As it happens every year, a handful of Oscar hopefuls are not going to hear their names called out when the Writers Guild of America announces their nominations on January 7th. The WGA has always ended up with more than a few headscratchers in their nominations and it’s largely due to the strict rules governing their awards. If the writer isn’t a guild member or the production company isn’t guild signatory, you’re going to end up with some high-profile snubs.
That is the case for the above mentioned Selma, Mr. Turner and The Theory of Everything. All stand very good shots at Oscar nominations but not for the WGA. There is probably an issue of proper credit attribution with regards to Selma; the original screenplay was written by Paul Webb but director Ava DuVernay did a major rewrite of the script that looks like she won’t get credit for. We could be looking at another 12 Years a Slave scenario here (it was also ineligible for the WGA). Mike Leigh, despite multiple Oscar noms for his screenplays, has only been mentioned once by the WGA and that was almost 20 years ago, for Secrets & Lies. It’s not been a big obstacle for him before and he’s often been the sole nomination for his films in a given year.
Hitfix is reporting that 60 films are eligible for Original Screenplay and 48 for Adapted. Some of others missing are Calvary and Dear White People. The animated film How to Train Your Dragon 2 and The Boxtrolls are also ineligible.
The Writers Guild Awards nominations are revealed January 7th, 2015 and the winners announced at their 67th WGA Awards on Saturday, February 15, 2015.