The Brit List 2013 unveils the next batch of potential box office hits


Nick Clark
Monday 25 March 2013 18:35
Colin Firth in The King's Speech which made the Brit List in 2008
Colin Firth in The King's Speech which made the Brit List in 2008

Before going on to achieve critical and commercial success, films including The King’s Speech, We Need to Talk about Kevin and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel needed a helping hand to the silver screen.

Their screenplays were all boosted by appearing on the Brit List, which highlights the best unproduced work doing the rounds of the film industry.

The 2013 edition, with the next wave of potential box office hits, has just been published boosting the chances of production on several mouth-watering projects.

These include a new version of a Charles Dickens novel, a script by the creators of Outnumbered and the adaptation of an acclaimed West End play that mirrors Oxford University’s notorious Bullingdon Club.

The Brit List gathers votes from 80 industry experts, including producers, agents, distributors and sales agents and showcases the best of new and established screenwriting talent outside of America.

Alexandra Arlango, who runs the Brit List, said: “This is a platform for great writing, and is designed to give scripts that have slipped through the net some exposure.”

This month’s cinema release Welcome to the Punch is an alumnus from the 2010 list as was highly acclaimed drama Shadow Dancer, about the troubles in Northern Ireland.

The King’s Speech made it on in 2008, a year that included Nowhere Boy and My Week with Marilyn. “The King’s Speech script had been knocking around for ages. Did the list help? I like to think so but I can’t say for sure. Any exposure is good,” Ms Arlango said.

A screenplay has to receive at least three votes to make the final shortlist, and written by a non-American. A total of 15 unproduced works made the cut this year.

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The Brit List was set up in 2007 in answer to the Black List in the US, which first sought to help bolster the best scripts which, for whatever reason, had not been picked up for development.

Samantha Horley, managing director of production company Salt said: “I think the Brit List is great, highlighting the cream of the crop, and lots of films on it go on to get made.”

The Survivalist, written by Stephen Fingleton, was the most feted of this year’s Brit List with seven votes. He said: “I’m really pleased; it’s good as an external reference. At the very least it encourages people to read it, not just producers but actors.”

Mr Fingleton, who is to direct the film which is seeking additional funding, added: “This is a stamp of approval from the industry. It provides a level of assurance for investors.”

The Survivalist also made last year’s Black List, which has helped promote films included Argo, The Social Network, Juno and Slumdog Millionaire.

The British version had promoted the recent adaptation of Great Expectations, and this year sees the appearance of another Dickens adaptation in A Tale of Two Cities, which received six votes.

The classic tale has been reworked by Royal Shakespeare Company associate director David Farr, who has also written on Spooks, and is being developed by BBC Films.

Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, who created the comedy series Outnumbered, have written a drama script of a family trying to overcome the parent’s divorce and going on a road trip to Scotland.

Laura Wade’s adaptation of her own controversial satire Posh, about a fictional dining society called The Riot Club, has also made the list. Before the list was released, the film was picked up and will start shooting in May.

Films that made the Brit List:

The Men Who Stare at Goats

The adaptation of Jon Ronson’s book topped the initial Brit List in 2007, and would go on to star George Clooney.

Nowhere Boy

Topping the 2008 poll, the biopic about the adolescence of John Lennon was made a year later, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson

Welcome to the Punch

The British thriller, written and directed by Eran Creevy, hit cinemas this month starring James McAvoy and Mark Strong

Attack the Block

Joe Cornish’s alien invasion film set on a south London council estate was named on the 2008 Brit List


The same year as Attack the Block another comedy about aliens, this time by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, was included

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