Discussions, arguments and confirmations have come in since last month for a few screenplays that found themselves with one foot dipped into each of the adapted and original pools. But some those confirmations still aren’t quite locked in and we know that sometimes the Academy can see things differently.
Case in point is Netflix’s The Two Popes. The script was written by Anthony McCarten based on his own play that has now since been produced (in London) and is the direct source for the film. The play’s producers recently acknowledged this directly.
So how could that be considered original, right? Not only are there a few pundits with it in Original, word is the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has it slotted there too. It’s all a very Moonlight vibe, which was in Original at WGA (and won) but was deemed Adapted by the Academy, even though the play was unproduced. I don’t see how then they’d turn the other way here so for September it lands in Adapted and, would you look at that, in the #1 spot. The film received rapturous reviews not only for its two main performances but for its smart, engaging and funny script.
Fox’s Ford v Ferrari drops off the adapted list this month with ‘confirmation’ from the studio that the script for the film had ditched the book source in favor of an original take and a new screenplay.
The first trailer for Todd Haynes’s Dark Waters dropped this week and although it felt and looked pretty bland, the final result may be a compelling piece for the writers branch to consider.
Big news this month, other than The Two Popes, is the huge surge for STX’s Hustlers. Not just a chance for Jennifer Lopez to earn her first nomination, the script is poised to break into this top five as well.
Here are my 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions in Adapted Screenplay for September 19, 2019.
Green – moves up Red – moves down Blue – new/re-entry
1. The Two Popes (Netflix)
2. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/TriStar)
3. The Irishman (Netflix)
4. Little Women (Sony)
5. Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight)
NEXT UP (alphabetical by film)
The Aeronauts (Amazon)
Dark Waters (Focus Features)
Joker (Warner Bros)
Just Mercy (Warner Bros)
Hustlers (STX Entertainment)
OTHER CONTENDERS (alphabetical by film)
Downton Abbey (Focus Features)
The Good Liar (Warner Bros)
The King (Netflix)
Motherless Brooklyn (Warner Bros)
Toy Story 4 (Disney/Pixar)
ADAPTED OR ORIGINAL?
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/TriStar)
The Two Popes (Netflix)