2016 Spec Script Deals

Analysis of all the spec script deals in 2016.

Spec Script Spirit Guide — Joe Eszterhas

2016 Spec Script Deal List

2016 Spec Script Deals Analysis: Genres

2016 Spec Script Deals Analysis: Buyers

2016 Spec Script Deals Analysis: Agents and Managers

2016 Spec Script Deals Analysis: Top Sales

2016 Spec Script Deals Analysis: First-Timers

For The Definitive Spec Script Deals List [1991–2016], go here.


2016 Spec Script Deals was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

Spec Script Deals Analysis 2016: First-Timers

Francis Marion and Mary Pickford

As we continue our analysis of spec script sales in 2016, today we check out the first-timers, writers who broke into the business by setting up a spec script.

Man Alive — Joe Greenberg / Twentieth Century Fox — 4/22/16

Described as elevated science fiction.

American Rebel — Christopher Cosmos / Pascal Pictures — 9/23/16

Based on the true story of Deborah Sampson, who risked her life during the Revolutionary War by disguising herself as a man and joining the Continental Army.

Federal Offense — Connor Martin / Boundless Pictures — 10/3/16

Three best friends lose a drug kingpin’s stash before finding themselves on the lam from gangsters, bounty hunters and the law after breaking their foul-mouthed grandfather out of his nursing home.

Silent Night — James Luckard / Fox International Productions — 10/14/16

It’s 1941 in Berlin — the heart of the escalating Nazi empire — as a brutal serial killer roams the blacked-out streets, targeting young women. Determined to keep the nation focused on the war effort, Nazi leadership tasks homicide detective Alex Lang with tracking down the murderer.

Hummingbird — John McClain / Fundamental Films — 10/27/16

A female black-ops assassin discovers she’s more than just a hired gun but an entirely new breed of weapon.

The Post — Liz Hannah / Pascal Pictures — 10/31/16

Script deals with the Washington Post’s role in exposing the Pentagon Papers in 1971, and how the Post’s editor Ben Bradlee and publisher Kay Graham challenged the federal government over their right to publish them.

Yuba — Eamon O’Sullivan / Netflix — 11/2/16

Yuba is a gritty Western with two main characters, set in the Gold Rush era. At that time, the Yuba river valley often was cited as the most lawless lands of the Old West.

Congratulations to all the first-timers!

[Note: The list above does not include the many writers who used a spec script to gain representation and/or land an assignment base on their spec as a writing sample.]

2016 Spec Script Deal List
2016 Spec Script Deals Analysis: Genres
2016 Spec Script Deals Analysis: Buyers
2016 Spec Script Deals Analysis: Agents and Managers
2016 Spec Script Deals Analysis: Top Sales

Tomorrow: Gender Breakdown.


Spec Script Deals Analysis 2016: First-Timers was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

Spec Script Deals Analysis 2016: Top Sales

Continuing our week long analysis of spec script sales from 2016, today we look at the deals with the biggest payoffs (at least as reported by various news outlets):

Horton Foote

Moonfall — Science Fiction
Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser, Spenser Cohen — Seven figures

The Aeronauts — Action Adventure
Jake Thorne — Seven figures

American Rebel — Historical Drama
Christopher Cosmos — High six figures

The Miserable Adventures of Burt Squire Aboard the Horn High Yo — Adventure Comedy
Ben Bolea — Mid-six figures

StuberAction Comedy
Tripper Clancy — Mid-six figures

Besties — Comedy
Cassie Daniels, Mark Bartosic — Low to mid-six figures

Man Alive — Science Fiction
Joe Greenberg — Six figures

The Silver Arrow — Heist Thriller
Nika Agiashvili — Six figures

Backward Falling — Science Fiction Romance
Byron Willinger, Phillip De Blasi — Low six figures

There were several more deals with no sales price reported, but were acquired in competitive bidding situations or preemptive purchases including Bravado, Captive State, Couple Up, Exposure, Fairy Godmother, The Last Days of Night, Life Itself, Mary, Red Widow.

Congratulations, writers!

2016 Spec Script Deal List
2016 Spec Script Deals Analysis: Genres
2016 Spec Script Sales Analysis: Buyers
2016 Spec Script Sales Analysis: Agents and Managers

Tomorrow: First timers!


Spec Script Deals Analysis 2016: Top Sales was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

2016 Spec Script Sales Analysis: Agents & Managers

We continue with our analysis of spec script deals in 2016. Today: Agents and Managers.

Nora Ephron

Note: A majority of projects were repped by both an agency and a manager / management company, so the total numbers of reps listed will be significantly higher than the number of scripts sold.

First the agencies. The numbers in parentheses mark 2015 totals.

Agencies

WME — 16 (8)
CAA — 14 (9)
UTA — 10 (8)
Paradigm — 10 (7)
ICM Partners — 5 (3)
Verve — 5 (2)
APA — 4 (4)
The Agency — 1 (1)
Claire Best and Associates — 1 (0)
ESA — 1 (0)
Gersh — 1 (5)
Original Artists — 1 (1)

Management

Madhouse Entertainment — 8 (2)
Think Tank Management — 4 (N/A)
Anonymous Content — 3 (2)
Circle of Confusion — 3 (3)
Echo Lake — 3 (N/A)
Benderspink — 2 (3)
Grandview — 2 (4)
Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment — 2 (2)
Management 360–2 (4)
Mosaic Entertainment — 2 (N/A)
Oasis Media Group — 2 (N/A)
Pacific View Management — 2 (N/A)
Writ Large — 2 (N/A)
3 Arts Entertainment — 1 (1)
Bellevue — 1 (N/A)
Craig Cook — 1 (N/A)
Allison Doyle — 1 (N/A)
Energy Entertainment — 1 (2)
Exile Entertainment — 1 (N/A)
The Gotham Group — 1 (4)
Peter Heller — 1 (N/A)
Heroes and Villains Entertainment — 1 (N/A)
Hung Entertainment Group — 1 (2)
Industry Entertainment — 1 (3)
LBI Entertainment — 1 (N/A)
Levity Entertainment Group — 1 (N/A)
Old Soul Entertainment — 1 (N/A)
Parallax Talent Management — 1 (2)
Principato-Young Entertainment — 2 (1)
Rain Management — 1 (N/A)
Realm — 1 (N/A)
Stagecoach Entertainment — 1 (N/A)
Lee Stobby — 1 (N/A)
Thruline Entertainment — 1 (1)
Zero Gravity Management — 1 (N/A)

You should familiarize yourself with these players, study the type of projects they sell. This can help when targeting inquiries for management representation.

Tomorrow: The big money spec script sales of 2016.

2016 Spec Script Deal List
2016 Spec Script Deals Analysis: Genres
2016 Spec Script Sales Analysis: Buyers


2016 Spec Script Sales Analysis: Agents & Managers was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

Trailer for Sundance 2016 Favorite ‘As You Are’ with Owen Campbell

As You Are Trailer

“Fresh and richly intelligent.” A new trailer has arrived online for an indie film titled As You Are, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival last year to positive reviews (here’s my review). I’m glad to see this is finally being released soon, it’s a great film. Owen Campbell stars as a teenager caught in a love triangle between his two friends – played by Charlie Heaton and Amandla Stenberg. The cast includes Mary Stuart Masterson, Scott Cohen and John Scurti. This is best to see without knowing too much going in, because the film reveals the truth as the story plays out. The trailer features the song “Appalachian Moon” written and performed by Kevin Reilly, included on the soundtrack. I recommend giving this a look. ›››

Continue reading Trailer for Sundance 2016 Favorite ‘As You Are’ with Owen Campbell


FirstShowing.net

Ryan Murphy Says Next American Horror Story Season Will Be Based on the 2016 Election

Ryan Murphy says next American Horror Story season will be based on the 2016 election

Ryan Murphy says next American Horror Story to be based on 2016 election

The theme of the next season of American Horror Story‘s seventh season isn’t a mystery any longer. Creator and producer Ryan Murphy just revealed the theme during a guest spot on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. According to Murphy, season seven of the show will be based on the 2016 election cycle. What could be scarier than that?

Related: American Horror Story Season 7 Greenlit by FX

When asked by Cohen about whether he had any new American Horror Story news, Murphy replied, “Well, I don’t have a title, but the season we begin shooting in June is going to be about the election that we just went through. So, I think that will be interesting for a lot of people.” Cohen asked if there would “be, like a Trump in it,” Murphy responded, “Uh, maybe.”

Murphy was on the show promoting his new FX series Feud: Bette and Joan about the filming of Joan Crawford, played by Jessica Lange (an American Horror Story alum), and Bette Davis, played by Susan Sarandon (Thelma & Louise) during the filming of the Academy Award-winning film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Previous seasons of American Horror Story have included Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show, Hotel and Roanoke.

American Horror Story was renewed for two more seasons back in January. The series has a number of recurring actors between seasons and Sarah Paulson (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) and Evan Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past) have already been confirmed to return.

If there does end up being a Donald Trump-based character in season 7, who would you like to see play him? Would it be any of the recurring actors from earlier seasons? Let us know your thoughts on who should get the role in the comments or tweet us @Comingsoonnet. Watch the video from Watch What Happens Live below.

The post Ryan Murphy Says Next American Horror Story Season Will Be Based on the 2016 Election appeared first on ComingSoon.net.

ComingSoon.net

‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Writer & Producer Reunite for Miniseries About 2016 Election

Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Presidential Debate Election 2016

Hey, remember the complete and utter national meltdown that was the 2016 presidential election? Of course you do — it was only three and a half months ago, even if it feels like it was four lifetimes ago. Well, how would you like to relive that entire debacle as TV drama? Zero Dark Thirty writer Mark Boal and producer Megan Ellison are reportedly working on a project about last year’s events, to be released as an eight- to ten-hour miniseries. 

The Hollywood Reporter writes that Boal will write the as-yet-untitled series, and produce it through his Page 1 production company. That company is financed by Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures. A group of journalists is being assembled by Hugo Lindgren, a Hollywood Reporter editor and New York Times Magazine alum who is also president of Boal’s Page 1, to act as investigative reporters for the project.

In a hilarious understatement, the trade notes that the election “remains a very contentious topic in America three months after it was held.” The 2016 presidential race is certainly one of the most dramatic sagas in recent American history, and it was probably just a matter of time before someone tried to turn it into a movie or show. Boal and Ellison might be along the first ones to announce an adaptation of it, but I’d be surprised if they were the last ones.

There’s no word yet on when we might actually see the show. Since it seems to be in the very early stages, it’ll probably be a while. (Hopefully that means the wounds from that election will feel a little less fresh by the time we’re reliving it on the small screen.) Nor is there any indication of where the miniseries might air. Based on the pedigree, I’d say a premium cable channel like HBO or Showtime seems likely, or perhaps a streaming service like Amazon — but that’s just speculation on my part.

Boal and Ellison have already demonstrated a knack for dramatizing real-life events. Ellison produced Boal’s Zero Dark Thirty, which was directed by Kathryn Bigelow, and all three have since reunited for the untitled Detroit Riots movie currently in post-production and the untitled Bowe Bergdahl movie still in development. Boal’s other notable credits include The Hurt Locker, which earned Oscars for him and Bigelow, and J.C. Chandor’s upcoming drama Triple Frontier. (The latter just recently scooped up Mahershala Ali to join Tom Hardy and Channing Tatum, in case you were curious how that’s going.)

The post ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Writer & Producer Reunite for Miniseries About 2016 Election appeared first on /Film.


