The Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay is the Academy Award for the best screenplay adapted from previously established material. The most frequently adapted media are novels, but other adapted narrative formats include stage plays, musicals, short stories, TV series, and even other films and film characters. All sequels are also considered adaptations by this standard (based on the story and characters set forth in the original film).
|Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay|
|Presented by||Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)|
|Most recent winner||Sian Heder, |
See also the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, the corresponding award for scripts with original stories.
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, Michael Wilson, Alexander Payne and Christopher Hampton. Payne won both awards as part of a writing team, with Jim Taylor for Sideways and Jim Rash and Nat Faxon for The Descendants. 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.
Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, Paddy Chayefsky, Francis Ford Coppola, Horton Foote, William Goldman, Robert Benton, Bo Goldman, Waldo Salt, and the Coen brothers have won Oscars for both original and adapted screenplays.
Philip G. Epstein and Julius J. Epstein (Casablanca) are the first siblings to win in this category. James Goldman (The Lion in Winter) and William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President's Men) are the first siblings to win for separate films. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men) are the third winning siblings.
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 for himself and Francis Ford Coppola. 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 (Precious) and John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) 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 (Moonlight) are the first African-American writing duo to win; Spike Lee and Kevin Willmott (BlacKkKlansman) are the second, although their co-writers, David Rabinowitz and Charlie Wachtel, are both white.
Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility) is the only winner who has also won for acting. Winners Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade) and John Huston (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre) have been nominated for acting but not won.
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, August Wilson and Florian Zeller.
Ted Elliott, Roger S. H. Schulman, Joe Stillman & Terry Rossio, writers of Shrek and Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich, writers of Toy Story 3, are as of 2020, the only writers to be nominated for an animated film.
Winners and nomineesEdit
Winners are listed first in colored row, followed by the other nominees.
|The Father||Christopher Hampton & Florian Zeller||The play Le Père by Zeller|
|Borat Subsequent Moviefilm||Screenplay: Sacha Baron Cohen, Peter Baynham, Jena Friedman, Anthony Hines, Lee Kern, Dan Mazer, Erica Rivinoja & Dan Swimer; Story: Baron Cohen, Hines, Nina Pedrad & Swimer||The character by Baron Cohen|
|Nomadland||Chloé Zhao||The book by Jessica Bruder|
|One Night in Miami...||Kemp Powers||The play by Powers|
|The White Tiger||Ramin Bahrani||The novel by Arvind Adiga|
|CODA||Sian Heder||The film La Famille Bélier by Victoria Bedos, Thomas Bidegain, Stanislas Carré de Malberg & Éric Lartigau|
|Drive My Car||Ryusuke Hamaguchi & Takamasa Oe||The short story by Haruki Murakami|
|Dune||Eric Roth, Jon Spaihts & Denis Villeneuve||The novel by Frank Herbert|
|The Lost Daughter||Maggie Gyllenhaal||The novel by Elena Ferrante|
|The Power of the Dog||Jane Campion||The novel by Thomas Savage|
Writers with multiple awardsEdit
- 2 Awards
Writers with multiple nominationsEdit
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
- Joel Coen
- Ethan Coen
- Steven Zaillian
- 3 Nominations
|Oldest winner||James Ivory||Call Me by Your Name||89|||
|Youngest winner||Charlie Wachtel||BlacKkKlansman||32|||
|Youngest nominee||Joseph L. Mankiewicz||Skippy||22|
- 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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