USC Scripter Awards: 'Irishman,' 'Watchmen' Among Film and TV Finalists

Dark Waters, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Little Women and The Two Popes -Split 2- Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy Photos

Good news for the best adapted screenplay Oscar campaigns for Dark Waters, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Little Women and The Two Popes: They are the five finalists for the 32nd annual USC Scripter Award for best film adaptation, the USC Libraries announced Wednesday.

The Scripter Award has proved to be one of the strongest harbingers of Oscar success for screenwriters whose script was inspired by preexisting literary material, with the same project winning both on 14 occasions, including eight of the last 10: Schindler's List (1993), Sense and Sensibility (1995), L.A. Confidential (1997), A Beautiful Mind (2001), No Country for Old Men (2007), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), The Social Network (2010), The Descendants (2011), Argo (2012), 12 Years a Slave (2013), The Imitation Game (2014), The Big Short (2015), Moonlight (2016) and Call Me by Your Name (2017).

At the Scripter ceremony, unlike the Oscars, both the adapter and the adapted are nominated and honored. That is why this year's finalists are:

Matthew Carnahan and Mario Correa for Dark Waters, based on the New York Times Magazine article "The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare" by Nathaniel Rich

Steven Zaillian for The Irishman, based on the nonfiction work I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt

Taika Waititi for JoJo Rabbit, based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens

Greta Gerwig for Little Women, based on the novel of the same name by Louisa May Alcott

Anthony McCarten for The Two Popes, based on his play The Pope

Since 2016, USC Libraries has also presented a Scripter Award for best television adaptation. This year's finalists are:

Phoebe Waller-Bridge for the first episode of Fleabag, based on her one-woman play of the same name

Joel Fields and Steven Levenson for the episode "Nowadays" from Fosse/Verdon, based on the biography Fosse by Sam Wasson

Emerald Fennell for the episode "Nice and Neat" from Killing Eve, based on the novel Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings

Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman for the first episode of Unbelievable, based on the article "An Unbelievable Story of Rape" by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong

Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson for the episode "This Extraordinary Being" from Watchmen, based on the comic book series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

Finalists were chosen from 61 film and 58 television adaptations. The winners of both awards will be announced Saturday, Jan. 25, at a black-tie dinner ceremony at USC's historical Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library.