2018 Writers Guild Awards preview: Oscar frontrunners ‘Lady Bird’ and ‘Call Me By Your Name’ will win

The 70th annual Writers Guild of America Awards will be held simultaneously in Los Angeles and New York City on Feb. 11. Only scripts written under the guild’s guidelines or those of several international partners are allowed to vie for these awards. As such, these kudos are not the most reliable barometer of the Oscars.

In the past nine years only 59 of the WGA nominees have numbered among the 90 screenplays that reaped Academy Awards bids. Indeed, 2014’s Oscar winner for Best Original Screenplay, “Birdman,” was deemed ineligible. Likewise for one of this year’s leading contenders for that award: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

This year’s original screenplay WGA nominees are “The Big Sick,” “Get Out,” “I, Tonya,” “Lady Bird” and “The Shape of Water.” Based on our collective predictions, as detailed below, Greta Gerwig is the frontrunner to win Best Original Screenplay for her coming-of-age character study “Lady Bird” in a close race over Jordan Peele for his horror satire “Get Out.” And she is tipped to repeat at the Academy Awards on March 4.

The adapted screenplay contenders at the WGA Awards line up with the Oscars: “Call Me by Your Name,” “The Disaster Artist,” “Logan,” “Molly’s Game” and “Mudbound.” James Ivory is the overwhelming favorite to take home both awards for his script for “Call Me by Your Name,” which is based on the novel by Andre Aciman.

While the number of films in contention at this year’s Oscars numbered a record 341 Best Picture entries, only 59 original and 47 adapted screenplays were in the running for these precursor prizes. Those counts for the eligible contenders at the WGA Awards are down from both last year’s 60 original and 55 adapted screenplay submissions and 2016’s tally when 61 original scripts and 51 adaptations were eligible.

SEE 2018 Writers Guild Awards: Full list of nominations in 3 film and 14 TV categories

Our odds are based on the combined predictions of more than 1,200 users who have entered their picks in our predictions center thus far. That includes Expert journalists from top media outlets, the Editors who cover awards year-round for Gold Derby, our Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s WGA Awards and our All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine the last two years’ WGA predictions.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“Lady Bird” (Greta Gerwig) — 1/2
“Get Out” (Jordan Peele) — 3/1
“The Shape of Water” (Guillermo Del Toro, Vanessa Taylor) — 22/1
“The Big Sick” (Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani) — 66/1
“I, Tonya” (Steven Rogers) — 80/1

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“Call Me by Your Name” (James Ivory) — 1/10
“Molly’s Game” (Aaron Sorkin) — 18/1
“The Disaster Artist” (Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber) — 40/1
“Mudbound” (Dee Rees, Virgil Williams) — 50/1
“Logan” (Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green) — 80/1

SEE 2018 Writers Guild Awards predictions: Odds in 10 categories include ‘Lady Bird,’ ‘Call Me by Your Name, ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ …

Be sure to make your WGA predictions so that Hollywood studio executives and top name filmmakers can see how their movies are faring in our odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on February 11. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 WGA Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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