Only two of the last 10 Best Original Screenplay winners were left out of the Best Picture race ("Talk to Her" in 2002, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" in 2004). Of the other eight, three also won Best Picture ("Crash," 2005; "The Hurt Locker," 2009; "The King's Speech," 2010).
Far out in front this year is Paul Thomas Anderson for "The Master," which he also directed. He has a plurality of support from our Experts (see latest odds here).
Anderson has five previous Oscar nominations: one for producing ("There Will Be Blood"), one for directing ("Blood"), and three for writing ("Blood," "Magnolia," and "Boogie Nights").
Quentin Tarantino won an Oscar for "Pulp Fiction" and is coming on strong this year for "Django Unchained," which he also directed. (Track changing odds in this race by scrolling down to the bottom of this page.)
Tarantino has three other nominations: two for directing ("Pulp" and "Inglourious Basterds") and one for writing ("Inglourious").
Director Wes Anderson, who co-wrote "Moonrise Kingdom" with Roman Coppola, has Oscar nominations for writing ("The Royal Tenebaums") and Best Animated Feature ("Fantastic Mr. Fox").
"Zero Dark Thirty" scripter Mark Boal won Oscars for writing and producing on his last collaboration with director Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker."
Michael Haneke wrote and directed the French language film "Amour." He also helmed the Oscar-nominated "The White Ribbon."
Last year, this award went to "Midnight in Paris," written by Woody Allen. It was the fourth Oscar in Allen's storied career. He is back in the mix this year with "To Rome With Love."
Among the other original scripters in the running are "Promised Land" (Dave Eggers, John Krasinski, and Oscar-winner Matt Damon), "Flight" (John Gatins) and Pixar's "Brave" (Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi, and Oscar-nominee Mark Andrews).