Inevitable list of WGA ineligibilities surfaces

Posted by · 7:42 pm · December 28th, 2010

Steve Pond is on the news today that a number of this year’s screenplays will be ineligible for WGA consideration (and therefore should be kept in mind when nominations are revealed next week).

First and foremost, we all know Pixar films never fall under WGA signatory regulations, so Michael Arndt’s work on “Toy Story 3” will not be in the mix for Best Adapted Screenplay.  Nor will fellow animated contender “How to Train Your Dragon.”  Also perennially ineligible is Mike Leigh, who works outside of the guild’s procedures, so “Another Year” won’t be showing up in the original field.

Joining Arndt on the adapted sidelines will be “Winter’s Bone,” while “Blue Valentine” and potential winner “The King’s Speech” won’t be eligible for original consideration.

Other scripts absent from the WGA ballot include “Biutiful,” “The Ghost Writer,” “Green Zone,” “Love & Other Drugs,” “Made in Dagenham,” “Never Let Me Go,” “Nowhere Boy,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and “The Way Back.”

And the beat goes on…

[Photo: Sony Pictures Classics]

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27 responses so far

  • 1 12-28-2010 at 8:00 pm

    RyanT said...

    Still hoping SCOTT PILGRIM pulls a DISTRICT 9 this year. Too bad the former didn’t have the box office of the latter nor have someone like Peter Jackson in its corner. I can dream… until the nominations come out at least.

  • 2 12-28-2010 at 8:01 pm

    Armando said...

    What are the WGA’s regulations? Is it a member’s club just for live action films (since no animated feature is included)?

  • 3 12-28-2010 at 8:02 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    I don’t even see the point in having these awards if so many great films are disqualified.

  • 4 12-28-2010 at 8:14 pm

    SC said...

    There’s something admirable in their persistent refusal to make their awards relevant.

  • 5 12-28-2010 at 8:26 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Is “Tangled” eligible? That film deserves serious recognition, I think.

  • 6 12-28-2010 at 8:26 pm

    PalCinema said...

    Anyone know why some of these films are ineligible?

  • 7 12-28-2010 at 8:35 pm

    DRM said...

    I agree with Jacob. Seems ridiculous to even have the awards if so many legitimate contenders are ineligible.

  • 8 12-28-2010 at 8:35 pm

    Ibbs said...

    So basically…they won’t mean much of anything this year?

  • 9 12-28-2010 at 8:39 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    i dont think the kings speech will take home original, im puttingg my money on TKAAR, and that should start here I think

  • 10 12-28-2010 at 9:30 pm

    matsunaga said...


    I think they were ineligible because the writers were not a member of WGA or something like that…

    This happened to Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds last year…

    The screenwriter should be a member of WGA to be eligible… So hope this helps…

  • 11 12-28-2010 at 10:13 pm

    jake said...

    Scott pilgrim did make the top 10 of the online critics — why is it ineligible for WGA? It got superb reviews and looked spectacular and was simply a great movie — and i wasn’t even expecting it be that good.

  • 12 12-29-2010 at 2:58 am

    Glenn said...

    “I don’t even see the point in having these awards if so many great films are disqualified.”

    Yeah, let’s not reward those WGA members who might not get another chance to be honoured because most awards organisations can’t think outside the pre-ordained box.

    The reason those contenders are not eligible are because they are either NOT EVEN MEMBERS OF THE WGA or the studio/producers are signatories of the WGA. It seems kinda pointless to reward people with a Writer’s GUILD Award when they’re not even IN the Writer’s Guild.

  • 13 12-29-2010 at 3:55 am

    Graysmith said...

    While the ineligibility was to be expected, as is the case every year, I have to say I’m quite shocked to learn that so few films are actually eligible each year. Even if you include the “snubs” it’s still very few films that are actually in the running. I never knew that before, never saw a list of eligible films for the WGAs before, so I always thought it was A LOT more, even if reasonably most of those would never have a chance. So wow, in that regard.

    The greatest shame about all of this though is that it hurts the small, indie films that just can’t be made if they have to adhere to standard WGA contracts and such. It’s obviously a guild that honors its members, but I wish they could come up with some kind of solution that would allow smaller films to be eligible because right now all they’re doing is stifling the indie movies.

  • 14 12-29-2010 at 6:08 am

    Maxim said...

    “First and foremost, we all know Pixar films never fall under WGA signatory regulations, so Michael Arndt’s work on “Toy Story 3″ will not be in the mix for Best Adapted Screenplay. Nor will fellow animated contender “How to Train Your Dragon.””

    Does anyone know why that is? Is this because animation is inelligible or due to some other policies?

  • 15 12-29-2010 at 6:19 am

    Maxim said...

