'Argo' Writers Win Scripter Award

FILM: Chris Terrio

"Argo" writer Chris Terrio (CAA, Anonymous) has signed a two-picture blind-script deal with Warner Bros.

Chris Terrio, Joshuah Bearman and Antonio J. Mendez earn the award from the USC Libraries, besting "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Perks of Being a Wallflower" and "Silver Linings Playbook."

Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio and authors Joshuah Bearman and Antonio J. Mendez won the 25th annual USC Libraries Scripter Award.

The Scripters, which recognize the author and scribes of a produced literary work-to-film adaptation, were held at a gala ceremony Saturday night at USC’s Doheny Memorial Library.

Terrio wrote the screenplay for Argo, which was based on the 2007 Wired article The Great Escape by Joshuah Bearman and by the 2000 memoir The Master of Disguise by Antonio J. Mendez.

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The trio beat out nominees Beasts of the Southern Wild (dramatist Lucy Alibar, who wrote the play Juicy and Delicious, and screenwriter Benh Zeitlin, who co-wrote the screenplay with Alibar); Life of Pi (novelist Yann Martel and screenwriter David Magee); Lincoln (Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and screenwriter Tony Kushner); Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky, author of the novel as well as the movie’s screenplay); and Silver Linings Playbook (author Matthew Quick and screenwriter David O. Russell).

Argo's win is a surprise, as some observers had tipped Lincoln as a likely winner due to the academic pedigree of Goodwin and high-mindedness of Kushner married to the historic subject matter. 

The USC Libraries also honored Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana with the Literary Achievement Award for their body of work to date.

The Scripter is the latest win for Argo, which was released in October. The movie, which has been nominated for seven Academy Awards, has notched top wins from the DGA, PGA, SAG, Golden Globes.  

Among the 41-member selection committee film critics Leonard Maltin and Kenneth Turan; screenwriters Geoffrey Fletcher, Eric Roth, and Robin Swicord; authors Michael Chabon and Mona Simpson; and USC deans Catherine Quinlan of the USC Libraries, Elizabeth M. Daley of the School of Cinematic Arts and Madeline Puzo of the School of Dramatic Arts.