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On Friday, when the Writers Guild of America announced its nominees for the 66th WGA Awards, it recognized Tracy Letts with a best adapted screenplay nom for August: Osage County, which he adapted from his Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning play. I was curious to know how many other people, over the years, have been nominated for adapting for the big screen a theatrical production that they also wrote — which is not easy to do, practically or emotionally.
Turns out it is a pretty rare occurrence: Over the past 20 years, which have produced 100 adapted screenplay nominees, it has happened only nine other times.
Here is a list of all nine of the writers who did what Letts has done dating back to the 1985 ceremony, the first year for which the names of all of the category’s nominees are published online: Charles Fuller for A Soldier’s Story (1984), John Pielmeier for Agnes of God (1985), Mark Medoff (film script with Hesper Anderson) for Children of a Lesser God (1986), Howard Ashman for Little Shop of Horrors (1986), Alfred Uhry for Driving Miss Daisy (1989, won Oscar), David Mamet for Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Alan Bennett for The Madness of King George (1994), John Patrick Shanley for Doubt (2008) and Peter Morgan for Frost/Nixon (2008).
In a bit of promising news for Letts, I can report that all but three of those films — Agnes of God, Little Shop of Horrors and Glengarry Glen Ross — went on to receive a best adapted screenplay Oscar nomination, as well — although only one, Driving Miss Daisy, was awarded a little gold man in the end.
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