2017 Oscar Predictions – Best Adapted Screenplay

UPDATED – FEBRUARY 23, 2017 – FINAL PREDICTIONS – Another hard category to predict.  “Moonlight’s” WGA win makes it a strong contender here but “Hidden Figures” has come on strong.  Weirdly resembling a potential shocker in this category a la “Gods and Monsters.”  And then there’s “Arrival,” “Fences,” and “Lion,” all of which have a shot at the gold.  Let’s stay safe with “Moonlight” and await a potential upset.



  1. Moonlight” – Barry Jenkins, Tarell McCraney
  2. Hidden Figures” – Allison Schroeder, Theodore Melfi
  3. Arrival” – Eric Heisserer
  4. Lion” – Luke Davies
  5. Fences” – August Wilson




  • Queen of Katwe” – William Wheeler
  • The Light Between Oceans” – Derek Cianfrance
  • Neruda” – Pablo Larraín
  • The BFG” – Melissa Matheson
  • A Bigger Splash” – David Kajganich
  • Julieta” – Pedro Almodovar
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” – J.K. Rowling
  • The Dressmaker” – Rosalie Ham Novel, Jocelyn Moorhouse, P.J. Hogan
  • Hello My Name is Doris” – Laura Terruso, Michael Showalter
  • Krisha” – Trey Edward Shults


  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” – Jean-Christophe Castelli
  • Finding Dory” – Andrew Stanton
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” – Jane Goldman
  • The Little Prince” – Irena Brignull, Bob Persichetti
  • The Family Fang” – Daid Lindsay Abaire
  • American Pastoral” – John Romano
  • High Rise” – Amy Jump
  • Doctor Strange” – Jon Spaiths, C. Robert Cargill
  • Captain America: Civil War” – Christopher Markus, Stephen McFreely
  • Snowden” – Kieran Fitzgerald, Oliver Stone


  • Assassin’s Creed” – Bill Collage, Adam Cooper, Scott Frank, Michael Lesslie
  • Anthropoid” – Sean Ellis and Anthony Frewin
  • Deadpool” – Rhett Ree & Paul Wernick
  • The Girl on the Train” – Erin Cressida Wilson
  • Inferno” – David Koepp
  • The Magnificent Seven” – Nic Pozzolatto, John Lee Hancock
  • From Afar” – Lorenzo Vigas

*=could be deemed ORIGINAL
**=could be pushed back to 2017



  • Calvin Philips

    Have we all agreed that Cymbeline is going to be terrible? It’s a personal favorite of the Bard’s works and has a great cast behind it.

  • Josh

    I have a feeling that The Grand Budapest has a bigger chance going original (a category it could actually win) if it’s eligible. Otherwise i completely agree with your picks.

  • ryanmcc

    I understand that you guys are suspicious of Serena and all of the reasons you guys have are valid but come on…#40? That movie seriously has a lesser chance of getting nominated then Guardians of the Galaxy, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Dumb & Dumber To? It probably won’t get nominated but it should be at least top 25 .

    • Ryancritic

      I deeply regret making this comment

      • Luke McGowan


  • I say Gone Girl.

  • I say Gone Girl.

  • @ClaytonDavis_Jr sorry about that promise to Karl. think it is a crime if #MarionCotillard is overlooked. Watch #2days1Night

  • Luke McGowan

    You guys need to stop being so butthurt about Argo beating Lincoln for Screenplay. Terrio’s screenplay was savagely beautiful. Kushner’s was stuffy and pretentious.

  • Luke McGowan

    1. Fences
    2. American Pastoral
    3. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
    4. Moonlight
    5. Silence

    6. The Light Between Oceans
    7. Nocturnal Animals
    8. Una
    9. The Circle
    10. Arrival

  • Brady Smith

    I really hope Assassin’s Creed becomes a bigger contender. I know we have to be cautious because it’s a videogame adaptation but Fassbender has been so optimistic about it and the plot of the games is definitely cerebral enough to be adapted into a good movie if handled well.

  • Orlando Whitcomb-Worden

    Hey, to anyone on the Circuit with info, do we know if The Circle is really going to show up this year?

    • nope. looks like it’s not.

      • Orlando Whitcomb-Worden

        Yeah, figured that much by now. Couple questions while we’re at it: Why are we still considering Silence? When will we know about Hidden Figures? Some people still have Live By Night on their predictions on other sites, any new thoughts on that?

  • Justin Logan

    I’ve heard that Moonlight may be considered an original screenplay and that the writer of the play, Tarell Alvin McCraney, will be receiving a “story by” credit. I think it is because the original play is unpublished.

