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

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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.

Hustlers Wu LopezIn 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 FAREWELL COVER 770x432The 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!

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Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.


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