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USC Scripter Award Nominees Include ‘Logan,’ ‘Mindhunter’ and Margaret Atwood, Twice

The winner of the Scripter Award often goes on to other honors, including the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover UsageMandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock (8326452i)Dafne Keen, Hugh JackmanLogan - 2017



The jury vote for the 30th USC Libraries Scripter Award nominees was so close that two ties resulted for the film and television categories. Due to a three-way tie in the nomination round, the writers of seven films and the works on which the films are based will compete for the honors this year.

The winner of the Scripter Award often goes on to other honors, including the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Winners in recent years include “Moonlight,” “The Big Short,” “The Imitation Game,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Argo,” which all won the Oscar in that category.

The finalist writers for film adaptation are, in alphabetical order by film title:

  • Author André Aciman and screenwriter James Ivory for “Call Me By Your Name”
  • Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for “The Disaster Artist” and authors Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell for their nonfiction book “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside ‘The Room,’ the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”
  • Screenwriters Scott Frank, Michael Green, and James Mangold, and authors Roy Thomas, Len Wein, and John Romita, Sr., for “Logan
  • Screenwriter James Gray and author David Grann for “The Lost City of Z”
  • Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and author Molly Bloom for “Molly’s Game”
  • Screenwriters Dee Rees and Virgil Williams and author Hillary Jordan for “Mudbound”
  • Screenwriter Allan Heinberg and author William Moulton Marston for “Wonder Woman”

Writers of six television shows and their printed source material will vie for the Scripter Award this year. The finalist writers—including for the first time a single author, Margaret Atwood, with nominations for two series in a single year—for television are, in alphabetical order by series title:

    • Screenwriter Sarah Polley and author Margaret Atwood for “Alias Grace”
    • David E. Kelley, for the episode “You Get What You Need” from “Big Little Lies,” and author Liane Moriarty
    • Noah Pink and Ken Biller for the episode “Einstein: Chapter One” from “Genius,” and author Walter Isaacson for his book “Einstein: His Life and Word”
    • Bruce Miller for the episode “Offred” from “The Handmaid’s Tale” and author Margaret Atwood
    • Peter Landesman, George C. Wolfe, and Alexander Woo for the television film “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” and author Rebecca Skloot
    • Joe Penhall and Jennifer Haley for “Episode 10” of “Mindhunter” and authors John Douglas and Mark Olshaker for their nonfiction book “Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit”

Chaired by USC professor and past president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman, the 2018 Scripter selection committee selected the finalists from a field of 91 film and 28 television adaptations. Serving on the selection committee, among many others (including me), are film critics Leonard Maltin and Kenneth Turan; authors Michael Chabon and Michael Ondaatje; screenwriters Geoffrey Fletcher and Erin Cressida Wilson; producers Suzanne Todd, Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger; and USC deans Elizabeth Daley of the School of Cinematic Arts and Catherine Quinlan of the USC Libraries.

The studios distributing the finalist films and current publishers of the printed works are:

“Call Me By Your Name”—Sony Pictures Classics and Picador
“The Disaster Artist”—A24 and Simon & Schuster
“Logan”—20th Century Fox and Marvel Comics
“The Lost City of Z”—Amazon Studios and Simon & Schuster
“Molly’s Game”—STX Entertainment and Dey Street Books
“Mudbound”—Netflix and Algonquin Books
“Wonder Woman”—Warner Bros. and DC Comics

The networks airing the finalist television series and current publishers of the original printed works are:

“Alias Grace”—Netflix and Anchor
“Big Little Lies”—HBO and Berkley
“Genius”—National Geographic and Simon & Schuster
“The Handmaid’s Tale”—Hulu and Anchor
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”— HBO and Broadway Books
“Mindhunter”—Netflix and Gallery Books

The USC Libraries will announce the winning authors and screenwriters at a black-tie dinner on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 in the elegant Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library of the University of Southern California.

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