Mon. Aug 10th, 2020

USC Scripter Finalists for Adapted Screenplay Include Moonlight, Hidden Figures, Fences


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One of the unique things that the USC Scripter does with its award for Adapted Screenplay is to also award that script’s source. Looking at the five nominated today from the group I feel very confident this will be the final five who will earn Oscar nominations in less than two weeks. The Gold Rush Gang agrees.

The most remarkable thing about this list is that three of the five detail stories of the African-American experience and one from the point of view of an Indian boy and man, which is a first in my recollection. The five finalists also come from top tier Best Picture hopefuls.

The USC Scripter award began in 1988 with the TV award added last year. The Scripter selection committee, which is chaired by USC professor and WGA president Howard Rodman, chose the finalists from a field of 80 film and 45 TV adaptations. Interesting that qualified as Adapted here but Original at WGA. It will compete in Adapted at the Oscars.

The awards will be handed out February 11th at a ceremony in the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library at USC.

The finalist writers for film are, in alphabetical order by film title:

  • Scriptcreenwriter Eric Heisserer for “Arrival,” adapted from the novella “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang
  • August Wilson for the play and screenplay of “Fences
  • Screenwriters Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi for “Hidden Figures,” based on the nonfiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly
  • Luke Davies for the screenplay for “Lion,” adapted from the nonfiction book “A Long Way Home” by Saroo Brierley
  • Barry Jenkins for “Moonlight,” adapted from “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,” by Tarell Alvin McCraney

The finalist writers for television episodes are, in alphabetical order by series title:

  • Screenwriters David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, for the episode “The Winds of Winter” from “Game of Thrones,” adapted from the fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin
  • Frank Spotnitz, Erik Oleson, and Joe Kawasaki for the episode “Fallout” from “The Man in the High Castle,” based on the novel by Philip K. Dick
  • David Farr for the miniseries “The Night Manager,” based on the espionage novel by John le Carré
  • Tara Herrmann and Jenji Kohan for the episode “Toast Can’t Never Be Bread Again” from “Orange is the New Black,” adapted from the memoir by Piper Kerman, “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison”
  • Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski for the episode “Manna From Heaven” from “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” based on the nonfiction book “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” by Jeffrey Toobin


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