‘Basterds,’ ‘Road,’ ‘Single Man’ ineligible for WGA

Posted by · 10:16 am · January 6th, 2010

(from left) Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee in The RoadIt seems Steve Pond was willing to track down the real reason The Weinstein Company hasn’t sent screeners of its Oscar season hopefuls to the WGA, reacting to a story initially run by Kyle Buchanan at Movieline: three of them aren’t even eligible, and one of them (which is all but dead this season) is better viewed on the big screen anyway.

Writes Pond:

The Weinstein Company didn’t send out “Inglourious Basterds” screeners because “Inglourious Basterds” isn’t eligible for the WGA Awards.

Neither is “A Single Man.”

And neither is “The Road.”

“Nine,” written by WGA member Michael Tolkin and the late Anthony Minghella, a member of the WGA, East during his lifetime, is the only Weinstein film that’s eligible, according to a spokesperson for the guild. And “Nine” plays much better on a big screen, it’s still in theaters, and it doesn’t really have much chance for a writing nod anyway.

So Harvey Weinstein didn’t send out screeners to the WGA not because he dropped the ball, but because he understands how the guilds work and didn’t feel like wasting money.

The reasons? Keep reading…

It seems like a no-brainer, I guess, but Quentin Tarantino, Tom Ford & David Scearce and Joe Penhall are not members of the WGA (not a deal-breaker) and, more importantly, their films were not written under the guild’s Minimum Basic Agreement, according to Pond.

Indeed, the only WGA nod Tarantino has ever received was as part of the writing team on a “C.S.I” episode in 2006.  I spaced it and forgot he wasn’t even a card-carrying member (which is probably surprising to some).  You don’t HAVE to be a member to get nominated, mind you, but, again, your film has to be written under the guild’s agreement (461 pages I don’t feel like flipping through, so I’ll take Pond at his journalistic word).

In any case, keep it in mind.  We’ll preview the WGA awards on Friday.  The nominees will be announced Monday, January 11.

→ 12 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

12 responses so far

  • 1 1-06-2010 at 10:35 am

    Yogsam said...

    WHOA!! i’m sorry but that’s just plain stupid

  • 2 1-06-2010 at 10:48 am

    Benito Delicias said...

    Well seeing that Basterds was the only logical prediction and lock for a nod here, I don’t what the problem is really.

    The An Education this is really stupid though.

  • 3 1-06-2010 at 10:50 am

    red_wine said...

    Are you sure screenplays by non-members can be nominated? Because from what I know Pixar screenplays are ineligible. Maybe they are not made under the guild’s agreement(whatever that is).

  • 4 1-06-2010 at 10:52 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Non-members can be nominated, yes. It’s all about the agreement guidelines.

  • 5 1-06-2010 at 11:01 am

    The Other James D. said...

    Uh, Benito, the ONLY? Bitchplease.

    So Kris, do you know whether Fantastic Mr. Fox is eligible? Or are only Pixar animations ruled out?

  • 6 1-06-2010 at 11:13 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Probably not eligible, would be my guess. But I don’t know the specifics of the production. Typically, animated films are made outside of the parameters of the agreement, so my guess is it’s not eligible.

  • 7 1-06-2010 at 11:24 am

    Michael said...

    Clearly, the WGA has some pretty lame rules to get nominated for their awards. I guess no one really takes them much into account for oscar prognosticating b/c they are so unnecessarily restricting.

  • 8 1-06-2010 at 11:37 am

    Cameron said...

    Hopefully A Serious Man will win Original Screenplay, seeing as how it’s only real competition is out of the running (minus The Hurt Locker), and the WGA loves the Coens anyway

  • 9 1-06-2010 at 11:58 am

    Ben M. said...

    If both Up and Inglorious Basterds are out of the way, I wonder if Avatar could starting making a screenplay nod push here. Now a WGA nod does not mean oscar will follow (Titanic scored one, and last year the original screenplay category was 1/5 with the oscar line-up) but even so, a WGA nod would help keep the film’s momentum going.

  • 10 1-06-2010 at 12:06 pm

    Milan said...

    Well… at least Bright Star can shine now, but what is it under by WGA guidelines?

  • 11 1-06-2010 at 2:00 pm

    Avatar is at the Bottom of the Garbage Pail said...

    Just because there is nothing else to chose, doesn’t give “Avatar” an automatic in. It’s a really bad, overly long and tedious script, riddled with cliches and plot holes. There are plenty of other original screenplays that never got that amount of hype that should be considered instead. I’m sure, like Santa, the writers are making their lists and checking them twice. The naughty ones who didn’t bother to go WGA contract out, those that did… in. This gives movies like “A Serious Man” “Julie & Julia” “Drag me to Hell” “Moon” and “Everybody’s Fine” a better chance. It gives the women writers a better leg up on the men, because they actually follow the rules. Hello Jane Campion and Nora Ephron! Welcome to the party.