Former child actor Paul Nicholls quickly became a heartthrob when he segued to adult roles in 1996 as the troubled young Joe Wicks on the popular British serial "EastEnders". The tall, brown-haired ac...
A little back story - the Black List is not a “best of” list by any regard. Instead it is referred to as a “most liked” list. Each year Franklin Leonard asks several members of the entertainment industry elite - top agents, managers, executives, people like that - to vote for their favorite unproduced screenplays and each year he publishes the resulting list. Several of your favorite unique movies of the past few years (Juno, 500 Days of Summer, Lars and The Real Girl) appeared on the list and it has helped launch quite a few careers.
Having said that, there is a caveat. While the criteria calls for the screenplay to be “unproduced” several of these works have either been optioned and/or are in production. In fact, a few have already been made. And there have been whispers that some agencies and managers stack the list for their own clients so this is by no means a fair or accurate list. But alas, that’s Hollywood baby.
Anyway, on to the most promising sounding scripts!
College Republicans - Wes Jones. Taking the top spot this year is the true story of Karl Rove running for the presidency of the College Of Republicans under the guidance of Lee Atwater. Rove is one of the most devious little bastards of the American political system in the past two decades. It’ll be interesting to see this story translated to screen. Shia LaBeouf and Paul Dano are loosely attached to the project.
Jackie - Noah Oppenheim. The second place script follows Jackie Kennedy in the immediate week following JFK’s assassination. While the nation mourned the loss of its leader, she mourned the death of her husband...intriguing to say the least. Sounds heartwrenching. Steven Spielberg is on board to executive produce through Amblin, with Rachel Weisz in talks to star.
All You Need is Kill - Dante Harper. Third place goes to the first skeptical inclusion, an adaptation of a graphic novel. Its high ranking somewhat ensures that it is indeed good, but still the fact that it isn’t original isn’t promising. The story follows a soldier in the future who finds himself caught in a time loop after dying on the battlefield. His tactical skills become more concise after each "death". Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) to direct.
999 - Matt Cook. A group of corrupt cops have to shoot a fellow officer in order to get away. How can you not like the sound of that? John Hillcoat to direct, Chris Pine in talks to star.
Margin Call - JC Chandor. Our first produced screenplay! This one stars Kevin Spacey and a gaggle of gifted performers. You’ll be able to see it next year as it premieres at Sundance.
American Bullshit - Eric Warren Singer. Another true story of an FBI sting in the US Congress. This is a perfect example of the unwritten rule of the Black List: if you want your film on it, give its title a little dirty word.
The Last Son of Isaac Lemay - Greg Johnson. An aging outlaw is convinced his children are evil and sets off to kill him. However, his worst fears come to life when he meets his last remaining son. Sounds a lot like Dexter and I’m completely okay with that.
Die in a Gun Fight - Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari. A contemporary take on the Romeo & Juliet tale. This one just had Zac Efron attached to it and has a good chance of getting made.
Imagine - Dan Fogelman. You’ll be seeing this one soon enough with Steve Carell as the son of an aging rockstar discovers the life of his father he never knew existed.
Chronicle - Max Landis. Three teens discovers they have gained superpowers after contact with a mysterious substance in the woods. Things start off all fun and games until they start to turn on each other. Finally! Something not involving politics!
Your Bridesmaid is a Bitch - Brian Duffeld. A guy agrees to be a groomsman for his sister’s wedding only to discover the woman who broke his heart is also a part of the wedding. Why the guy (or the sister for that matter) didn’t see this coming remains to be seen. But again, put a dirty word in your title = recognition.
What Happened To Monday? - Max Botkin. A group of identical septuplets has to investigate the disappearance of one their siblings when the government forces families to only conceive one child due to population overcrowding. The possibilities of this seem amazing and due to the title it seems likely each sibling is named after a day of the week. Go me.
The Butler - Danny Strong. A black butler in the White House services eight US Presidents. Could be Forrest Gump. Could be TMZ. Either way, I’m there.
One Day - David Nicholls. Here’s the official Black List summary, “Dexter and Emma meet for the first time on college graduation day in 1988 and proceed to reunite one day a year for the next 20 years.” Here’s my official reactiong, “Bluuuuurgh.” This one is in post-production with Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess starring. Lone Scherfig (An Education) directs.
Murder of a Cat - Christian Magalhars & Robert Snow. A dark comedy about a guy investigating his cat’s death? Why hasn’t this been made sooner?
Can You Keep A Secret - Megan Martin. A woman spills all of her secrets to the stranger on a rough plane ride. Turns out the stranger is the CEO of her company. This logline actually made me laugh out loud. I really hope it gets made.
Cinema Verite - David Seltzer. “Based on the PBS series ‘An American Family,’ cameras follow a family as they go about their daily life.” I’m sorry, I couldn’t make it through that sentence. I had to copy and paste.
The Girl With Something Extra - Terrence Michael. A girl enters high school and suddenly realizes she’s a boy who has been raised his whole life to believe he is a girl? Talk about an awkward first day of gym class.
Ricky Stanicky - Jeff Bushell. Three childhood friends invent someone to take the blame for all of their shenanigans. Eventually their wives demand to meet this person and they hire and actor to play him. Sounds like a Farrelly Brothers movie and I mean that in the most sincere way possible. James Franco is attached.
Zombie Baby - Andy Jones. You don’t need to know anything other than the title. Trust me.
Boy Scouts Vs. Zombies - Carrie Evans & Emi Mochizuko. Again, no other information necessary.
Prom - Katie Wech. “High school students prepare for their prom.” No, seriously. That is all there is to it.
Fucking Jane Austen - Blake Bruns. Again, use a dirty word, get Black Listed. But this one actually lives up to its title. Two men are pissed at Austen for creating unrealistic expectations about love among women (preach it brothers!) so they get sent back in time. Unfortunately the only way for them to get back is to have Jane Austen fall in love and sleep with one of them.
Paint - Brit McAdams. From the list, “A Bob Ross-esque PBS painting show host must fight for his career when his station brings in a rival painting host.” Stop, you had me a Bob Ross-esque.
Acted on the London stage in "The Promise" and later in "Vincent in Brixton"
Began acting at age 10 with the Oldham Theatre Workshop
Appeared as Jack in the pantomime "Jack and the Beanstalk"
Joined the cast of the BBC police drama series "City Central"
Played title role in the London stage production of "Billy Liar"
Starred in the British TV drama "The Passion", playing an actor hired to portray Jesus in a Passion Play
Acted on stage in the London production of "Mrs. Steinberg and the Byker Boy"; played a gay social worker
Feature film debut in the WWI drama "The Trench"
Co-starred with Jessica Lange, Charles Dance and Paul Rudd in "Long Day's Journey Into Night"
Garnered attention as a teenaged father who murders his child in an episode of "Out of the Blue"
TV acting debut, a three-line role on the ITV hospital drama "Children's Ward"
Starred in the feature "Goodbye, Charlie Bright"
Appeared on the BBC mystery series "Earthfasts"
Co-starred with Nigel Hawthorne and Joan Collins in the feature "The Clandestine Marriage"
Played disturbed teenager Joe Wicks on the popular BBC serial "EastEnders"
Acted in the children's drama "The Biz" (BBC); was regular in the first two series and made guest appearances in the third
Former child actor Paul Nicholls quickly became a heartthrob when he segued to adult roles in 1996 as the troubled young Joe Wicks on the popular British serial "EastEnders". The tall, brown-haired actor's portrayal of the schizophrenic teenager was appropriately powerful and sensitive. In some ways, though his acting skills were overshadowed by his status as a teen idol; just as his performances were becoming truly impressive, his likeness was featured on countless magazines and posters bought up by his many fans. Just over a year after joining the cast, Nicholls left "EastEnders" in 1997 and briefly considered giving up acting altogether for a career behind the camera. Instead, he joined the cast of the BBC police drama series "City Central" (1998- ). Working on this show helped to boost his confidence as an actor and transcended his sex symbol image. His lead role in the 1998 London stage production of "Billy Liar" further established him as a serious actor and not just another pretty face. Nicholls finally segued to the big screen as the star of the WWI drama "The Trench" (1999).
born c. 1976; met at Cannes; dating as of May 2000; no longer together
three years his senior; daughter of Beverly Callard, star of British soap "Coronation Street"
born c. 1973; romantically involved in 1996 when both appeared on "EastEnders"; no longer together; she became a cocaine addict
Church Road Primary School
There is a fan website at www.paulnicholls.com
On joining the cast of "City Central", Nicholls told THE TIMES (May 24, 1998): "Everybody had this vision of me being there because I was this pin-up boy from 'EastEnders', but it made me feel good that these amazing actors were saying to me that I was okay after scenes. I felt I did a very alright performance, whereas most of the time I feel I'm crap."
"He's our very own Leonardo DiCaprio. He's wonderfully good-looking but, more importantly, he knows how to act and he's willing to learn how to be better." --Joan Collins, quoted after working with Nicholls in "The Clandestine Marriage"