'Disaster Artist,' 'Logan,' 'Wonder Woman' Among USC Scripter Award Finalists

The Disaster Artist Still James Franco - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of A24

The awards, which recognize screenwriters along with the authors of the original works they adapted, will be handed out at a Feb. 10 ceremony.

USC Libraries on Tuesday announced the finalists for its annual Scripter Awards, which recognize movie and TV screenwriters alongside the authors of the original works they adapted.

The film award has been handed out since 1988, with the TV award added in 2016. The Scripter selection committee, chaired by USC professor and former Writers Guild of America, West, president Howard Rodman, chose the finalists from a field of 91 film and 28 TV adaptations.

On the feature film side, the field was particularly competitive this year with a three-way tie resulting in seven nominations, up from the usual five. 

Call Me by Your Name, The Disaster Artist, Molly's Game and Mudbound are all frontrunners for a best adapted screenplay Oscar nomination, with Wonder Woman considered a long shot in that category. Still, the inclusion of The Disaster Artist among the film nominees comes as director and star James Franco has recently been accused of multiple counts of sexual misconduct. Call Me by Your Name is considered a frontrunner for a best picture Oscar nomination, while Mudbound and Wonder Woman are considered major threats to land a nod in that category with Molly's Game a possibility for a nomination. Adapted screenplay frontrunner and best picture possibility Wonder, however, failed to land a Scripter nomination.

The nomination for Logan comes after the acclaimed comic book adaptation scored a Writers Guild Award nomination for adapted screenplay earlier this month. The Lost City of Z, however, has been largely ignored by prominent awards organizations and critics groups.

On the TV side, there were six nominations, with Margaret Atwood becoming the first author to be nominated for two series (The Handmaids Tale, Alias Grace) in a single year. The other nominees include Emmy and Golden Globe winner Big Little Lies, Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Genius, Emmy nominee The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and acclaimed series Mindhunter.

Geoffrey Rush, who starred as Albert Einstein in the first season of Genius, was accused of engaging in "inappropriate behavior" in a report from Australia's Daily Telegraph, which the actor vehemently denied, declaring he would be suing the Telegraph for defamation.

The awards will be handed out at a Feb. 10 ceremony in the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library at USC.

Last year Moonlight won the film award and, in a tie, The People v. O.J. Simpson and The Night Manager won the TV award.

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

  • Author André Aciman and screenwriter James Ivory for Call Me by Your Name
  • Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for The Disaster Artist, and authors Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell for their nonfiction book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside 'The Room,' the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made
  • Screenwriters Scott Frank, Michael Green, and James Mangold, and authors Roy Thomas, Len Wein and John Romita Sr., for Logan
  • Screenwriter James Gray and author David Grann for The Lost City of Z
  • Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and author Molly Bloom for Molly’s Game
  • Screenwriters Virgil Williams and Dee Rees and author Hillary Jordan for Mudbound
  • Screenwriter Allan Heinberg and author William Moulton Marston for Wonder Woman

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

  • Screenwriter Sarah Polley and author Margaret Atwood for Alias Grace
  • David E. Kelley, for the episode “You Get What You Need” from Big Little Lies, and author Liane Moriarty
  • Noah Pink and Ken Biller for the episode “Einstein: Chapter One” from Genius, and author Walter Isaacson for his book Einstein: His Life and Word
  • Bruce Miller for the episode “Offred” from The Handmaid’s Tale and author Margaret Atwood
  • Peter Landesman, George C. Wolfe, and Alexander Woo for the television film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and author Rebecca Skloot
  • Joe Penhall and Jennifer Haley for “Episode 10” of Mindhunter and authors John Douglas and Mark Olshaker for their nonfiction book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit