According to the LA Times this morning, Franklin Leonard, who was vice president of creative affairs at Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment, and founder of what has come to be known as the Black List (the popular annual list that ranks the best unproduced screenplays each year), has been “forced out of his post” at Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment.
Leonard shared the VP of creative affairs post with Caleeb Pinkett, the brother of Jada Pinkett, at Overbrook, where he’d been a production executive for the last 2 years, after a stint at Universal Pictures.
No reasons have yet been given for the action (“forced out” suggests that he didn’t leave because he wanted to); although, as the LA Times adds, Loenard’s Black List (which he launched on a whim in 2004) may have something to do with it. Specifically, management of the yearly list has become more involved for Leonard, given that he added a paid membership website for users to “receive recommendations for additional scripts that fit their interests.“
So, essentially, the list may be taking up so much of his time, that he’s unable to be as fully and efficiently meet his Overbrook obligations.
All conjecture of course; nothing’s been confirmed and Leonard reportedly isn’t talking… yet.
But here he is talking about identifying good scripts, and specifically, how the black list came about: