The Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) has weighed in with their picks for the best screenplays of 2016, continuing the guild portion of awards season. The expected awards season contenders – La La Land, Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea – all made the cuts and continue to lay down strong foundations on their road to Oscar, while films like Arrival and Hell or High Water made the line-up as well, hoping to cement buzz as well.
The surprise of the group likely lies in the Adapted Screenplay bid for comic book sensation Deadpool. The Fox title of the Marvel Comics entry recently earned two Golden Globe nominations – one for Best Picture (Comedy) and Best Actor (Comedy) for star Ryan Reynolds – is easily the populist choice in the WGA line-up. It’s worth noting that genre films sometimes pop up with more regulatory with WGA than in the corresponding screenplay categories at the Academy Awards; for instance Guardians of the Galaxy earned a Writer’s Guild mention for Best Adapted Screenplay while the Academy didn’t go for it.
Also, worth nothing that critical darling Moonlight – mentioned by the WGA as an Original Screenplay – will be deemed as an Adapted Screenplay with the Academy as the film was based on a play. The same goes for Loving, which was partially based on a previously released documentary film.
Check out the nominees below:
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
- Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan
- La La Land – Damien Chazelle
- Loving – Jeff Nichols
- Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
- Moonlight – Barry Jenkins; story by Tarell McCraney
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
- Arrival – Eric Heisserer
- Deadpool – Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
- Fences – August Wilson
- Hidden Figures – Allison Schroeder, Theodore Melfi
- Nocturnal Animals – Tom Ford
- Author: The J.T. LeRoy Story – Jeff Feuerzeig
- Command and Control – Robert Kenner, Eric Schlosser; story by Brian Pearle, Kim Roberts
- Zero Days – Alex Gibney
Every year, a few notable films are left off the WGA roster due to technical reasons – namely that either the screenwriter in not a member of the Writer’s Guild or that the production was not a signatory with the guild. Among the causalities this year include The Lobster, Lion, Florence Foster Jenkins, Everybody Wants Some!!, Paterson, Finding Dory, Kubo and the Two Strings, Zootopia and Toni Erdmann. All are, however, eligible for Oscar consideration in the writing categories.
The WGA Awards will take place on February 19th.