Behind the Brilliance 053: Franklin Leonard

THE SHOW: This week Franklin Leonard joins me to discuss his career path, his philosophies on fear and failure, and his advice to novices. We also get into his love of soccer, his thoughts on entrepreneurship, and how his current company, The Black List, was born.

Franklin-LeonardFranklin Leonard is the creator of the Black List and co-creator of, a yearly publication highlighting Hollywood’s most popular unproduced screenplays and its ongoing home on the web. Prior to his previous role working as a director of development at Universal Pictures, Franklin ran Los Angeles-based film development for Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella’s Mirage Enterprises during the final year of its existence. He has done similar work at the production companies of Leonardo DiCaprio and former Paramount Pictures president John Goldwyn. Before Los Angeles and all things film related, Franklin has been – at different times – a business analyst at McKinsey & Co., a weekly columnist for the Trinidad Guardian in Port-au-Spain, Trinidad, and the communications director for John Cranley’s campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives in Ohio’s first district. He’s a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University, one of the Hollywood Reporter’s 2010 35 top entertainment executives under 35, and a big football (soccer) fan.


Stuff Mentioned In This Episode
Franklin Leonard on Twitter
The Black List
The Black List Podcast
Steve Jobs biography
Minghella on Minghella
The Ball Is Round