    • Luke McGowan

      That didn’t help Whiplash

  • Jonathan

    Hey Clayton – simple mistake: Jean-Christophe Castelli is the screenwriter for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, not Simon Beaufoy.

  • Tyler

    I’m sorry, how is Kubo and the Two Strings adapted?

  • Luke McGowan

    Silence feels like The Revenant to me. Won’t be a screenplay contender, for some reason. I think Fences and Arrival are probably looking strong, with Billy Lynn, Live By Night and Nocturnal Animals as my other three. Lion knocks on the door if any of them fall flat or if they fall in love with it.

    1. Fences
    2. Live By Night
    3. Arrival
    4. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
    5. Nocturnal Animals

    • Gabriel Tiller

      “Won’t be a screenplay contender, for some reason.”

      You might well be right, but given the strength of the novel upon which the aforementioned screenplay is based, and also given Mr. Scorsese’s passion for said novel and his desire to see it represented well on the big screen, I think it could well be.

    • Alec Glass

      I think calling Silence like The Revenant as far as odds for a screenplay nod go is a pretty big stretch. The Revenant’s miss on screenplay was a very logical one as for a vast portion of the movie there was no dialogue and that which was there was good but nothing stellar, and in general what people liked about the movie for those that liked it was the acting and technical aspect so the awards narrative simply didnt play well into a screenplay nod. Silence may be a whole different beast, and based on the fact that it seems to be working with a more idea-based, or perhaps theologically driven, narrative as opposed to one told through viscera and imagery, I would say that based on first impressions, it could very well be a serious screenplay contender. that said, I think you’re right about Fences and Arrival being the top two, at least for now, Silence being sight unseen. (Fences technically is too, but it will most likely be very close the the play, which is very well-written, and with August Wilson as the screenplay credit as well, its already got several things going for it.)

  • Alec Glass

    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in 2001…?

  • Luke McGowan

    The source material for Live By Night is super strong. Affleck’s screenplays are often my favourite, and I think this has to be close to a lock without me seeing the film at this stage

  • Jonathan

    I guess “Silence” has an additional screenwriter: Martin Scorsese. “Hidden Figures” was also penned by its director Theodore Melfi.

  • Tee

    1. Moonlight
    2. Fences
    3. Lion
    4. Silence
    5. Hacksaw Ridge OR Loving

    I can’t see the Academy backing up Nocturnal Animals, since they wouldn’t give a nod to Gone Girl, a film with a similar vibe. I also can’t see Arrival getting in, since now that they can fill up the category they’d be far less willing to give it to such a cerebral film. Depending on the kind of day Hacksaw has, I can see it pulling a nod in ala American Sniper or The Martian, but otherwise that spot will go to Loving.

    • Greg

      Arrival screenplay won the critic’s choice awards for Best Adapted Screenplay and won a lot more awards…

      • Tee

        Gone Girl also swept many of the critics’ awards, including the Critics Choice, yet ended up falling short. Arrival didn’t even receive a screenplay nomination from the Globes, barely indicating that even Nocturnal Animals MIGHT be a bigger player on that front than Arrival. I am well aware of the fact that the three films are completely different, but I also am aware of the fact that a film like this isn’t always in the Academy’s wheelhouse (I.E. Interstellar). Unless Arrival manages to win prizes that show some genuine strength outside of just Critics (I.E. Writer’s Guild and BAFTA), then I’m not entirely convinced even if it does deserve it.

    • Teriek Williams

      Nocturnal Animals thus far has gotten Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award and WGA nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay. So it may be a player, especially over Silence and Hacksaw Ridge, which have not gotten screenplay nods in any of these top tier organizations. Plus, Ridge has the Mel Gibson factor puts a question mark on it until a nomination surfaces proving otherwise.

      However, Gone Girl were nominated for the same awards. However, I think Gillian Flynn’s snub has something to do with her former status as a critic for Entertainment Weekly. The Academy snubbed Roger Ebert’s documentary despite positive reviews. I think voting members of the Academy hate critics and snub them when they get a chance.

  • Alfred

    The New Zealander maori film “Hunt for the wilderpeople” could be a surprise in this category.

  • Alfred

    Also, The Family Fang isn’t eligible.

  • Bryce

    Hacksaw Ridge

    It has to be Moonlight.

  • Kian


    This is easily Moonlight’s win. Although I would love any film to replace Lion, I won’t count at it, damn you Weinstein.

  • Brady Smith

    Assassin’s Creed shouldn’t even be in unranked contenders. Getting everyone to think it’s the one to break the videogame to movie curse then flopping financially and critically…it should be put in movie prison for that.

  • Adventurer

    Original – MBtS, Adapted – Moonlight. Clear winners from my view.

  • Alfred

    I believe, the 5 nominees will come out from these 16 films: Moonlight, Fences, Arrival, Lion, Hacksaw Ridge, Silence, Loving, Sully, Hidden Figures, Nocturnal Animals, Love & Friendship, Light between oceans, Snowden, Billy Lynn’s long halftime walk, Handmaiden (you’re right for spotting it, this is the only foreign film with possibilities in this category. It plays strong in technical categories as well and maybe this is gonna give edge and this film is gonna land here as well. South Korea did a big mistake for not sending it. This country would surely had it’s first ever nomination) and a Maori New Zealander film Hunt for the Wilderpeople (don’t forget the Maori New Zealander film “Whale rider” in actress category. Such a surprise may happen again this year).

  • Teriek Williams

    With Nocturnal Animal receiving a Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award and WGA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, he should figure higher and certainly over Hacksaw Ridge, Silence and Hidden Figures.

  • Alfred

    My final prediction nominees: “Moonlight”, “Fences”, “Arrival”, “Hacksaw Ridge” and “Nocturnal Animals” (many people commenting below are very accurate. This pulp screenplay achieved so many in awards -even in the golden globe screenplay category that isn’t divided into two- and it plays in 9th place? For me, it will be nominated). “Lion”, “Silence”, “Hidden Figures” (you put it too high), “Loving” and “Sully” won’t make it. 10 films are equally fighting in this year’s competitive category, it seems an open game, but these 5 above are what I believe.

  • DaKardii

    My prediction so far (will update when BAFTA nominations are announced)

    -Nocturnal Animals

    The other two one will come from the following list: Hidden Figures, Fences, Lion, Loving, and Sully.

  • 1. Moonlight
    2. Fences
    3. Nocturnal Animals
    4. Arrival
    5. Silence

    • DaKardii

      I agree with Moonlight, Nocturnal Animals, and Arrival. Fences and Silence I think are gonna be snubbed in favor of Hidden Figures and Lion.

  • DaKardii


    Best Adapted Screenplay is locked up.

    -Hidden Figures
    -Nocturnal Animals

    • Jonathan

      Deadpool just got PGA. It also got WGA so if it has support for Picture, screenplay will certainly come in play as well

  • Alfred

    Now Deadpool is in the game? It is nominated for Writers Guild of America from nowhere!! And what about Moonlight and Loving? Both in original screenplay? Moonlight is also for Bafta original screenplay! Why? They can’t understand if it is based on not now matter if the play was publicized and they can’t understand if the Loving was based on article or not. This year is gonna be a mess!

    • Alfred

      Sorry, documentary I meant. Loving is based on documentary not article I wrote by mistake.

    • DaKardii

      WTF? You’re right. It IS supposed to be Adapted. I didn’t check before, but now I did. I smell category fraud.

      On a side note, Moonlight would have a much better chance of winning if it went Adapted. I don’t see it beating La La Land or Manchester by the Sea (those are the ones that I think will be competing for the big prize) in Original.

      On another side note, if Moonlight DID go Original, that would be a serious shakeup. IMHO, that would make Adapted a race between Arrival and Nocturnal Animals (which I think is rated too low on this site), with Hidden Figures, Lion, and a wild card (either Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Loving, or Sully) trailing behind.

      On a third side note, I actually have Deadpool as a possible dark horse for Best Picture thanks to its GG nomination. For a similar reason, I have Ryan Reynolds as a possible dark horse for Best Actor.

      • Alfred

        And what about Loving? Will it be consider original or adapted (it is based on a documentary)?Whatever is the case, don’t tell me these things about Moonlight. Moonlight is a masterpiece should win in whichever category it will be considered. La La Land and Manchester by the sea can’t be compared to it but indeed it will be difficult if it goes original because the other two are safe Academic choices that they adore.

        • DaKardii

          Loving is supposed to be Adapted, and I haven’t heard anything that indicates otherwise. Ironically, based on my own shortlist, the only way I can picture Loving being nominated for Adapted would be if Moonlight DID go Original (I think Arrival, Hidden Figures, Lion, and Nocturnal Animals will be the other four, and based on the amount of nominations they have gotten, they are ahead of Loving in the race).

          One more thing. I’m not saying Moonlight won’t have a chance if it goes Original. It will. It will definitely be nominated. I’m just saying that it will be facing serious competition with La La Land and Manchester by the Sea, and both of those films are ahead in the number of awards nominated for and won in other contests.

