John Ridley and his 12 Years a Slave script got a boost in its quest to win the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar last night when it took home the USC Scripter Award. 12 Years a Slave now seems poised to hold off Captain Phillips (written by Billy Ray) and Philomena (written by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope) at the Academy Awards, or at the very least has solidified its frontrunner status, considering both of those were in contention here as well. The Scripter isn’t always a great Oscar barometer, but this year it could very well be, considering how few of the Adapted nominees were eligible in the Writers Guild awards. The other nominees here were The Spectacular Now and What Maisie Knew, just so you know. You can see more below, but use this knowledge when filling out your predictions.
Here’s the announcement from The Hollywood Reporter:
The writers behind 12 Years A Slave have won the 26th annual USC Libraries Scripter Award.
12 Years a Slave is based on the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup. Northup posthumously shares the honor with screenwriter John Ridley.
The Scripters, established in 1988, honor the screenwriter(s) and original authors of what a 33-member selection committee believes is the year’s most accomplished cinematic adaptation.
The awards were held at a black-tie ceremony Saturday at USC. Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford were honorary dinner chairs for the event.
The winners beat out th writers behind four other finalists, which were chosen from 86 eligible adaptations. The 2014 finalists, in alphabetical order by film title:
12 Years A Slave (author Solomon Northup and screenwriter John Ridley); Captain Phillips (Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty, authors of A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs and Dangerous Days at Sea, and screenwriter Billy Ray); Philomena (Martin Sixsmith, author of The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, and screenwriters Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope); The Spectacular Now (novelist Tim Tharp and screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber); and What Maisie Knew (novelist Henry James and screenwriters Carroll Cartwright and Nancy Doyne).
Previous winners include the screenwriters and authors of Argo (2013), The Descendants (2012) and The Social Network (2011).
The selection committee, co-chaired by screenwriter Naomi Foner and USC professor and Writers Guild of America West vice president Howard Rodman, includes film critics Leonard Maltin and Kenneth Turan; screenwriters Geoffrey Fletcher, Lawrence Kasdan, Callie Khouri and Steve Zaillian; authors Michael Chabon and Michael Ondaatje; producers Albert Berger, Gale Anne Hurd and Mike Medavoy; and USC deans Elizabeth Daley of the School of Cinematic Arts, Madeline Puzo of the School of Dramatic Arts and Catherine Quinlan of the USC Libraries.
–Thoughts? Discuss in the comments!