USC Scripter nominations: ‘Gone Girl,’ ‘Imitation Game,’ ‘Theory of Everything,’ …

The USC Scripter Award, now in its 27th year, honors films adapted from novels, short stories, comic books, journalism, and other screenplays with both the source material and the adapted screenplay feted. This year’s nominees include four of our five leading contenders for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars — “Gone Girl,” “The Imitation Game,” “The Theory of Everything” and “Wild” — as well as sixth-ranked “Inherent Vice.” 

UPDATED: Experts’ Oscars predictions in 24 categories

The biggest snub was “Unbroken,” which we have ranked fourth for Best Adapted Screenplay.

That screenplay by four Oscar favorites — Joel & Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson — was based on Laura Hillenbrand‘s bestselling biography of Louis Zamperini

As it excludes stage-to-screen adaptations and foreign-language films, the Scripter has forecast just 10 of the eventual Oscar winners for Best Adapted Screenplay, but six of those came in the past seen years: “12 Years a Slave” (2013), “Argo” (2012), “The Descendants” (2011), “The Social Network” (2010), “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008), and “No Country for Old Men” (2007). The other repeat winners were “A Beautiful Mind” (2001), “L.A. Confidential” (1997), “Sense and Sensibility” (1995) and “Schindler’s List” (1993).

Last year, three of the Oscar nominees for Adapted Screenplay first contended here: double champ “12 Years a Slave” as well as “Captain Phillips” and “Philomena.” The Scripter race was rounded out by “The Spectacular Now” and “What Maisie Knew” while the Oscar category added “Before Midnight” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.” 

In 2012, all five Oscar nominees were cited by the Scripter Award: “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” and the winner of both prizes, “Argo.” They were joined by a sixth Scripter nominee that didn’t contend at the Oscars: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

In 2011, three of the five Scripter nominees went on to Oscar bids: “Moneyball” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” joined double-winner “The Descendants,” along with two films left out by the academy: “A Dangerous Method” and “Jane Eyre.”

In 2010, “The Social Network” faced three of the other four Scripter nominees — “127 Hours,” “True Grit” and “Winter’s Bone” — at the Oscars. The fifth Scripter contender, “The Ghost Writer,” was edged out at the Oscars by “Toy Story 3” which was ineligible for consideration here. 

In 2009, “Up in the Air” prevailed with the Scripter jury over three of its competitors at the Oscars — “District 9,” “An Education” and “Precious” — as well as “Crazy Heart.” The fifth Oscar nominee was the adapted script for “In the Loop.” However, it was “Precious” that eventually won over academy voters.

Voting commence today and runs through next Tuesday (Jan. 13). The winner will be announced at a gala dinner on Jan. 31.This year’s nominees are:

Gone Girl
Screenplay: Gillian Flynn
Source: her novel of the same name

The Imitation Game
Screenplay: Graham Moore
Source: Andrew Hodges’ biography “Alan Turing: The Enigma”

Inherent Vice
Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson
Source: Thomas Pynchon’s novel of the same name

The Theory of Everything
Screenplay: Anthony McCarten
Source: Jane Hawking’s memoir “Travelling To Infinity: My Life With Stephen”

Screenplay: Nick Hornby
Source: Cheryl Strayed’s memoir “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail”

Make your Oscars picks now — click here — or scroll down to predict the Best Adapted Screenplay winner using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Best predictions will win $1,000 prize. And the 24 Users with the best scores advance to a team to compete against our Experts and Editors next year. See who’s in our current Top 24 and their early Oscar predictions. Meet the guy who won our contest to predict Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar. Register/log in to your account so you can also compete to predict the Golden Globes, Grammys, “The Walking Dead,” “AHS: Freak Show” and more.

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