at the Hotel Artemis, "a secret, members-only emergency room for criminals." There have been a number of critically-acclaimed films that have been made from scripts that appeared on The Black List, such as Argo, American Hustle, Juno, The King's Speech, Slumdog Millionaire, Spotlight and The Revenant, just to name a few. You can take a look at the entire list at The Black List website.

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