Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Peter Knegt
February 9, 2014 10:47 PM
  • |

2014 Oscar Predictions: Best Adapted Screenplay

Indiewire will provide regular updates of our predictions for the 86th Academy Awards through March 2nd, when the winners are announced.

Here's our take on the best adapted screenplay category, where John Ridley's script for "12 Years a Slave" is a definite frontrunner. The potential upset is  Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope for "Philomena," who beat Ridley at the admittedly more "Philomena"-friendly BAFTAs.

Nominees and predictions below. Check out all predictions in all the categories here.

The nominees:
“Before Midnight” Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
“Captain Phillips” Screenplay by Billy Ray
“Philomena” Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
“12 Years a Slave” Screenplay by John Ridley
“The Wolf of Wall Street” Screenplay by Terence Winter

Will win: “12 Years a Slave” Screenplay by John Ridley
Could win: “Philomena” Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
Should win: “Before Midnight” Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
Shoulda been here: "Blue is the Warmest Color" Wriiten by Abdellatif Kechiche, Ghalia Lacroix

Check out all predictions in all the categories here.

Sign up HERE for Indiewire's Awards Season newsletter and receive a twice-weekly email roundup of our awards stories, hand-picked by our editors from across the Indiewire Network, plus additional coverage in the final run up to the Oscars.

You might also like:


  • Duncan | February 22, 2014 6:35 PMReply

    Before Midnight has not been adapted from anything, and should therefore not win Best Adapted Screenplay. The Academy has finally proven their ignorance by nominating it.

  • Mark | February 25, 2014 9:57 PM

    All sequels are considered adaptations according to Academy rules. Just an FYI.

  • Klamentyne | February 8, 2014 4:23 AMReply

    I would be heartbroken if "Before Midnight" doesn't leave a mark on the Academys'...

  • Ivan | January 29, 2014 3:59 AMReply

    This is definitely category in which Wolf of Wall Street should win. Even the main character, real Jordan was extraordinary satisfied

  • Dylan | January 11, 2014 2:51 PMReply

    My Nominations (Best Adapted Screenplay):
    Tracy Letts - AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (I haven't seen the movie yet, but from what I've seen in the trailers, the characters look interesting and the dialogue so far is cleverly written and delivered spot-on by the actors.)
    Terence Winter - THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (Again, I haven't seen this movie yet, but from the trailers and clips I've seen, the dialogue is hilariously well-written enough to get an Oscar nom.)
    Michael Arndt & Simon Beaufoy - THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE
    Chris Buck (story), Shane Morris (story), & Jennifer Lee (story/screenplay) - FROZEN

  • Dylan | January 13, 2014 7:20 PM

    My Nominations (Best Adapted Screenplay):
    Terence Winter - THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (I haven't seen the film yet, but from the trailers and clips I've seen, the dialogue is hilariously well-written enough to get an Oscar nom.)
    Michael Arndt & Simon Beaufoy - THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE
    Chris Buck (story), Shane Morris (story), & Jennifer Lee (story/screenplay) - FROZEN

  • Anthony D. | January 9, 2014 11:43 PMReply

    12 Years A Slave
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    Captain Phillips
    Before Midnight
    August: Osage County/Philomena

    Terence Winter deserves the win but I could see Ridley or the Before Midnight trio winning instead.

  • benxpete | December 29, 2013 10:32 PMReply

    the weakest part about 12 Years a Slave was the screenplay. Directing on point, acting, score, etc...but the writing is weak IMO. A lot of it is just "here's a scene, there's a scene, next..." It IS the guy who penned Red Tails and Undercover Brother after all.

  • benxpete | December 29, 2013 10:34 PM

    also he was the ONLY writer to scab during the writers strike of 2008. lets see how that works out for him.

  • Van | December 27, 2013 9:13 PMReply

    I was very disappointed with The Wolf of Wall Street. I don't think it deserves to win or even be nominated. It was far too long, repetitive, and boring. Leo does deserve a nomination though, maybe Jonah Hill too.

  • Bard | December 19, 2013 7:11 AMReply

    I agree that The Wolf of Wall Street could win this one. Other nominees should be 12 Years a Slave, Before Midnight, August: Osage County and Captain Phillips.

  • Nate | December 12, 2013 8:08 PMReply

    Wolf of Wall Street deserves this one. I saw it, so AWESOME!!! But I would not be surprised if they give it to 12 Years a Slave.

  • Dan | December 10, 2013 7:22 AMReply

    You know what would be the best justice in the history of cinema? If Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater win this award for Before Midnight! C'mon pleaseeeee Oscar!

  • Brett | December 5, 2013 5:08 PMReply

    1. Peter Morgan for Rush
    2. John Ridley for 12 Years a Slave
    3. Terrence Winter for The Wolf of Wall Street
    4. Billy Ray (not Cyrus) for Captain Phillips
    5. Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, and Richard Linklater for Before Midnight
    6. Tracy Letts for August Osage County
    7. Jason Reitman for Labor Day
    8. Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope for Philomena
    9. Ghalia Lacroix and Abdellatif Kechiche for Blue is the Warmest Color
    10. Peter Berg for Lone Survivor
    11. Daniel Cretton for Short Term 12
    12. Michael Petroni for The Book Thief (Adapted Screenplay is fine but not best picture worthy)

  • Jack | November 26, 2013 9:38 PMReply

    The First 3 are pretty much Locks, with Before Midnight, Philomena, August: Osage County and Blue is the Warmest Colour battling for the last two spots.

