Writers Guild Awards: '1917,' 'Parasite,' 'Little Women' Among Film Nominees

10:03 AM 1/6/2020

by Hilary Lewis, Piya Sinha-Roy, and Kimberly Nordyke

Other high-profile titles that landed nominations for best original and adapted screenplay include 'Booksmart,' 'Knives Out,' 'Marriage Story,' 'Joker,' 'The Irishman,' 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood' and 'Jojo Rabbit.'

Making of 1917 - Publicity - H 2019
François Duhamel/Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures

A little more than 12 hours after winning the best motion picture drama award at the Golden Globes, Sam Mendes' World War I film 1917 finds itself on the Writers Guild Awards' list of nominees for best original screenplay. Mendes wrote the film with Krysty Wilson-Cairns.

The WGA on Monday revealed its nominees in the best original, adapted and documentary screenplay categories.

The other original screenplay nominees are Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story; Rian Johnson's Knives Out; Parasite, screenplay by director Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won from a story by Bong Joon Ho; and Olivia Wilde's Booksmart, written by Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel and Katie Silberman.

Notable omissions include Quentin Tarantino for his nostalgic tale Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, for which he won the screenplay Golden Globe on Sunday. Tarantino’s films are not eligible for WGA as he’s not a member of the guild. Anthony McCarten, the screenwriter of Netflix’s The Two Popes, was also missing, while writer-director Lulu Wang's script for The Farewell was ineligible — like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, it was not produced under jurisdiction of WGA or an affiliate guild. 

The eligibility rules for the WGA Awards require films to have been written under the guild’s Minimum Basic Agreement or under a collective bargaining agreement across international chapters — this means that the awards often exclude writers that are not members of the guild or films that are not made under guild jurisdiction. In the past decade, five of the WGA's original screenplay award winners have gone on to win the Oscar, while six WGA adapted screenplay winners won the corresponding Oscar (2016's Moonlight won the WGA's original screenplay award but was submitted — and won — the Oscars' adapted screenplay prize that year). 

Adapted screenplay nominees are the Mister Rogers film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, inspired by Tom Junod's article "Can You Say...Hero?"; The Irishman, written by Steve Zaillian, based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt; Jojo Rabbit, written by director Taika Waititi and based on the book Caging Skies by Christine Leunens; Joker, written by director Todd Phillips and Scott Silver and based on characters from DC Comics; and Little Women, written by director Greta Gerwig and based on Louisa May Alcott's classic novel.

Three-time WGA Award winner Alex Gibney landed two nominations in the documentary screenplay category, for both Citizen K and The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. Other doc nominees are Mark Jonathan Harris' Foster, Lauren Greenfield's The Kingmaker and Robert Seidman and Oren Rudavsky's Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People.

The 72nd annual WGA Awards are set for Saturday, Feb. 1, at dual ceremonies to be held in Los Angeles and New York.

The nominations in the TV categories, along with those in new media, radio, news and promotional writing, were announced last month. The shows up for best drama series are The Crown, The Handmaid's Tale, Mindhunter, Succession and Watchmen. Vying for best comedy series honors are Barry, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, PEN15, Russian Doll and Veep, nominated for its final season.

The list of film nominees announced Monday follows.

  • Original Screenplay

    1917, Written by Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns; Universal Pictures
    Booksmart, Written by Emily Halpern & Sarah Haskins and Susanna Fogel and Katie Silberman; United Artists Releasing
    Knives Out, Written by Rian Johnson; Lionsgate
    Marriage Story, Written by Noah Baumbach; Netflix
    Parasite, Screenplay by Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won, Story by Bong Joon Ho; Neon

  • Adapted Screenplay

    A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster, Inspired by the Article “Can You Say…Hero?” by Tom Junod; TriStar Pictures
    The Irishman, Screenplay by Steven Zaillian, Based upon the Book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt; Netflix
    Jojo Rabbit, Screenplay by Taika Waititi, Based on the book Caging Skies by Christine Leunens; Fox Searchlight
    Joker, Written by Todd Phillips & Scott Silver, Based on Characters from DC Comics; Warner Bros. Pictures
    Little Women, Screenplay by Greta Gerwig, Based on the Novel by Louisa May Alcott; Sony Pictures

  • Documentary Screenplay

    Citizen K, Written by Alex Gibney; Greenwich Entertainment
    Foster, Written by Mark Jonathan Harris; HBO Documentary Films
    The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley, Written by Alex Gibney; HBO Documentary Films
    Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People, Written by Robert Seidman & Oren Rudavsky; First Run Features
    The Kingmaker, Written by Lauren Greenfield; Showtime Documentary Films