9 of the Year's Most Inspired Screenwriting Pairings

 

This article appeared in the Dec. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Sometimes it takes more than one person at the keyboard  to bat out a bang-up script. This year's list of Oscar contenders features old friends, odd couples and matches made in screenwriter heaven.

Glenn Close and John Banville
Albert Nobbs (Adapted)

Close took director Stephen Frears' advice and hired as her co-writer Dublin's Banville, who made Nobbs sound Irish and is the sole Oscar contender who might win the 2012 Nobel Prize for literature.

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George Clooney and Grant Heslov
The Ides of March (Adapted)

In the 1980s, Heslov loaned acting classmate Clooney $100 to get head shots. Good investment. They got original screenplay Oscar noms for Good Night, and Good Luck and hope their co-writing luck holds. So does their co-screenwriter Beau Willimon, who also wrote the play the film is based on, Farragut North.

Yasmina Reza and Roman Polanski
Carnage (Adapted)

Polanski and Reza acted out the parts in their adaptation of her satirical play God of Carnage. Evidently, he didn't resent that her play Art made $200 million, more than the domestic take of all his movies put together.

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Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian
Moneyball (Adapted)

How did Oscar-winning screenwriter Sorkin revise the first draft by Oscar-winning top-dog screenwriter Zaillian? Carefully, with each writing separate drafts. And Stan Chervin has a "story by" credit. If there were an Oscar for best diplomacy, then this team might win.

Oren Moverman and James Ellroy
Rampart (Original)

Moverman, who calls himself a "humanist," rewrote the rogue-cop film's first draft by Ellroy, who thinks Rodney King got his just deserts and won a Jack Webb Award for casting a flattering light on L.A. cops.

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Will Reiser and Seth Rogen
50/50 (Original)

Producer Rogen helped Reiser joke his way through a 2005 cancer bout when both worked on Da Ali G Show, helped spitball movie ideas, then helped shape a script about the experience into a Superbad-like comedy, with Reiser as sole credited writer.

Drake Doremus and Ben York Jones
Like Crazy (Original)

In a strange way, the film actually was written by two duos: Doremus and Jones wrote the 50-page story outline, and under Doremus' direction, actors Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin improvised the dialogue.

Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo
Bridesmaids (Original)

Wiig and Mumolo bonded instantly as writers in The Groundlings comedy troupe, finishing each other's sentences and having fun. "It never feels like work," Mumolo has said. Like $288 million, maybe, but not work.

Tom McCarthy and Joe Tiboni
Win Win (Original)

To turn his high school wrestling experience into a movie, McCarthy convinced his old teammate Tiboni, a lawyer, to try screenwriting with him. A lousy wrestler, Tiboni proved a co-writing champ.

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