/Film

2016 Spec Script Sales Analysis: Buyers

Ben Hecht

Yesterday we looked at 2016 spec script deals by genre. Today we break down the numbers per major studios, mini-majors, subsidiaries, production companies, and financiers to see which were the most and least active in the script acquisition market. The totals:

8
20th Century Fox

4
Paramount

3
Amazon Studios
Endurance Media
FilmNation
MGM
Thunder Road

2
Black Bear Pictures
DreamWorks
Netflix
Participant Media
Pascal Pictures
Sony Pictures Entertainment
STX Entertainment
Tooley Productions
Universal Pictures

1
A24
Amblin Entertainment
Armory Films
Bold Films
Boundless Pictures
Centropolis Entertainment
Elston Films
Electric Entertainment
End Cue
Entertainment One Films International
The Firm
Fox 2000
Fox International Productions
Fundamental Films
GMH Productions
Good Universe
Green-Light International
Hyperion Media Group
Imprint Entertainment
Lakeshore Entertainment
LD Entertainment
Lionsgate
Millennium Films
NBC
Route One Entertainment
Screen Gems
Storyscape Entertainment
Svensk Filmindustri
The Weinstein Company
Working Title

Look at these numbers from the years 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 per each major studio:

20th Century Fox 5 / 3 / 1 / 7 / 3 / 3 / 8 / 4 / 8
Disney 5 / 1 / 2 / 1 / 2 / 0 / 2 / 3 / 0
Paramount 1 / 5 / 4 / 4 / 12 / 3 / 2 / 1 / 4
Sony Pictures 8 / 4 / 1 / 7 / 9 / 3 / 10 / 2 / 2
Universal 6 / 6 / 1 / 6 / 9 / 6 / 4 / 6 / 2
Warner Bros. 8 / 8 / 8 / 15 / 7 / 4 / 2 / 4 / 0

With the exception of Fox and Paramount, the majors took a back seat on the spec script caravan last year. Indeed Warner Bros., which for years has topped the chart, completed its pullback from the spec market by joining Disney in the 0-fer category. With Disney drawing upon its Marvel, Pixar, Lucas Films, and live action remake resources, one can understand their absence in the spec market. But Warner Bros.? They’re still several years out from the inevitable Harry Potter reboots and have yet to crack the DC Comics universe.

16 spec sales per the majors proper. Add 2 more (Fox 2000, Fox International Productions). 3 for MGM, 2 DreamWorks, 1 Lionsgate. And I suppose we need to usher in the Amazon (3) and Netflix (2) era. That brings us to a total 29 by the majors and mini-majors. That comes out 39%, down considerably from 2015 (55%) and 2014 (56%).

What does that mean? Over 60% of spec script deals in 2016 were the result of acquisitions by financiers and independent production companies, so while the overall number of deals rose considerably compared to 2015, the outlay of dollars was probably flat or even down.

20th Century Fox
Free Guy
Genesis
Man Alive
Operation Prince of Freedom
The State
Stuber
Turned On
Women In Business

Paramount
Bravado
Do No Harm
Northeast Kingdom
The Gun Show

MGM
Deeper
Fairy Godmother
Set It Up

Sony
Inner City
Love in the Time of Dick Pics

Universal
Moonfall

What do you take away from this information?

Tomorrow: Agents and managers.

For a list of all the 2016 spec script deals, go here.


2016 Spec Script Sales Analysis: Buyers was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

2016 Spec Script Deal List

Every year since I launched the blog in 2008, I do a week-long analysis of the recent year in terms of spec script deals. This week, we look back at 2016.

First, my usual caveat: Tracking spec script deals is not an exact science. To make the blog’s list, there almost always has to be some sort of article in the press verifying a deal, but even then that can get dicey because the term “spec script” is itself rather amorphous in meaning.

In the broadest terms, it applies to any deal made for a script written ‘speculatively,’ that is for no fees, just the writer’s own sweat equity with the hope of making a sale. Seems simple enough, but there is a lot of gray area:

  • Some deals get announced that are in effect handshake, no money arrangements.
  • Some deals are by professional writers with a preexisting relationship with a production group or studio, so that a tacit agreement was in place for the project from the get-go, even if nothing official until the script comes in.
  • Some deals are scripts that have been circulating for many months, even years in the process of being packaged, then finally get announced when the project receives a green light.
  • Some deals are option arrangements for as little as $ 5–10K, not what we typically associate with spec script sales (i.e., six figures).

There is no way to determine by any objective standard the precise number of spec script deals in any given year. However since I have been using the same sources of information and standards in tracking deals, it is possible to track trends as well as have at least some idea of what projects got set up in a twelve-month period.

Each day this week, I will provide analysis of the 2016 spec script deals:

Tuesday: Genres

Wednesday: Studios

Thursday: Agents & Managers

Friday: Top Sales

Saturday: First Timers

Paddy Chayefsky

Here is the entire list of 75 spec script deals from 2016 including links to my blog posts covering each acquisition:

1. Title: Bury the Lead Logline: A talented journalist who, in his life-long quest for a Pulitzer Prize, fabricates the truth to create a compelling murder story. When his concocted conspiracy becomes real, right and wrong become entangled as he fights for his safety, career and family before time runs out. Writer: Justin Kremer Genre: Drama Thriller Agency: CAA Management: Madhouse Entertainment Buyer: Elston Films Date: 1/20/16 Notes: 2013 Black List script.

2. Title: Leverage Logline: Set in the summer of 1974, it wraps a murder mystery around the beginnings of modern Wall Street mergers-and-acquisitions hustlers evident in films like The Wolf Of Wall Street. Writer: Oliver Kramer Genre: Drama Management: Oasis Media Group Buyer: FilmNation Date: 2/4/16 Notes: Bought amid competitive situation.

