USC Scripter nominations announced

Posted by · 6:08 pm · January 5th, 2010

Cover of Crazy Heart by Thomas CobbThe USC Libraries has announced its list of contenders for the Scripter prize, which honors adapted screenplays, their writers and the source materials and authors that spawned them.

So, with that in mind, I’m not sure how the “District 9” nod is justified here in the slightest, given the stated intention of the award.* But that’s another feather in the film’s cap regardless.  It could be picking up a big head of steam here.  More on that when we preview the DGA nominations tomorrow.

A big congrats to Scott Cooper for finally getting some love of his own this Oscar season. I had a hunch he might show up here. Maybe this can help turn the corner for a film too many are quick to chalk up as “performance only.”

I guess we can probably expect Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner to walk away with the award, but as always, it’s a refreshingly out-of-step line-up from the USC Libraries. Fight on.

Anyway, check out the nominees, via press release, after the jump.

“Crazy Heart” – Fox Searchlight Pictures
Scott Cooper, screenwriter
Thomas Cobb, author

“District 9” – Tri-Star Pictures
Neill Blomkamp, screenwriter and author
Terri Tatchell, screenwriter

“An Education” – Sony Pictures Classics
Nick Hornby, screenwriter
Lynn Barber, author

“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” – Lionsgate
Geoffrey Fletcher, screenwriter
Sapphire, author

“Up in the Air” – Paramount Pictures
Jason Reitman, screenwriter
Sheldon Turner, screenwriter
Walter Kirn, author

*It turns out the rules of eligibility were expanded this year to include screenplays based on other screenplays, so Blomkamp’s original screenplay, “Alive in Joburg,” I imagine, was the source material considered.  I don’t think it washes, but there you have it.  Last year the rules were expanded to include comic book adaptations.  Next year they’ll be expanded to include original screenplays.  (Kidding.)

→ 28 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

28 responses so far

  • 1 1-05-2010 at 6:15 pm

    Dennis said...

    District 9 is having a great day.

  • 2 1-05-2010 at 6:16 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    That “District 9” nod makes no sense whatsoever — when did the award change its brief so dramatically?

  • 3 1-05-2010 at 6:18 pm

    Yogsam said...

    No “Hurt Locker” ? OUCH!!
    i’m glad to see “District 9” and “An Education”
    up there, hope it repeats at the OSCARS

  • 4 1-05-2010 at 6:20 pm

    Yogsam said...

    ^^ im an asshole, this is for adapted pieces
    but isn’t D9 an original screenplay??

  • 5 1-05-2010 at 6:24 pm

    Georgie said...

    I was hoping for a WTWTA or Fantastic Mr. Fox nod here…

  • 6 1-05-2010 at 6:25 pm

    aspect ratio said...

    Gotta feel bad for Fantastic Mr. Fox and Where the Wild Things Are, seeing as they were both inspired adaptations of very well-known and beloved works.

    I’d love to know how District 9 was even eligible though, I thought the Scripter only nominated films that were based on books (and similar)?

  • 7 1-05-2010 at 6:26 pm

    Ryan said...

    District 9 was nominated for Adapted Screenplay from the Broadcast Critics and was also nominated for its screenplay at the Golden Globes.

    So even if it doesn’t get in Best Picture, it has a great shot at getting nominated for at least one Oscar.

  • 8 1-05-2010 at 6:31 pm

    aspect ratio said...

    Umm.. The LA Times article says that T. Bone Burnett was one of the members of the selection committee. Wouldn’t that be considered one hell of a conflict of interest? Even if there’s no foul play involved, it certainly looks really bad.

  • 9 1-05-2010 at 6:36 pm

    Pablo (Col) said...

    I think The Last Station wont get nominated for best adapted screenplay. Apart the extremely poor performances in critic circles, the competition it’s superior.

  • 10 1-05-2010 at 6:36 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...


  • 11 1-05-2010 at 6:37 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    That comment meant for aspect, that is.

  • 12 1-05-2010 at 6:39 pm

    Pablo (Col) said...

    I forgot to say also that Crazy Heart wont really get too far apart from thr Bridges nom.

    Music wont be where they will pick up prizes and better movies are around.

    I would replace that movie with Invictus in this list and there you have the Oscar nominees.

  • 13 1-05-2010 at 6:50 pm

    Rogers said...

    I think the District 9 nomination shows how weak the adapted screenplay field is this year. IMO its far less impressive than the originals line-up in ’09.

  • 14 1-05-2010 at 6:59 pm

    Labuza Movies said...

