Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
The Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay is one of the Academy Awards, the most prominent film awards in the United States. It is awarded each year to the writer of a screenplay adapted from another source (usually a novel, play, short story, TV series, or even another film). All sequels are automatically considered adaptations by this standard (since the sequel must be based on the original story).
|Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay|
|Presented by||Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)|
|Currently held by||Spike Lee, David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel & Kevin Willmott |
See also the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, a similar award for screenplays that are not adaptations.
The first person to win twice in this category was Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who won the award in two consecutive years, 1949 and 1950. Others to win twice in this category include: George Seaton, Robert Bolt (who also won in consecutive years), Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo, Alvin Sargent, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Alexander Payne and Michael Wilson. Payne won both awards as part of a writing duo, with Jim Taylor, and writing trio, with Jim Rash and Nat Faxon. Michael Wilson was blacklisted at the time of his second Oscar, so the award was given to a front (novelist Pierre Boulle). However, the Academy officially recognized him as the winner several years later.
Frances Marion was the first woman to win in this category, in 1930.
Philip G. Epstein and Julius J. Epstein are the first siblings to win in this category, for Casablanca. James Goldman and William Goldman are the first to win for separate films. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen are the third winning siblings, for No Country for Old Men.
Mario Puzo is the one of two writers whose work has been adapted and resulted in two wins. Puzo's novel The Godfather resulted in wins in 1972 and 1974. The other is E. M. Forster, whose novels A Room with a View and Howards End resulted in wins for Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.
Geoffrey S. Fletcher and John Ridley are the only African-Americans to win solo in this category; Fletcher is also the first African-American to win in any writing category. Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney are the first African-American writing duo to win; Spike Lee and Kevin Willmott are the second, although their cowriters, the team of David Rabinowitz and Charlie Wachtel, are both white.
Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, Paddy Chayefsky, Francis Ford Coppola, Horton Foote, William Goldman, Robert Benton, Bo Goldman, and the Coen brothers have won Oscars for both original and adapted screenplays.
Noted novelists and playwrights nominated in this category include: George Bernard Shaw (who shared an award for an adaptation of his play Pygmalion), Graham Greene, Tennessee Williams, Vladimir Nabokov, James Hilton, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Lillian Hellman, Irwin Shaw, James Agee, Norman Corwin, S. J. Perelman, Terence Rattigan, John Osborne, Robert Bolt, Harold Pinter, David Mamet, Larry McMurtry, Arthur Miller, John Irving, David Hare, Tony Kushner, and August Wilson.
Winners and nominees
Winners are listed first in colored row, followed by the other nominees.
Writers with multiple awards
- 2 Awards
Writers with multiple nominations
The following writers have received three or more nominations:
- 7 Nominations
- 6 Nominations
- 5 Nominations
- 4 Nominations
- Michael Wilson
- Carl Foreman
- Albert Hackett
- Frances Goodrich
- Julius J. Epstein
- Stanley Kubrick
- Richard Brooks
- Joel Coen
- Ethan Coen
- 3 Nominations
|Record||Writer||Film||Age (in years)||Ref.|
|Oldest winner||James Ivory||Call Me by Your Name||89|
|Youngest winner||Charlie Wachtel||BlacKkKlansman||32|
|Youngest nominee||Damien Chazelle||Whiplash||30|
- During these years, the award was bestowed as Best Writing, Adaptation.
- The 2nd Academy Awards is unique in being the only occasion where there were no official nominees. Subsequent research by AMPAS has resulted in a list of unofficial or de facto nominees, based on records of which films were evaluated by the judges.
- During this year, the award was bestowed as Best Writing and included original and adapted screenplays.
- From 1935 until 1955, the award was bestowed as Best Writing, Screenplay.
- Captain Blood, written by Casey Robinson from the novel by Rafael Sabatini, was not officially nominated for this award, but appears in Academy records because it placed third in voting as a write-in candidate in 1935.
- Dudley Nichols refused to accept the award, but was in possession of it by 1949 according to Academy records.
- Michael Blankfort was originally nominated as the screenwriter of Broken Arrow. In 1991, research proved blacklisted Albert Maltz was the screenwriter and his credit was restored. Blankfort was removed from the nomination and it was given to Maltz.
- Michael Wilson was originally credited as the screenwriter of Friendly Persuasion, but Allied Artists, acting in agreement with the Screen Writers Guild, removed his credit because he was blacklisted. Early in 1957, the Academy revised its bylaws so the film would be eligible for a writing nomination without naming Wilson as a nominee. Friendly Persuasion was initially announced a nominee without a writer's name attached. The Academy's Board of Governors voted to strike the nomination altogether and it was not included on the final ballot. The Board of Governors, however, reinstated the nomination with Wilson's name attached in 2002.
- Pierre Boulle was credited as the screenwriter of The Bridge on the River Kwai and ultimately won the award. Blacklisted writers Michael Wilson and Carl Foreman, who actually wrote the screenplay, were awarded posthumous Oscars by the Academy's Board of Governors in 1984.
- Due to blacklisting, Young wrote under the pseudonym Nathan E. Douglas.
- In 1995, research proved blacklisted Michael Wilson was also a screenwriter of Lawrence of Arabia. He was added as a nominee by the Academy's Board of Governors.
- Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes was initially adapted by screenwriter Robert Towne, but he removed his name from the credits because he was unhappy with co-writer Michael Austin's alterations and the finished film itself. He instead used the pseudonym P.H. Vazak, the name of his late Hungarian sheepdog.
- Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman is a character in his own script for Adaptation, as is his fictional twin brother Donald. The nonexistent Donald was credited as a screenwriter and was nominated for an Academy Award. The film's end credits claimed he had died during pre-production.
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- Saito, Stephen (February 20, 2008). "Fake Names, Real Oscars: Five Nominees Who Didn't Really Exist". IFC. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- "Academy Awards 2017: Complete list of Oscar winners and nominees". Los Angeles Times. February 26, 2017. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
- "90th Oscar Nominations Announced" (PDF). Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. January 23, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- "91st Oscar Nominations Announced" (PDF). Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. January 22, 2019. Retrieved January 22, 2019.