3. Title: Smoke on the Water Logline: Set in the world of offshore boat racing, open water drug smuggling and the U.S. Coast Guard–exploring the “nautical narcotic highway” from Cuba to Key West. Writers: Trey Callaway, Rick Parks Genre: Action Agency: CAA Management: Rain Management Group, Silvera Management Prod Co: Thunder Road Date: 2/5/16.

4. Title: Horizon Line Logline: Follows a couple on a small airplane which loses its way over the Pacific Ocean. Writers: Josh Campbell, Matt Stuecken Genre: Thriller Agency: UTA Management: Madhouse Entertainment Buyer: Svensk Filmindustri Date: 2/10/16

5. Title: Malpractice Logline: In the vein of “Taken” meets “The Fugitive.” Writer: Tyler Marceca Genre: Thriller Agency: WME Management: Anonymous Content Buyer: Endurance Productions Date: 2/10/16 Notes: Option deal. Writer made the 2012 Black List.

6. Title: Burnt Offering Logline: Described as “Prisoners” meets “Silence of the Lambs” Writer: Tyler Marceca Genre: Drama Thriller Agency: WME Management: Anonymous Content Buyer: Armory Films Date: 2/10/16 Notes: Option deal. Writer made the 2012 Black List. This is his 2nd spec script deal of 2016.

7. Title: Miami, PI Logline: A young PI with a checkered past teams up with an ex-model/hot mess to solve the murder of a young girl in Miami. As they navigate the sleazy underbelly of Miami and follow leads pertaining to the murder, they find themselves in way over their heads as they begin to uncover clues linking a high-powered figure to a far-reaching conspiracy. Writer: Michael Diliberti Genre: Detective Drama Agency: WME Buyer: Endurance Media Date: 2/11/16 Notes: Writer made the 2011 Black List. Slated to direct the movie.

8. Title: Battle of New Orleans Logline: One of the greatest untold stories in American history featuring General and future President, Andrew Jackson, who reluctantly partners with world-renowned pirate Jean Lafitte to lead a ragtag team of soldiers against the indomitable British Army in the climactic battle of the War of 1812. Writer: Daniel Kunka Genre: Historical War Drama Agency: ICM Partners Management: Madhouse Entertainment Buyer: Endurance Media Date: 2/11/16 Notes: Writer made the 2014 Black List.

9. Title: Set It Up Logline: Two overworked assistants with nasty bosses try to get their supervisors out of their hair, by setting them up romantically. Writer: Katie Silberman Genre: Romantic Comedy Agency: CAA Buyer: MGM Date: 2/19/16.

10: Title: Samaritan Logline: 20 years after an epic battle left a city’s supervillain dead and its superhero missing, a young boy befriends the old man across the alleyway and as their relationship develops, the boy comes to believe the man is the hero in hiding. The truth, however, proves to be more shocking than the boy could have ever imagined. Writer: Bragi F. Schut Genre: Drama Agency: Verve Management: Realm Buyer: Bold Films Date: 2/18/16.

11. Title: Bravado Logline: The protagonist is a former soldier who believes the world is a good place and worth fighting for, but his optimism is tested in the most dramatic way possible after he returns home from the war and takes a job as a police officer. Writer: BenDavid Grabinski Genre: Action Agency: UTA Management: Kaplan/Perrone Buyer: Paramount Date: 3/3/16. Notes: Ticking clock offer and preemptive deal.

12. Title: Intrusion Logline: A woman moves with her husband to a small town in Maine after a cancer scare and becomes the victim of a strange home invasion. She begins to uncover a darkness underneath her seemingly idyllic new life. Writer: Chris Sparling Genre: Thriller Agency: UTA Management: Kaplan/Perrone Buyer: Good Universe Date: 3/15/16.

13. Title: The Caretaker Logline: Set in the future amid a violent robot uprising that pits man against machine, The Caretaker follows a life-like female android who chooses to protect a young girl. The bond forged along the journey to reunite the girl with her missing father may be the only thing that can stem the tide of war. Writer: Duncan Samarasinghe Genre: Science Fiction Thriller Agency: UTA Management: Old Soul Entertainment Buyer: Screen Gems Date: 3/16/16. Notes: Script was a 2014 Nicholl semifinalist.

14. Title: Bubbles Logline: The story of Michael Jackson’s life and history from the perspective of the pet Chimp which got a close-up view after being adopted by Jackson from an Austin, Texas research facility and given residence at the Neverland Ranch in 1983. Writer: Isaac Adamson Genre: Biopic Comedy Agency: CAA Management: Lee Stobby Buyer: End Cue Date: 3/18/16. Notes: To be produced by Dan Harmon as a stop-motion animated feature.

15. Title: Bright Logline: Contemporary cop thriller, but with fantastical elements. Writer: Max Landis Genre: Thriller Agency: WME Management: Writ Large Buyer: Netflix Date: 3/19/16. Notes: Sale price for screenplay: $ 3M. Part of a $ 90M package deal including Will Smith and Joel Edgerton to star, David Ayer to direct.

16. Title: Mid ’90s Logline: Follows a young boy coming up in Los Angeles in the mid-1990s learning life lessons with his skateboarding crew of friends. Writer: Jonah Hill Genre: Drama Agency: WME Management: LBI Entertainment Buyer: A24 Date: 3/30/16.

17. Title: Done It All Logline: A biopic of musician Merle Haggard’s life. Writer: Cliff Hollingsworth Genre: Biopic Drama Agency: N/A Management: N/A Prod Co: GMH Productions Date: 4/12/16. Notes: An option deal.

18. Title: Deeper Logline: Involves a former astronaut hired to take a submersible to the lowest point in the ocean. As the submersible gets closer to its destination, supernatural events transpire. Writer: Max Landis Genre: Action Supernatural Agency: WME Management: Writ Large Buyer: MGM Date: 4/12/16. Notes: Bradley Cooper attached to star.

