WGA Includes 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Among Its Film Nominations

Guardians of the Galaxy

Worldwide gross: $772.3 million

James Gunn made a risky move when he decided to helm Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel. But it paid off big time when the film soared at the box office and launched star Chris Pratt into a full-fledges movie star. "I actually personally felt that people needed the color," Gunn told THR about making the comedic space opera. "They needed the humor and the fun -- they just didn't know it yet. But there were those nights at 3 a.m. when I would wake up and be like, 'Oh my God, what am I doing? If this goes wrong, my life is screwed. I'll be a pariah.' "

The guild, which will hand out its honors on Feb. 14, also nominated 'Whiplash' in its original screenplay category

Interjecting a bit of levity into an awards season dominated by mostly dead-serious movies, the Writers Guild of America on Wednesday included Guardians of the Galaxy among its screenwriting nominees. James Gunn and Nicole Perlman's screenplay about an improbable gang of inter-galactic adventurers, based on the Marvel comic by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, was nominated in the adapted screenplay category, where it will compete with American Sniper, Gone Girl, The Imitation Game and Wild.

And guaranteeing that its nominees will not match up with the writing nominations that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will unveil on Jan. 15, the WGA nominated Damien Chazelle's Whiplash for its original screenplay award. The Academy has classified the movie as an adaptation, since Chazelle first turned a portion of his screenplay into a short film that played the Sundance Film Festival a year before his full version of Whiplash debuted. The other films included in the WGA's original screenplay category are Boyhood, Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Nightcrawler.

A number of films that are considered to be in Oscar contention were not eligible for WGA honors, which go only to movies filmed under the WGA's basic contract agreement or that of one of its sister guilds in Canada, Great Britain, Ireland or New Zealand. So that meant that Selma, Birdman, The Theory of Everything and Mr. Turner had no chance of making the WGA list.

The guild also announced four nominees for best documentary screenplay: Finding Vivian Maier, The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, Last Days in Vietnam and Red Army. The first three of those films are also on the shortlist of 15 docs that are currently vying for Oscar nominations. In something of a surprise, Red Army failed to make the Oscar shortlist.

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Last month, the guild announced nominees in several other categories, including TV. The awards will be handed out Feb. 14 in simultaneous ceremonies taking place in Los Angeles at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza and in New York at the Edison Ballroom.

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The list of film nominees can be found below.

Boyhood Read the review  |  Watch the trailer  |  Latest news
Written by Richard Linklater; IFC Films
Foxcatcher Read the review  |  Watch the trailer  |  Latest news
Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman; Sony Pictures Classics
The Grand Budapest Hotel Read the review  |  Watch the trailer  |  Latest news
Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness; Fox Searchlight
Nightcrawler Read the review | Watch the trailer | Latest news
Written by Dan Gilroy; Open Road Films
Whiplash Read the review  |  Watch the trailer  |  Latest news
Written by Damien Chazelle; Sony Pictures Classics

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American Sniper Read the review | Watch the trailer | Latest news
Written by Jason Hall; Based on the book by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice; Warner Bros.
Gone Girl Read the review  |  Watch the trailer  |  Latest news
Screenplay by Gillian Flynn; Based on her novel; 20th Century Fox
Guardians of the Galaxy Read the review   |   Watch the trailer  |  Latest news
Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman; Based on the Marvel comic by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
The Imitation Game
Read the review  |  Watch the trailer  |  Latest news
Written by Graham Moore; Based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges; The Weinstein Company
Wild Read the review  |  Watch the trailer  |  Latest news
Screenplay by Nick Hornby; Based on the book by Cheryl Strayed; Fox Searchlight

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Finding Vivian Maier, Written by John Maloof & Charlie Siskel; Sundance Selects
The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, Written by Brian Knappenberger; FilmBuff
Last Days in Vietnam, Written by Mark Bailey & Kevin McAlester; American Experience Films
Red Army, Written by Gabe Polsky; Sony Pictures Classics