We recently opened our predictions for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, and the early favorite is “Unbroken,” Angelina Jolie‘s upcoming drama about Olympian-turned-World War II-hero Louis Zamperini. Our experts, editors, and users all favor it to win, giving it 9/4 odds overall.
It’s no wonder “Unbroken” is out front for the screenplay award; it has one of the strongest writing pedigrees of any film this season. Adapted from the nonfiction book by Laura Hillenbrand, who also wrote the source material for Oscar-nominated “Seabiscuit,” it’s credited to four writers, all of whom are familiar to academy voters.
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen are already four-time Oscar champs, including a pair of writing wins for “Fargo” (1996) and “No Country for Old Men” (2007). They were also nominated for the scripts for “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” “A Serious Man,” and “True Grit,” but this would be their first writing bid for a film they didn’t also direct.
Co-writer Richard LaGravenese has one previous Oscar nomination, for writing 1991’s “The Fisher King,” but his resume also includes Oscar-contenders “The Bridges of Madison County” and “The Mirror Has Two Faces,” as well as “Behind the Candelabra,” which might have been up for Oscars had it premiered in theaters instead of on HBO; it had a theatrical release in the UK, where it earned an Adapted Screenplay bid at the BAFTAs.
“Unbroken’s” fourth writer is William Nicholson, who has two past writing bids (“Shadowlands” in 1993, “Gladiator” in 2000). He also wrote the scripts for “Nell,” “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” “Les Miserables,” and “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”
Next in line for this year’s Adapted Screenplay Oscar are “Gone Girl” (by Gillian Flynn, who adapted her own bestselling novel) and “The Imitation Game” (by Graham Moore, based on Andrew Hodges‘s biography of Alan Turing). Both get 4/1 odds in our combined predictions.
Rounding out the top five are “Inherent Vice” (by Paul Thomas Anderson, adapting Thomas Pynchon‘s novel) with 13/2 odds and “The Theory of Everything” (by Anthony McCarten, based on Jane Hawking‘s memoir) with 12/1 odds.
Take a look at our current odds below to see how the race is shaping up (click the chart to see more):
Do you think any film can overcome “Unbroken’s” impressive pedigree? Use our drag-and-drop menu to make your predictions below.