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In a huge shakeup that will impact both of Oscar’s screenplay categories, the scripts for Moonlight and Loving have both been moved to Adapted Screenplay as per the Academy. Both films earned Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations this week.
Both screenplays are competing in Original Screenplay with the Writers Guild of America and Moonlight has already won a few screenplay awards (although, incidentally, with groups who combine adapted and original). Moonlight is based on an unpublished play called In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, who retained a Story By credit on the film. The script was heavily reworked by director Barry Jenkins, with an entirely original third act added.
Loving, a film based on the landmark Supreme Court case of Virginia v Loving, was originally developed as a 2011 HBO documentary, The Loving Story, from writer/director Nancy Buirski who has a producer credit on the feature film. Jeff Nichols, who also directed the film, wrote his screenplay based partly on the doc.
What seemed like a three-way race in Original Screenplay at the Oscars between La La Land, Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight is now just between the first two (who tied at the Critics Choice Awards this weekend). It also opens the door for a new nominee which could be anything from 20th Century Women, Jackie, LAFCA winner The Lobster or SAG favorite Captain Fantastic. This move also makes
This move also makes Moonlight now virtually without competition and the clear frontrunner to win in Adapted Screenplay in a category that currently has Arrival, Silence, Fences, Lion and Hidden Figures as major contenders.