WGA Awards: Adam McKay to Receive Paul Selvin Award

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Adam McKay

The frequent Will Ferrell collaborator and 'The Big Short' co-writer will be honored for his work on 'Vice' at the West Coast edition of the ceremony.

The Writers Guild of America on Thursday announced that Vice screenwriter-director Adam McKay will be honored on Feb. 17 with the Writers Guild of America West’s 2019 Paul Selvin Award during this year’s WGA Awards in Los Angeles.

The special award is presented to a guild member who has produced a script that embodies the constitutional liberties and civil rights seen as “indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere,” according to a press release.

Vice is that unique accomplishment of an exhaustively researched screenplay that wrestles with serious, complex questions of freedom and democracy, but never loses sight of the humanity (or lack thereof) of its characters. It is an inspiring piece of work, and the Paul Selvin committee and the WGAW board of directors are thrilled to give Adam McKay this award,” said David A. Goodman, WGAW president, in a statement.

A founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade, McKay joined the writing team of Saturday Night Live in 1995. Eventually working his way up to head writer, he and the SNL team won the WGA Award for comedy/variety series in 2010. Post-SNL, McKay went on to collaborate frequently with former SNL castmember Will Ferrell, writing and directing films like Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

Other writing credits include co-writing the 2015 superhero blockbuster Ant-Man and the adapted screenplay for 2015’s The Big Short, which McKay co-wrote with Charles Randolph. The duo's screenplay for Big Short won the best adapted screenplay Oscar, as well as WGA, BAFTA and USC Scripter awards.

“I am thrilled to receive this tremendous honor on behalf of our film, Vice. Paul Selvin dedicated his life to shining a light on how essential constitutional rights and a free speech are to democratic societies. I hope we lived up to his spirit by making a film that depicts how misinformation, unchecked power and the erosion of civil liberties can lead to devastating and deadly consequences,” McKay said in a statement.

The Writers Guild Awards will be presented during simultaneous ceremonies in New York and L.A., with the West Coast portion of the show taking place at the Beverly Hilton. Roy Wood Jr. will host the East Coast ceremony at the Edison Ballroom.