  • Pokermask

    Here are my predictions for Best Adapted Screenplay at the moment:
    Luke Davies – Lion
    Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals
    Eric Heisserer – Arrival
    Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
    August Wilson – Fences

    Top choice: Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

  • Tee

    1. Fences
    2. Moonlight
    3. Arrival
    4. Nocturnal Animals
    5. A darkhorse nod- Deadpool

  • Alfred

    Indeed, Elle and Julieta although they didn’t place in the shortlist foreign language film, have possibilities here. The other film in the same situation “Neruda” has possibilities in original it isn’t adapted.

  • Alfred

    I also forgot Queen of Katwe, you are right spotting it.

  • Joseph Mattackal

    what about Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

    • Alfred

      Of course you are right, I keep on writing here. The Maori director/writer may land here (he was nominated before in short category) and also like the surprise of “A whale rider” in actress 2003, a Maori New Zealander surprise may happen here.

  • Alfred

    After PGA, DGA and Bafta here are my predictions considering all the 336 eligible films and not only the front-runners (in order):
    1. “Moonlight”
    2. “Arrival”
    3. “Fences”
    4. “Nocturnal Animals”
    5. “Hacksaw Ridge”
    *Still in big fight:
    6. “Lion”
    7. “Silence”
    8. “Hidden Figures”
    9. “Loving”
    10. “Deadpool”
    11. “Love & Friendship”
    12. “Sully”
    13. “Handmaiden” (surprise underdog)
    14. “Light between Oceans”
    15. “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”
    16. “Snowden”
    17. “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” (surprise underdog)
    18. “Queen of Katwe” (surprise underdog)
    19. “Elle” (surprise underdog. Although it failed to place in top 9 shorlist of foreign language films between 85, here is a different game, with 336 different films with very few of the 85 foreign language list in common)
    20. “Julieta” (surprise underdog. Exists the same I wrote above for “Elle”)

  • Mangesh Gaikwad

    # Adapted Screenplay ::
    1. Arrival

    2. Moonlight
    5.Nocturnal Animals / Loving / Hacksaw Ridge / Fences / Deadpool

  • Tee

    1. Moonlight
    2. Arrival
    3. Lion
    4. Nocturnal Animals
    5. Deadpool

  • Alfred

    You updated the list but you didn’t correct the ineligible. Family Fang is not eligible and Neruda is original! I keep on writing here!

  • 22cinema11

    My predictions:

    1. Moonlight
    2. Arrival
    3. Lion
    4. Fences
    5. Hidden Figures

    That category is hard to predict this year because there are so many decent contenders. I wouldn’t count out “Fences” because August Wilson’s writing received enormous praise. I’m not quite sure about “Hidden Figures” in this category – maybe it gets in (screenplay nod at Critics’ Choice, WGA and BAFTAs), but “Nocturnal Animals” and “Loving” are strong as well and could very well sneak in, too.

  • Fabio González

    1. Moonlight
    2. Arrival
    3. Nocturnal Animals
    4. Lion
    5. Silence

  • DaKardii

    I got four out of five right. I’m SHOCKED Nocturnal Animals was snubbed in favor of Fences (though not as surprised as I was at Hidden Figures being nominated for Best Picture, or 20th Century Women being nominated for Best Original Screenplay; those were the really big surprises for me).

    • torstenadair

      Ahem… “Fences” is a Pulitzer-prize winner, adapted by the playwright before he died.
      That was a given, along with a nom for Lin-Manuel Miranda for Best Song, and Zootopia for Best Animated Feature.

    • Calvin Damon

      I kinda hate 20th Century Women, to be honest

  • DaKardii


    Right now, the favorite is Moonlight, though I see Arrival, Hidden Figures, and Lion as potential spoilers. Fences has slim chances.

  • Derrick

    I really don’t anyone winning this but Moonlight! All 5 could really win this!

  • life is a state of mind

    This is all about Moonlight, but Hidden Figures has a slim chance for an upset if voters want a feel good movie instead of a real good movie.

  • Reece

    I didn’t find Moonlight’s screenplay anywhere NEAR as complexly written as Arrival. It deserves it way more than Moonlight

  • Derrick

    Oscar’s is getting ready to get interesting NOW…………….

    MOONLIGHT just won WGA Original Screenplay!
    Eventhough ARRIVAL won WGA Adapted Screenplay, I think the Oscars will go to MOONLIGHT!

  • AyeAye

    While I loved Arrival (and it’s my personal favourite). Why are people even discussing who’s gonna win here? It’s a 100% win for Moonlight here. There’s no question.

  • Pablo

    Yes, I know everyone is in love with both Moonlight and La La Land. Both good screenplays. But the best adaptation of the year is Arrival, by several miles. The screenwriter did a marvelous job with the source material and the story is just amazing.