19. Title: Stuber Logline: Takes place over one harrowing night in the life of an Uber driver named Stu. Writer: Tripper Clancy Genre: Action Comedy Agency: UTA Management: Benderspink Buyer: Twentieth Century Fox Date: 4/15/16. Notes: Reported mid-six figure deal.

20. Title: Women In Business Logline: The film, centers on two competitive women who are sent on a business trip to Canada. There, they hire a third woman off Craigslist to act as their intern, which derails their trip. Writer: Laura Steinel Genre: Comedy Agency: UTA Management: Principato-Young Entertainment Buyer: Twentieth Century Fox Date: 4/21/16. Notes: Bidding war. Emma Stone, Kate McKinnon and Jillian Bell attached to star.

21. Title: Man Alive Logline: Described as elevated science fiction Writer: Joe Greenberg Genre: Science Fiction Agency: Verve Management: Benderspink Buyer: Twentieth Century Fox Date: 4/22/16. Notes: Writer is a first-timer. Deal reported to be for six figures.

22. Title: Couple Up Logline: A married couple, verging on divorce, wishes they had never met. In an It’s A Wonderful Life-type scenario, they see what life would have been like had they never gotten together. Writer: Joshua Friedlander Genre: Fantasy Drama Agency: Paradigm Management: Industry Entertainment Buyer: Lionsgate Date: 4/22/16. Notes: Bidding is described as having been a “competitive situation”.

23. Title: Exposure Logline: Rosalind Franklin, an extraordinary scientist, is an expert at crystallography and takes the first photos that eventually lead James Watson to figure out the structure of the DNA in 1953. She never gets the credit she deserves and dies of cancer in 1958. Writers: Hayley Schore and Roshan Sethi Genre: Drama Biography Agency: ICM Partners Management: Stagecoach Entertainment Buyer: Entertainment One Films International Date: 4/29/16. Notes: Auction that had studios in the competitive mix.

24. Title: Victim 321 Logline: A jaded Chicago homicide detective wakes up in the body of an ex-con three days before his murder. He has 72 hours to unravel the conspiracy behind the victim’s death, or he’ll meet his own demise. Writer: Michael McGrale Genre: Thriller Agency: CAA Management: Craig Cook Buyer: Millennium Films Date: 5/4/16.

25. Title: Untitled Angela Davis Project Logline: Suspected 60s radical Angela Davis, accused of conspiracy in the murder of a federal judge, became the first woman on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list, became an iconic symbol of an era. After fleeing from authorities, she is eventually captured and must exonerate herself from an all white jury during the racially turbulent early 1970’s. Writer: LaToya Morgan Genre: Biopic Agency: CAA Management: Echo Lake Buyer: The Firm. Date: 5/5/16.

26. Title: The Last Days of Night Logline: The miracle of electric light is in its infancy. Thomas Edison has won the race to the patent office and is suing his only remaining rival, George Westinghouse, for the unheard of sum of one billion dollars. To defend himself, Westinghouse makes a surprising choice in his attorney: He hires an untested twenty-six-year-old fresh out of Columbia Law School named Paul Cravath. The task facing Cravath is beyond daunting. Edison proves to be a formidable, wily, and dangerous opponent. Yet this young, unknown attorney shares with his famous opponent a compulsion to win at all costs. How will he do it? As he takes greater and greater risks, he’ll find that everyone in his path is playing their own game, and no one is quite who they seem. Writer: Graham Moore Genre: Historical Drama Agency: CAA Management: Think Tank Management Buyer: Black Bear Pictures Date: 5/10/16. Notes: Auction. Moore wrote the script on spec adapting his own book which is to be published in the fall.

27. Title: The Gun Show Logline: An action comedy in the vein of Ride Along meets Demolition Man, the spec focuses on a famous top cop who wakes up 20 years after a shootout and gets reinstated to solve the case that killed his old partner. He’s a bull in a china shop, as 2016 is a very different time than the 1990s world he was used to. To teach him the ropes, he’s paired with his old partner’s son, who is a risk averse traffic cop. Writer: Lucas Carter Genre: Action Comedy Management: Echo Lake Entertainment Buyer: Paramount Pictures Date: 6/2/16.

28. Title: 17 Bridges Logline: The thriller follows a disgraced detective in the NYPD who is given a shot at redemption. Thrust into a citywide manhunt for a cop killer, he begins to undercover a massive conspiracy that links his fellow cops to a criminal empire and must decide who he is hunting and who is actually hunting him. During the manhunt, Manhattan is completely locked down for the first time in its history — no exit or entry to the island including all 17 bridges. Writer: Adam Mervis Genre: Thriller Agency: Paradigm Management: Grandview Buyer: STX Entertainment Date: 6/2/16.

29. Title: Burn Run Logline: When an intelligence leak dangerously exposes a covert mission in Afghanistan, a grieving CIA operative and his translator must find their way out of the desert, outgunned and hunted by elite special forces. Writer: Mitchell LaFortune Genre: Action Agency: Paradigm Buyer: Thunder Road Pictures Date: 6/6/16. Notes: Writer is a former Army sergeant and intelligence analyst with the 82nd Airborne Division.

30. Title: Backward Falling Logline: A man and a woman who fall in love as they literally fall backward through time, sometimes landing in the same time period and sometimes losing one another for years. They struggle to stay together while trying to understand what is happening to them and why. Writers: Byron Willinger, Phillip De Blasi Genre: Science Fiction Romance Agency: Verve Buyer: Storyscape Entertainment Date: 6/8/16. Notes: Low-six figure deal.

31. Title: Reason of State Logline: A taut political thriller unfolding over 24 hours inside one of the world’s most famous addresses: 10 Downing Street. Writer: Matthew Orton Genre: Political Thriller Agency: WME, The Agency Management: Grandview Buyer: Black Bear Pictures Date: 6/10/16. Notes: 2nd spec script sale by Orton.

