The Black List. In Hollywood it was once a list nobody wanted to be on, a communist witch-hunt-era travesty that saw screenwriters like Dalton Trumbo unable to work at their craft. These days Hollywood has two Blacklists, neither of which is bad for your career. One is the popular TV series starring the mercurial James Spader, while the other is an insider’s list of the best unproduced screenplays floating around town. That Black List is basically an anonymous poll that reveals the most interesting material in circulation, material that for one reason or another hasn’t been snapped up. Not all of these get produced, but there’s a sense that if a screenplay ranks high on the Black List it’s only a matter of time.
Now combine that kind of Black List intrigue with a pop star of Madonna’s magnitude. It’s not hard to guess that a highly praised biopic of Madonna’s early career and ascension to stardom, ranking #1 on the Black List, would get snatched by major players. And so it is: first-timer Elyse Hollander‘s script, which was #1 on the Black List in 2016, has been picked up by Universal — according to THR, which says Fifty Shades of Grey‘s Michael De Luca and Brett Ratner’s RatPac will produce with John Zaozirny of Bellevue Productions. The film is called Blond Ambition — but of course it is.