  • BOO | November 18, 2013 8:33 PMReply

    The top 4 is perfect I think. The 5th spot I hope goes to Blue is the Warmest Color but I do think there are a few like Philomena and August Osage County going for it. I hope they don't f**king snub Before Midnight. Sadly I can see it happening.

  • Jake | October 23, 2013 2:03 PMReply

    Could Philomena snag a Best Picture slot if it has a Adapted Screenplay nomination? It seems like something the Academy would totally go for

  • Brett | November 5, 2013 5:24 PM

    Were Borat, Children of Men, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, etc. nominated for Best Picture even though they got nods for Best Adapted Screenplay?

  • Brett | October 15, 2013 5:14 PMReply

    Monuments Men? The Nazis did NOT want to burn down the art! They stole them to make a fortune!

  • Jim KIrk | October 13, 2013 7:22 AMReply

    Seriously, you're going to neglegt even suggesting ENOUGH SAID for best screenplay?

  • Brett | September 18, 2013 5:34 PMReply

    If the Academy decided to nominate 12 (Because 12 Years a Slave) my picks would be:
    1. 12 Years a Slave
    2. Wolf of Wall Street
    3. Captain Phillips
    4. Philomena
    5. August Osage County
    6. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
    7. The Book Thief
    8. The Fifth Estate
    9. Foxcatcher
    10. Labor Day
    11. The Invisible Woman
    12. The Spectacular Now

  • Confused | September 3, 2013 2:01 PMReply

    How on earth is Before Midnight considered Adapted Screenplay? No way.

  • Ryan | December 12, 2013 4:22 PM

    All sequels are placed in the Adapted Catergory. Before Sunset, Before Sunrise, Before Midnight.

  • petros | December 2, 2013 5:51 AM

    Bruce you need to work on your grammar. Also the fact that a meaningless technicality puts the movie in the adapted category doesn't mean it's reasonable for it to be there. Adapted and sequel are two very distinct concepts.

  • Bruce | September 5, 2013 8:20 AM

    It's already is adapted since Before Sunset and since the 2 sequel is based on the the first part so it is adapted whether you like it or not

  • Mexicano | September 2, 2013 3:27 AMReply

    1. Before Midnight
    2. Agust: Osage County
    3. The secret life...
    4. The Wolf of Wall Street
    5. The 5th Estate
    6. Philomena
    7. 12 years a slave

  • MEMYSELFANDI | August 31, 2013 10:13 PMReply


  • BOO | August 20, 2013 8:19 PMReply

    How can you put Monuments Men so high on the best picture list and not even put it in this category? I think it's a lock if the film is.

  • Donella | August 20, 2013 12:35 PMReply

    I would be delighted if 12 Years a Slave won this year since it is based upon the narrative of Solomon Northrup's work with screenplay by John Ridley. Direction of the work by Steve McQueen and portrayal by Chiwetol Ejiofer. It would be monumental and historic to recognize the significance of this work.

    Also, since this is the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, it's timely since 1963, the 100-year anniversary of Emancipation, film and television industries segregated Black people from full and equal participation in opportunities such as screenwriting.

  • X | January 6, 2014 3:47 PM

    So you're suggesting ignoring all the other outstanding films that had wonderful screenplays, just because "12 Years a Slave" caters to the African-American community? I personally love the story behind that film, but it doesn't deserve to be handed awards based on its content, nor does any other film.

  • Guest | August 8, 2013 2:25 AMReply

    HEY - Serena is not coming out this year. Get with the program!

  • BOO | July 8, 2013 7:07 AMReply

    I think Before Midnight and August Osage County are definitely in because they are dialogue dramas. This looks crowded and it worries me that Before Midnight won't make it. Also anyone know why Before Midnight is adapted? I know it's a sequel, but Toy Story 3 was original. And it's not ADAPTED.

  • Ans | September 12, 2013 3:55 AM

    Toy Story 3 was nominated for Adapted Screenplay.

  • Bruce | August 21, 2013 12:22 AM

    It is safer for Before Midnight to be on the Adapted category, it wouldn't even stand a chance in the Original category race

  • JD | July 4, 2013 4:38 AMReply

    Even though I havent seen Before Midnight, would that not be an original film?

  • Bender | July 4, 2013 2:08 PM

    It's a sequel, so if it's nominated it'll be Adapted.

  • Cassie | July 4, 2013 4:14 AMReply

    What about Mud? Fruitvale Station?

  • Bender | July 4, 2013 2:08 PM

    Those are original screenplays.

  • JD | July 4, 2013 4:39 AM

    Yes mud should be included. Hopefully the silly shoot out at the end would hinder its chances.

  • Jay | July 4, 2013 1:34 AMReply

    Paul Thomas Anderson inherent vice??????

  • Nate | July 4, 2013 2:10 AM

    I know right.

  • Bender | July 4, 2013 1:54 AM

    That isn't coming out this year.