    I guess they are saying because District 9 was adapted from a short film??

    Has a musical adaptation ever made it? Or a theatrical adaptation for that matter?

  • 15 1-05-2010 at 7:00 pm

    Shelby said...

    According to a newly posted story at the Hollywood Reporter, the Scripters were expanded last year to allow screenplays based on comic books (Iron Man), and this year were expanded to allow screenplays based on other screenplays (which would explain District 9).

  • 16 1-05-2010 at 7:03 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Based on other screenplays? Shittin’ me?

  • 17 1-05-2010 at 7:06 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Notation added. Odd.

  • 18 1-05-2010 at 8:35 pm

    Adam Smith said...

    Yeah, these new Scripter rules do not jive well, but good for District 9. I’m excited to see what happens at DGA–methinks Blomkamp will shock the world.

  • 19 1-05-2010 at 8:49 pm

    Adam Smith said...

    Oh, and two things slightly off-topic:

    1) On the Contenders page, you incorrectly credit Damien Paul as the screenwriter of Precious.

    2) I know you’ve doubted the film’s chances, but you gotta consider Diane Kruger at least in the running for that fifth place nod for Best Supporting Actress after the SAG nod. She ain’t even listed in “The rest of the field.” Don’t be cruel, sir.

  • 20 1-05-2010 at 8:51 pm

    Kevin said...

    I second Adam Smith’s comment – I’ve been thinking that Clint’s lacklustre direction of Invictus will be too big to ignore by the DGA (despite his respect among the directors) and Blonkamp or Daniels might steal his thunder.

  • 21 1-05-2010 at 10:49 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Damien Paul? That’s friggin weird. Had no idea. Apologies to Geoffrey Fletcher and I’ll amend.

  • 22 1-05-2010 at 10:51 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Huh. “Damien Paul” is listed as an alternate name for Fletcher:


  • 23 1-05-2010 at 10:52 pm

    Adam Smith said...

    @Kris: I thought it might be something like that, but still odd.

  • 24 1-05-2010 at 11:00 pm

    SHAAAARK said...

    Wooo, District gets in even where it’s not supposed to! It would be so awesome if the DGA acknowledged Blomkamp, not Eastwood or Daniels.

  • 25 1-05-2010 at 11:17 pm

    qwiggles said...

    What a bizarre rule change for an award that, as I understood it, celebrated the source text as much as the nominee. Seems to kind of defeat the purpose, huh.

  • 26 1-06-2010 at 4:34 am

    aspect ratio said...

    I can understand the inclusion of comic books since most comic book films have A LOT of source material to adapt from.

    But from another screenplay, and not even a full-length screenplay? I mean, if you’ve seen Alive in Joburg there’s not a whole lot to it, it’s only a few minutes long and I can’t imagine there’s all that much in the script that were carried over to District 9, except for the basic idea.

  • 27 1-06-2010 at 7:05 am

    Joe said...

    Did “Alive in Joburg” even have a screenplay? I got the impression it was mainly improvised. For that matter, I thought “D9” was as well. I could be greatly mistaken.

  • 28 1-06-2010 at 7:16 am

    Adam Smith said...

    @aspect ratio: I’m pretty sure that “Based on characters by” or “Based on a story by” counts as Adapted. So even if the only similarities are the Prawns (already a HUGE similarity) and Jo-burg (again, pretty major), that’s enough.

    Since I’m feelin’ a little ballsy today, I’m gonna throw out my big No Guts No Glory prediction: District 9 will score in 4 major categories. Along with sneaking in an Art Direction nod (knocking out, from Kris’ current slate, either Public Enemies or A Serious Man) and knocking Nine out of the Editing ballot, District 9 will be nominated for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (as expected), and Best Director. And who will a good chunk of people who ranked District 9 as their number 1 choice for Best Picture rank as their number 1 choice for Best Actor? Sharlto Copley. Or, should I say, future Oscar nominee Sharlto Copley. If Tommy Lee Jones could squeeze in a nod for a film no one saw, who’s to say the lead from a highly supported film couldn’t get in over Morgan Freeman or Jeremy Renner, who I believe are both vulnerable, compared to the other nominees? If there’s gonna be a major shock on nomination morning, it’ll either be Sharlto Copley knocking one of those gents out and taking his place, or Helen Mirren getting snubbed for Best Actress in favor of a young Miss Melanie Laurent.

    Maybe I’m just trying to make the Academy seem cooler than they really are. Maybe I’m just crazy–crazy like a fox.

    In a ten nominee year…