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Philomena and What Maisie Knew round out the list for the award, established in 1988, which honors the screenwriter(s) and original authors of what a 33-member selection committee believes is the year’s most accomplished cinematic adaptation.
The 2014 finalists are, in alphabetical order by film title:
12 Years A Slave (author Solomon Northup and screenwriter John Ridley); Captain Phillips (Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty, authors of A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs and Dangerous Days at Sea, and screenwriter Billy Ray); Philomena (Martin Sixsmith, author of The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, and screenwriters Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope); The Spectacular Now (novelist Tim Tharp and screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber); and What Maisie Knew (novelist Henry James and screenwriters Carroll Cartwright and Nancy Doyne).
There were 86 eligible adaptations to choose from this year.
The selection committee, co-chaired by screenwriter Naomi Foner and USC professor and Writers Guild of America West vice president Howard Rodman, includes film critics Leonard Maltin and Kenneth Turan; screenwriters Geoffrey Fletcher, Lawrence Kasdan, Callie Khouri and Steve Zaillian; authors Michael Chabon and Michael Ondaatje; producers Albert Berger, Gale Anne Hurd and Mike Medavoy; and USC deans Elizabeth Daley of the School of Cinematic Arts, Madeline Puzo of the School of Dramatic Arts and Catherine Quinlan of the USC Libraries.?
The Scripters will be announced at a black-tie ceremony Feb. 8 at USC. Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford will serve as honorary dinner chairs.
Previous winners include the screenwriters and authors of Argo (2013), The Descendants (2012) and The Social Network (2011).
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