    @ Glenn,

    I think that the biggest problem is that there really isn’t an industrywide body to reward those screenwrites that DON’T fall under WGA’s rules. In other words, it’s not WGA that really’s the problem (unless someone really wants to go deep into this, which they easily could) but the fact that there really isn’t an alternative (apart from the Oscars where few really look at all the competing screenplays).

    WGA can and should be targeted for inflexibility just because it’s so big and prominent.

  • 16 12-29-2010 at 7:45 am

    JJ1 said...

    I’m still confused by the process:

    Does this mean that AMPAS and/or WGA voters within AMPAS can vote for the films they want because it’s Oscars , but they can not vote for them for the WGA because they are not affiliated witht he guild?

    Will voters within the WGA who are also AMPAS vote differently according to the body they’re voting for (WGA, Oscar)?

    In other words, if I’m a WGA member and am told I can’t vote for The King’s Speech, but if I am also an AMPAS voter, I can then vote for The King’s Speech for Oscar? Don’t get it. Weird.

  • 17 12-29-2010 at 8:11 am

    Maxim said...

    JJ1, it’a all very simple.

    WGA is a guild and that restricts what can be considered for an Award within that guild. That doesn’t affect the Oscars because it has a different scope, so despite the fact that absolute majority of members of Academy’s writing branch are also WGA members, they have more freedom about what they can nominate and award.

  • 18 12-29-2010 at 8:14 am

    Maxim said...

    “In other words, if I’m a WGA member and am told I can’t vote for The King’s Speech, but if I am also an AMPAS voter, I can then vote for The King’s Speech for Oscar? ”

    You are thinking about it incorrectly – it isn’t that WGA will tell you who you should or shouldn’t vote for. It’s just that certain non-WGA things will not even be eligible in the first place. Those restrictions won’t transfer to the Oscars so you could, if you chose to, have a completely non-WGA ballot there.

  • 19 12-29-2010 at 8:16 am

    Phil said...

    I’m always curious how the winners of the WGA awards feel about winning. Of course, it’s nice to win, but given the WGA rules there has to be a little sour with the sweet. You are never competing with all of the best of that year.

  • 20 12-29-2010 at 8:29 am

    Maxim said...

    Phil, I think you could make the same sort of argument about any award ceremony – there’s nothing out there really that’s truly global and all encompassing. Everything comes with a caveat. WGA is a guild first and foremost so at least there’s _some_ degree of logic.

    Because, when you think about it, even if WGA DID allow non-WGA scripts to compete, there would be very reasonable accusations of bias and, frankly, validity.

    It’s the way game is played. And, in a perfect world, it’s shouldn’t have to be that way.

  • 21 12-29-2010 at 8:34 am

    Maxim said...

    At least if it makes the likes of Toy Story 3 grab one fewer awards citation then you are getting the good with the bad. I maintain that the film could not be more unpleasant and shamelessly manipulative.

  • 22 12-29-2010 at 9:15 am

    ninja said...

    Go Inception! It has a great chance of winning in this category now cause it won several critic awards for it.

  • 23 12-29-2010 at 10:49 am

    Marshall said...

    So now i guess we are looking at…

    The Social Network
    The Town
    127 Hours
    True Grit
    Shutter Island? (I’m at a loss for the final slot)

    Black Swan
    The Kids Are All Right
    The Fighter
    Hereafter? (again, at a loss)

    What’s the point of these awards anymore if they render themselves irrelevant to the race?

  • 24 12-29-2010 at 10:57 am

    Maxim said...

    “What’s the point of these awards anymore if they render themselves irrelevant to the race?”

    This is the height of idiocy of Oscarcentrism. What is the POINT of any award if all it does is try to predict or mimick the Oscars?

    Could it be that they don’t think of their own awards as not being part of any race?

    Does the idea of a guild award really that strange to grasp?

    You ceirtanly are at a loss there, Marshall.

  • 25 12-29-2010 at 3:54 pm

    Rick Evans said...

    It’s a crime The King’s Speech is ineligible…a crime!

    Does this make it that more likely Inception will win Best Original Screenplay?

  • 26 12-29-2010 at 4:07 pm

    Glenn said...

    “it’s not WGA that really’s the problem”

    Um, that’s what I was saying, Maxim.

    Indeed, the WGA are their own beast. Always have been. They used to have a Golden Globes set up with “Best Written American Drama”, “Best Written American Comedy” and “Best Written American Musical”. At some point they changed to Original/Adapted, but they still do things their own way. “Bowling for Columbine” anyone? That’s kinda what makes them so much more interesting than several others.

  • 27 12-29-2010 at 4:59 pm

    Maxim said...

    Glenn, I have to appologize – my comment has not been addressed to you. Indeed, I agree with what you’ve said.