32. Title: Do No Harm Logline: An ambitious surgeon’s life takes a dangerous turn when she indulges in an a air with a doctor whose god complex challenges her own. Writer: Julia Cox Genre: Thriller Agency: APA Management: Allison Doyle Buyer: Paramount Pictures Date: 6/17/16. Notes: Script made the 2015 Black List.

33. Title: Moonfall Logline: An unlikely band of misfits must unite to save humanity when the moon falls out of orbit and hurtles towards earth. Writers: Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser, Spenser Cohen Genre: Science Fiction Agencies: CAA, WME Buyer: Universal Pictures Date: 6/24/16. Notes: Seven figure deal.

34. Title: Trigger Warning Logline: The script is described as a female First Blood with John Wick thrown in for good measure, where the reluctant heroine reveals herself in a small town. Writers: John Brancato, Josh Olson Genre: Action Agencies: Paradigm, Claire Best & Associates Management: The Gotham Group Buyer: Thunder Road Pictures Date: 6/23/16.

35. Title: Mary Logline: A struggling family buys an old ship at auction with high hopes of starting a charter business, only to discover her horrifying secrets on the isolated open waters. Writer: Anthony Jaswinski Genre: Thriller Agency: Paradigm Management: Circle of Confusion Buyer: Tooley Productions Date: 6/24/16. Notes: Competitive bidding situation.

36. Title: Porter Rockwell Logline: The story is set in the Utah territory during the mid-1800s gold rush. Rockwell, who became a U.S. Deputy Marshal, reluctantly leads a family of prospectors into the mountains, where they are ambushed and he is left for dead. Fueled by vengeance, Rockwell treks through rugged and snowy terrain to hunt down the gang that kidnapped a rebellious young girl. Writer: Antonio Macia Genre: Period Western Agency: Paradigm Management: Management 360 Buyer: Hyperion Media Group Date: 6/29/16.

37. Title: The Fall Logline: In the midst of an alien invasion, a freshly divorced couple must survive a dangerous real-time journey on foot from downtown Atlanta to the suburbs, where their young children are home alone. Writer: Pete Bridges Genre: Science Fiction Agency: Verve Management: Madhouse Entertainment Buyer: Amblin Entertainment Date: 7/7/16. Notes: Writer is from Australia.

38. Title: Besties Logline: A woman finds a long-lost love note then sets off on a road trip with her three best friends to break up the wedding of her childhood crush. Writers: Cassie Daniels, Mark Bartosic Genre: Comedy Agency: Paradigm Buyer: DreamWorks Date: 7/22/16. Notes: Bidding war, low-to-mid-six figures.

39. Title: The Wedding Year Logline: A female millennial who isn’t sure she is the marrying type has her relationship and commitment issues put to the test when she is invited to 15 weddings in the same goddamn year. Writer: Donald Diego Genre: Romantic Comedy Agency: WME Management: Think Tank Management Buyer: Lakeshore Entertainment Date: 8/4/16.

40. Title: Red Widow Logline: The story follows superspy Sara Drake, who traded in her legendary career for a normal life eight years earlier and went completely off the grid. Forced back into action after a rogue special ops team murders her husband, Drake embarks on a bloody quest for vengeance that leads to the highest rungs of government, uncovering a secret that could shake the foundations of American democracy. Writer: Matt Altman Genre: Spy Thriller Agency: APA Management: Parallax Talent Management Buyer: STX Entertainment Date: 8/5/16. Notes: Competitive bidding.

41. Title: Genesis Logline: Story details are being kept under wraps, but the script is being described as a sci-fi thriller with action elements Writer: Andrew Baldwin Genre: Science Fiction Thriller Agency: CAA Management: Anonymous Content Buyer: 20th Century Fox Date: 8/9/16. Notes: Writer has had two Black List scripts: 2008 and 2011.

42. Title: The Ridge Logline: The Battle of Takur Ghar and the daring rescue of a fallen Navy Seal behind enemy lines Writer: Joel Carpenter Genre: Action Drama Agency: N/A Management: N/A Production Company: Imprint Entertainment Date: 8/9/16. Notes: Based on the memoir “Two Wars”.

43. Title: Ida Tarbell Logline: The script follows Tarbell as she digs into the Rockefeller oil empire through public documents to unearth the truth behind Standard Oil. Rockefeller would find himself against a formidable foe, the 45-year-old teacher and journalist Tarbell, who later also would pen a profile of the businessman. Tarbell’s exposé ended up not only changing the way others thought about journalism but also put a microscope on Rockefeller’s vast empire. Writer: Mark McDevitt Genre: Period Drama Agency: UTA Management: Think Tank Management Buyer: Amazon Studios Date: 8/15/16 Notes: 2015 Black List script.

44. Title: Life Itself Logline: A multi-generational 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. Writer: Dan Fogelman Genre: Drama Romance Agency: WME Management: Management 360 Buyer: FilmNation Entertainment Date: 8/16/16. Notes: Competitive auction.

45. Title: The Ark Logline: An engineer who, after the death of his wife, has a vision to construct a ship capable of sustaining life in space. When the build happens to coincide with the coming end of the world, the engineer realizes there may be a larger story at play. Writer: Daniel Kunka Genre: Drama Agency: ICM Partners Management: Madhouse Entertainment Buyer: NBC Date: 8/27/16. Notes: Kunka is a two-time Black List writer.

46. Title: Captive State Logline: N/A Writers: Rupert Wyatt, Erica Beeney Genre: Science Fiction Agency: UTA Buyer: Participant Media Date: 8/31/16. Notes: Competitive bidding.

47. Title: Civil War Logline: The true story of the bitter battle to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in 1973, which became a hotbed of dispute for both sides of the gender equality movement that continues to this day. Writer: David Kukoff Genre: Drama Agency: ESA Management: Peter Heller Buyer: FilmNation Date: 9/6/16.

