Non-fiction books, such as "The Accidental Billionaire," upon which Aaron Sorkin based his 2010 winner "The Social Network," have accounted for eight of the winners. This year, Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner ("Angels in America") leads the race for "Lincoln," his adaptation of Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals" about the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. (See latest odds here).
One of his strongest rivals is Chris Terrio for "Argo," his adaptation of Joshuah Bearman's "Wired" article which revealed the true nature of the plan to extract six Americans from 1979 Tehran by having them pose as a film crew.
Last year, Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash won for their adaptation of Kaui Hart Hemming's novel "The Descendants." Novels have been the basis of 46 of the winners of this race over the years, including six of the last 10 champs. This year, David O. Russell's adaptation of Matthew Quick's 2008 debut novel "Silver Linings Playbook" began as the frontrunner and remains in contention. (Track changing odds in this race by scrolling down to the bottom of this page.)
While adaptations of stage works have won 13 times, the last of these was in 1989 ("Driving Miss Daisy"). This year, two-time Oscar nominee William Nicholson could contend for bringing 1987 Tony-winning musical "Les Miserables," which was itself an adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel, to the big screen. Also in the mix is Lucy Alibar, who wrote the screenplay version of her play "Beasts of the Southern Wild" with director Benh Zeitlin.
Also in contention are adaptations of the classic novels "Anna Karenina" (by Oscar-winner Tom Stoppard) and "Great Expectations" (David Nicholls) as well as adaptations of contemporary novels "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Ol Parker), "Life of Pi" (Oscar-nominee David Magee) and "Cloud Atlas" (Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer).
Ben Lewin's screenplay for "The Sessions" was inspired by an article by poet Mark O'Brien, who was paralyzed from the neck down and sought a sex surrogate to take his virginity.
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 only three winners, the most recent of which was 2006's "The Departed" (adapted from the film "Infernal Affairs").