EXCLUSIVE: ‘The Two Popes’ Deemed Adapted for Oscars Despite WGA Classification

Could the film go the way of "Moonlight" at the Academy Awards?

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The Two Popes

Update your predictions accordingly! The fight for Adapted Screenplay has just heated up substantially as AwardsCircuit has learned that “The Two Popes,” written by Oscar-nominee Anthony McCarten, will be considered in the ADAPTED SCREENPLAY category for the upcoming Academy Awards.

The film will compete in the Original Screenplay category at the Writers Guild of America awards, which announces their nominees on Monday, Jan. 6.

Directed by Fernando Meirelles, the Netflix film has been a crowd-pleaser during the season, winning multiple audience awards, including the Middleburg Film Festival. When the precursors started handing out nominations and prizes, “The Two Popes” began to flounder, missing out on top mentions at the Critics Choice Awards, and being completely shut out at the SAG Awards.

McCarten’s script received the highest amount of praise following the film’s premieres at Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals. Competing in the adapted race may be an easier road to a nomination, as it will be maneuvering around the likes of Steven Zaillian for “The Irishman” (another Netflix film), Taika Waititi for “Jojo Rabbit,” and Todd Phillips and Scott Silver for “Joker.”

Other potentials for love include “Little Women” by Greta Gerwig, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, “Hustlers” by Lorene Scafaria, and “Just Mercy” by Destin Daniel Cretton and Andrew Lanham.

In the case of “Hustlers” from STX Films, the film was moved to Original Screenplay for WGA, but will also compete in adapted for the Oscars.

Films such as “Moonlight,” “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” and “Syriana” all have had the WGA-Oscar switch happen and managed to pull in the nomination, with “Moonlight” winning the award. “The Two Popes” and “Hustlers” may be able to follow suit, and if both nominated, it would be the first two films to get nominated with the classification switch.

For the upcoming Writers Guild of America nominations, there were 64 original screenplays and 44 adapted screenplays that were on the ballot.

The list of the ineligible/omitted features include: “Clemency” by Chinonye Chukwu, “Downton Abbey” by Julian Fellowes, “The Farewell” by Lulu Wang, “Judy” by Tom Edge “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” by Joe Talbot, Jimmie Falls, and Rob Richert, “Midsommar” by Ari Aster, “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood” by Quentin Tarantino, “Pain and Glory” by Pedro Almodóvar, “The Peanut Butter Falcon” by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz, and “Waves” by Trey Edward Schultz.

Academy Award voting is currently underway and closes on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Do you think “The Two Popes” is a threat to Zaillian and others in Adapted Screenplay now? Share in the comments below!