48. Title: Inner City Logline: Described as Michael Clayton meets The Verdict, Gilroy’s new flick follows Roman J. Israel (Denzel Washington), a liberal lawyer in Los Angeles. For years people have taken credit for his hard work, but when the partner at his firm has a heart attack, he becomes the new front man. This leads him to discover less-than-moral actions the firm has taken over the years and what to do going forward. Writer: Dan Gilroy Genre: Legal Thriller Agency: CAA Buyer: Sony Pictures Entertainment Date: 9/22/16. Notes: Denzel Washington attached.

49. Title: American Rebel Logline: Based on the true story of Deborah Sampson, who risked her life during the Revolutionary War by disguising herself as a man and joining the Continental Army. Writer: Christopher Cosmos Genre: Historical Drama Agency: Paradigm Management: Madhouse Entertainment Buyer: Pascal Pictures Date: 9/23/16. Notes: High six figures. First timer.

50. Title: Untitled Talk Show Project Logline: A late-night talk show host who’s at risk of losing her long-running show hires her first female writer. Writer: Mindy Kaling Genre: Comedy Agency: CAA Management: 3 Arts Entertainment Buyer: Fox 2000 Date: 9/28/16. Notes: Emma Thompson attached to star.

51. Title: The Silver Arrow Logline: An international heist thriller about a group of thieves in the search of the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow, a legendary pre-World War II racing car. Writer: Nika Agiashvili Genre: Heist Thriller Agency: N/A Management: N/A Buyer: Green-Light International Date: 9/28/16. Notes: Six figure deal.

52. Title: Operation Prince of Freedom Logline: A group of ragtag Marines are attacked by a Taliban insurgency while escorting a politically incorrect C&W star across Afghanistan. Things take an unexpected turn when the Marines and Taliban alike are forced to unite against an invasion of alien bugs. Writers: Michael Kvamme, Jordan Dunn Genre: Comedy Agency: Verve Management: Mosaic Buyer: 20th Century Fox Date: 9/29/16.

53. Title: Federal Offense Logline: Three best friends lose a drug kingpin’s stash before finding themselves on the lam from gangsters, bounty hunters and the law after breaking their foul-mouthed grandfather out of his nursing home. Writer: Connor Martin Genre: Comedy Agency: APA Buyer: Boundless Pictures Date: 10/3/16. Notes: First-time writer.

54. Title: The Miserable Adventures of Burt Squire Aboard the Horn High Yo Logline: A family man in the midst of a midlife crisis embarks on what he hopes will be a dream sailing vacation. He ends up shipwrecked in the Atlantic Ocean with a charming but unhinged sea captain who is off his meds. Writer: Ben Bolea Genre: Adventure Comedy Agency: WME Management: Bellevue Productions Buyer: LD Entertainment Date: 10/7/16. Notes: Mid-six figures.

55. Title: Silent Night Logline: It’s 1941 in Berlin — the heart of the escalating Nazi empire — as a brutal serial killer roams the blacked-out streets, targeting young women. Determined to keep the nation focused on the war effort, Nazi leadership tasks homicide detective Alex Lang with tracking down the murderer. Writer: James Luckard Genre: Drama Thriller Management: Pacific View Management Buyer: Fox International Productions Date: 10/14/16. Notes: Writer is a first-timer.

56. Title: The Price of Liberty Logline: An American diplomat in Kazakhstan after the fall of the Soviet Union discovers a massive stock of enriched uranium, and it’s a race against time to get it out of the country before potential terrorists get to it first. Writer: Michael Russell Gunn Genre: Drama Thriller Management: Principato-Young Entertainment Agency: WME Buyer: Participant Media Date: 10/18/16. Notes: Based on a true story.

57. Title: Northeast Kingdom Logline: When a vigilant and determined young woman witnesses the betrayal and murder of her father during a smuggler’s drop, she calls in the help of a mysterious female assassin to seek revenge against all those responsible. Writer: Alex R. Johnson Genre: Drama Thriller Agency: Gersh Management: Zero Gravity Management Buyer: Paramount Date: 10/24/16.

58. Title: Fairy Godmother Logline: A comic revisionist look at the classic Fairy Godmother tale. Writer: Chiara Atik Genre: Comedy Agency: WME Management: Think Tank Management Buyer: MGM Date: 10/26/16 Notes: Competitive bidding.

59. Title: Hummingbird Logline: A female black-ops assassin discovers she’s more than just a hired gun but an entirely new breed of weapon. Writer: John McClain Genre: Action Agency: UTA Management: Madhouse Entertainment Buyer: Fundamental Films Date: 10/27/16. Notes: First time writer.

60. Title: The Post Logline: Script deals with the Washington Post’s role in exposing the Pentagon Papers in 1971, and how the Post’s editor Ben Bradlee and publisher Kay Graham challenged the federal government over their right to publish them. Writer: Liz Hannah Genre: Historical Drama Management: Echo Lake Entertainment Buyer: Pascal Pictures Date: 10/31/16. Notes: First time writer.

61. Title: Yuba Logline: Yuba is a gritty Western with two main characters, set in the Gold Rush era. At that time, the Yuba river valley often was cited as the most lawless lands of the Old West. Writer: Eamon O’Sullivan Genre: Western Drama Agency: UTA Management: Energy Entertainment Buyer: Netflix Date: 11/2/16. Notes: Writer is a first-timer.

62. Title: Furby Logline: Centers on Furbys, owl-like creatures with speaking capabilities in dozens of languages. Writers: Daniel Persitz and Devon Kliger Genre: Family Comedy Agency: WME Buyer: The Weinstein Company Date: 11/4/16. Notes: Based on the Hasbro toy line.

