2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Adapted Screenplay (Updated November 20, 2017)

Last year, “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins and playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for bringing the latter’s un-produced play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” to the screen. While adaptations of stage works had won 14 times before, the last of these was in 1989 (“Driving Miss Daisy”). (Scroll down for the most up-to-date predictions for this year’s Best Adapted Screenplay race.)

In 2015, Adam McKay and Charles Randolph had prevailed for adapting Michael Lewis‘ financial expose “The Big Short. That marked the fourth year running that a non-fiction book had been the source material for the winning screenplay following victories by “Argo” (2012), “12 Years a Slave” (2013) and “The Imitation Game.” This marks a new trend in the history of this award, which dates back to the first Oscars in 1928, as only 11 such books had been the basis for the winning scripts.

Rather, it is novels that have dominated as source material. Works of fiction have been the basis of 46 of the winners of this race over the years. The most recent of these was in 2011 when Alexander PayneNat Faxon and Jim Rash won for their adaptation of Kaui Hart Hemming‘s novel “The Descendants.”

Short stories provided source material for seven winners, with “Brokeback Mountain” in 2005 being the most recent. And remakes of other films and teleplays account for four winners, the most recent of which was 2006’s “The Departed” (adapted from the film “Infernal Affairs”). One-off sources have included a newspaper column (“Mrs. Miniver”) and a short film (“Sling Blade”).

Please note: Only those films with confirmed release dates are listed below. Check back often as new contenders are scheduled while others are dropped due to delays or critical reception.

UPDATED: November 20, 2017

Leading Contenders
Sofia Coppola: “The Beguiled” (Focus Features/Gramercy Pictures)

James Gray: “The Lost City of Z” (Amazon Studios)

Michael Green: “Murder on the Orient Express” (20th Century Fox)

Lee Hall: “Victoria and Abdul” (Focus Features)

James Ivory: “Call Me By Your Name” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Richard Linklater: “Last Flag Flying” (Amazon Studios)

Brian Selznick: “Wonderstruck” (Amazon Studios)

Aaron Sorkin: “Molly’s Game” (STX Entertainment)

Jack Thorne, Steve Conrad, Stephen Chbosky: “Wonder” (Lionsgate)

Virgil Williams, Dee Rees: “Mudbound” (Netflix)

Strong Contenders
Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos: “Beauty and the Beast” (Walt Disney Pictures)

Hampton Fancher, Michael Green: “Blade Runner 2049” (Warner Bros./Columbia Pictures/Alcon Entertainment)

J. Mills Goodloe, Chris Weitz: “The Mountain Between Us” (20th Century Fox/Chernin Entertainment)

Rian Johnson: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Walt Disney Pictures)

James Mangold, Scott Frank, Michael Green: “Logan” (20th Century Fox)

Roger Michell: “My Cousin Rachel” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber: “The Disaster Artist” (Warner Bros.)

Possible Contenders
Destin Daniel Cretton, Marti Noxon, Andrew Lanham: “The Glass Castle” (Lionsgate)

Jason Hall: “Thank You for Your Service” (Dreamworks)

Michael Haneke: “Happy End” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Allan Heinberg, Zack Snyder, Jason Fuchs: “Wonder Woman” (Warner Bros.)

Azazel Jacobs: “The Lovers” (A24)

John Pollono: “Stronger” (Lionsgate)

UPDATED: November 20, 2017

Aaron Sorkin won this award in 2010 for “The Social Network,” his adaptation of Ben Mezrich‘s non-fiction book “Accidental Billionaires.” This year, he makes his directorial debut with “Molly’s Game,” based on Molly Bloom‘s memoir of the same name about her time as a high-stakes poker player with Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain in the title role.

Director Richard Linklater was nominated in 2014 for his original script for Best Picture nominee “Boyhood.” This year, he worked with novelist Darryl Ponicsan to adapt the latter’s serio-comic novel, which was a follow-up to his 1970 bestseller “The Last Detail.”

Director Dee Rees and TV scribe Virgil Williams (“ER”) adapted Hillary Jordan‘s 2008 debut novel “Mudbound.” Their acclaimed film version, which was hit of Sundance, follows the lives of two WWII vets in rural Mississippi fighting racism.

James Ivory reaped three Oscar bids for direction and could finally prevail for his adaptation of André Aciman‘s prize-winning 2007 novel “Call Me by Your Name,” which explores the repercussions of a summer love affair between a teenager and a college student.

Lee Hall reaped an Oscar bid in 2000 for his original script for “Billy Elliot.” He could vie again for adapting “Victoria and Abdul,” Shrabani Basu‘s 2010 bestseller that revealed the relationship between Queen Victoria and her Indian servant Abdul Karim.

In the coming weeks and months, we will be predicting all 24 of the competitive categories at the Oscars.

Best Picture | Best Director | Best Original Screenplay | Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Actor | Best Actress | Best Supporting Actor | Best Supporting Actress
Best Cinematography | Best Costume Design | Best Film Editing | Best Production Design
Best Makeup & Hairstyling | Best Sound Editing | Best Sound Mixing | Best Visual Effects
Best Original Score | Best Original Song
Best Animated Feature | Best Documentary Feature | Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Short | Best Documentary Short | Best Live-Action Short

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