Mon. Sep 21st, 2020

2020 USC Scripter Award winners: ‘Little Women’ and ‘Fleabag’

Greta Gerwig’s script for Little Women has won the USC Libraries Scripter Award for best film adaptation and Phoebe Waller-Bridge won the television award for Fleabag.

The 32nd annual USC Scripter Award for best film and television adaptations, presented by the USC Library. Finalists were selected from 61 film and 58 television adaptations. The winners were announced at a ceremony tonight at USC’s historical Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library.

Eight of the last 10 winners of the Scripter Award have gone on to win the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay: No Country for Old Men (2007), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), The Social Network (2010), The Descendants (2011), Argo (2012), 12 Years a Slave (2013), The Imitation Game (2014), The Big Short (2015), Moonlight (2016) and Call Me by Your Name (2017). Interestingly, last year’s Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar winner, BlacKkKlansman, was not nominated here first.

Four of five film nominees here are also nominated for the Adapted Screenplay Oscar. Dark Waters received the USC nom, while Joker earned an Oscar nomination.

Unique to the Scripter Awards, unlike the Oscars, both the adapter and the adapted material authors are nominated and honored. Eligible works are reviewed by a committee comprised of Writers Guild of America Members, Academy Award-winning and -nominated screenwriters, authors, film industry executives, faculty, and select members of the Friends of the USC Libraries. This selection committee narrows down the year’s eligible films to five nominees and then chooses that year’s best adaptation of the printed word into film.

Established in 1988, the USC Libraries Scripter Award is an honor bestowed annually by the USC Libraries Board of Councilors in recognition of the year’s best adaptation of the printed word into film, and is given to both the author and screenwriter. ​In 2016, the USC Libraries inaugurated a new Scripter award, for television adaptation. Scripter celebrates writers and writing, collaboration, and the profound results of transforming one artistic medium into another. It stands as an emblem of libraries’ ability to inspire creative and scholarly achievement.  

Here is the full list of nominations with winners..


Matthew Carnahan and Mario Correa for Dark Waters based on the New York Times Magazine article “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare” by Nathaniel Rich

Steven Zaillian for The Irishman based on the nonfiction work I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt

Taika Waititi for JoJo Rabbit based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens

Greta Gerwig for Little Women based on the novel of the same name by Louisa May Alcott – WINNER

Anthony McCarten for The Two Popes based on his play The Pope


Phoebe Waller-Bridge for the first episode of Fleabag based on her one-woman play of the same name – WINNER

Joel Fields and Steven Levenson for the episode “Nowadays” from Fosse/Verdon based on the biography Fosse by Sam Wasson

Emerald Fennell for the episode “Nice and Neat” from Killing Eve based on the novel Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings

Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman for the first episode of Unbelievable based on the article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong

Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson for the episode “This Extraordinary Being” from Watchmen based on the comic book series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

%d bloggers like this: