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2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Screenplay

Festival favorites and likely fall contenders are in early contention for the original screenplay Oscar. Updated 8/20/17.

Emily V. Gordon and Kumail NanjianaiThe Big Sick film premiere arrivals, Hollywood, USA - 12 Jun 2017Husband and wife team, US writer/producer Emily V. Gordon (L) and Pakistani writer/producer and cast member Kumail Nanjianai (R) arrive for the premiere of 'The Big Sick' at the ArcLight Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 12 June 2017.

Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani

PAUL BUCK/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

It’s early yet, but already some strong screenplays are rising to the front of the Oscar contender list.

The Sundance Film Festival broke out Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon’s “The Big Sick” (Amazon Studios/Lionsgate), which is turning into the indie hit of the year, and summer sensation “Wind River” (The Weinstein Co.), the directorial debut of Oscar-nominated writer Taylor Sheridan (“Hell or High Water”).

Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” (A24) and two Netflix titles, Bong Joon Ho’s political satire “Okja” and Noah Baumbach’s family dramedy “The Meyerowitz Stories: (New and Selected),” competed at Cannes.

Jordan Peele’s brainy genre-bender “Get Out” (Universal) is the surprise sleeper of 2017. Christopher Nolan’s World War II battle epic “Dunkirk” opened to raves and strong box office July 21. And the fall film festivals will bring a slew of name contenders, from Woody Allen and Darren Aronofsky to Alexander Payne.

Check out the (alphabetical) contenders below: No film will be deemed a frontrunner until I have seen it.


Noah Baumbach
 (“The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)”)
Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon (“The Big Sick”)
Christopher Nolan
Jordan Peele (“Get Out”)
Taylor Sheridan
 (“Wind River”)


Woody Allen
 (“Wonder Wheel”)
Paul Thomas Anderson
 (“Phantom Thread”)
Michael Arndt, Jenny Bicks, Bill Condon
 (“The Greatest Showman”)
Darren Aronofsky
Sean Baker (“The Florida Project”)
Simon Beaufoy
 (“Battle of the Sexes”)
Bong Joon-ho, Jon Ronson
George Clooney, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Grant Heslov
Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
 (“The Shape of Water”)
Efthymis Filippou, Yorgos Lanthimos
 (“The Killing of a Sacred Deer”)
Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”)
Liz Hannah and Josh Singer (“The Papers”)
Anthony McCarten
 (“Darkest Hour”)
Martin McDonagh
 (“Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri”)
Michael Mitnick
 (“The Current War”)
Adrian Molina
Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor

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