63. Title: Palmer Logline: An ex-con returns to his hometown and forms an unlikely bond with a young boy abandoned by his junkie mother. Writer: Cheryl Guerriero Genre: Drama Management: Heroes and Villains Entertainment Buyer: Route One Entertainment Date: 11/8/16. Notes: This is an option deal.

64. Title: Turned On Logline: A brilliant but awkward engineer creates an android to fill in for her in life’s difficult situations. But things soon spiral out of control when the robot self-actualizes. Writer: Charlie Kesslering Genre: Comedy Agency: CAA Management: Mosaic Buyer: 20th Century Fox Date: 11/10/16. Notes: Kesslering was an assistant to James Corden. Paul Feig producing.

65. Title: Free Guy Logline: A bank teller stuck in his routine discovers he’s a background character in a realistic, open-world action-adventure video game and he is the only one capable of saving the world. Writer: Matt Lieberman Genre: Action Comedy Agency: WME Management: Madhouse Entertainment Buyer: 20th Century Fox Date: 11/15/16.

66. Title: Holland, Michigan Logline: A Midwestern housewife suspects her husband is having an affair. As she peels back the surface of her seemingly perfect life, she learns her husband might be leading a dark, secret life. Writer: Andrew Sodroski Genre: Thriller Dark Comedy Agency: CAA Management: Pacific View Management Buyer: Amazon Studios Date: 11/15/16. Notes: Script topped the 2013 Black List.

67. Title: Countdown Logline: A boy fascinated by space travel recruits his friends and an eccentric NASA engineer to hatch an unbelievable plan to try and save his dying father. Writer: Steve Altiere Genre: Science Fiction Agency: APA Management: Hung Entertainment Group Buyer: Electric Entertainment Date: 11/16/16.

68. Title: Scarletville Logline: When a deadly criminal shows up in the deceptively-quiet, small town of Scarletville, a diner owner named Hank must spin a series of dark and twisted stories in order to delay the felon long enough for the law to arrive. Writer: Jason Young Genre: Thriller Agency: Paradigm Management: Circle of Confusion Buyer: Centropolis Entertainment Date: 11/23/16. Notes: Young is a 2016 Black List Feature Writers Lab participant. His script was discovered off the Black List website. He is also a Screenwriting Master Class alumnus.

69. Title: Love in the Time of Dick Pics Logline: A romantic comedy about the illusion of choice — and just how hard it is to find the right person in a sea of options that range from polite, to lewd, to nude. Writer: Nicole Larson Genre: Romantic Comedy Agency: ICM Partners Management: Levity Entertainment Group Buyer: Sony Pictures Entertainment Date: 11/23/16.

70. Title: The Englishman Logline: Set in the shadowy underworld of the Stasi, East Germany’s infamous Ministry for State Security, an ambitious young Stasi officer is handed his chance to advance within the system by unmasking “The Englishman,” a peerless assassin whose identity is unknown to even those who hire him. Writer: Luke Garrett Genre: Drama Thriller Agency: ICM Partners Buyer: Working Title Date: 12/7/16.

71. Title: Highway One Logline: A single mother, a retired soldier who returned from Afghanistan with combat skills as well as injuries and PTSD, must resort to extreme measures when her daughter is kidnapped during a cross country trip they take to start a new life. Writer: Anthony Jaswinski Genre: Action Thriller Agency: Paradigm Management: Circle of Confusion Buyer: DreamWorks Date: 12/7/16.

72. Title: The Aeronauts Logline: based on the true story of balloon pilot Amelia Wren and scientist James Glaisher who, in 1862, embark on an extraordinary journey to discover the secrets of the heavens. In the process, they fly higher in an open balloon than anyone ever has — either before or since. They make breathtaking discoveries, but as they ascend to the highest reaches of the atmosphere, they are forced into an epic fight for survival. Writer: Jake Thorne Genre: Action Adventure Agency: WME Buyer: Amazon Studios Date: 12/8/16 Notes: at least six companies vied for the project. Amazon came out on top with what is believed to be a potential seven-figure deal.

73. Title: The State Logline: The script is an international action thriller about a father in a desperate race to rescue his son. Writers: Rory Haines, Sohrab Noshirvan Genre: Action Thriller Agency: CAA Management: Oasis Media Group Buyer: 20th Century Fox Date: 12/8/16 Notes: A pre-emptive purchase.

74. Title: Pics or It Didn’t Happen Logline: Female-driven thriller for the Instagram generation Writer: Abby McDonald Genre: Thriller Agency: Paradigm Management: Exile Entertainment Buyer: Tooley Productions Date: 12/9/16.

75. Title: 3–1–2 Logline: Hopeful millennials seek their true potential while surviving the extreme violence of inner-city Chicago, the 3–1–2. Writer: Ike Smith Genre: Drama Agency: Original Artists Buyer: Universal Pictures Date: 12/15/16.

If I got any information wrong or missed a sale, please email me.

Trendline here:

1991: 28
1992: 40
1993: 89
1994: 101
1995: 173
1996: 155
1997: 141
1998: 110
1999: 83
2000: 92
2001: 101
2002: 114
2003: 90
2004: 75
2005: 58
2006: 60
2007: 64
2008: 87
2009: 67
2010: 55
2011: 110
2012: 99
2013: 100
2014: 62
2015: 55

While you’re here, why not click on RESPONSE to give your general impression of the year in spec script deals, maybe noting which loglines interest you the most.

Previous annual analysis:

2008 Spec Script Deals Analysis
2009 Spec Script Deals Analysis
2010 Spec Script Deals Analysis
2011 Spec Script Deals Analysis
2012 Spec Script Deals Analysis
2013 Spec Script Deals Analysis
2014 Spec Script Deals Analysis
2015 Spec Script Deals Analysis

Tomorrow: A breakdown and analysis of spec script deals in 2016 by genre.


2016 Spec Script Deal List was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

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