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.
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.
While adaptations of plays have won 13 times, the last of these was in 1989 (“Driving Miss Daisy”).
Short stories provided source material for seven winners, with “Brokeback Mountain” in 2005 being the most recent.
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”).
Among this year’s top contenders are “Lincoln,” adapted by Tony Kushner from Doris Kearns Goodwin‘s biography of America’s 16th president; “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” adapted from a stage play by Lucy Alibar, who wrote the screenplay with director Benh Zeitlin; and “Les Miserables,” written by two-time nominee William Nicholson based on the Tony-winning stage musical which was itself an adaptation of Victor Hugo‘s classic novel.
Also in contention are adaptations of the classic novels “Anna Karenina” (by Oscar-winner Tom Stoppard) and “Great Expectations” (David Nicholls). Adaptations of contemporary novels are also eligible, including “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” (Ol Parker), “Life of Pi” (Oscar-nominee David Magee), “The Hunger Games” (Suzanne Collins, Billy Ray, and four-time Oscar-nominee Gary Ross), and “Cloud Atlas” (Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis).